Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 17, Ed. 1 Friday, September 9, 2011 Page: 4 of 48
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Teacher accuses TC College of discrimination
Gill says English Department chair
at Northeast Campus told her the
state and the school 'do not
TAMMYE NASH I Senior Editor
HURST — Jacqueline "Jackie" Gill filed suit
Wednesday, Sept. 7, against a professctr and a
dean at Northeast Campus of Tarrant County
College in Hurst, claiming that she was denied
the opportunity to apply for a permanent, full-
time teaching position there because of the Eng-
lish Department chair's bias against what he per-
ceived her sexual orientation to be.
Tarrant County College adopted a nondiscrim-
ination policy prohibiting discrimination based
on sexual orientation on March 9 of this year.
Frank Griffis, director of public relations and
marketing for Tarrant County College, said it
"would not be appropriate" for school officials to
comment on pending litigation. He also said
school officials had not yet been served with pa-
pers and therefore had not read the complaint.
Gill said she had worked as a full-time tempo-
rary English professor for about a year at the
Northeast Campus. But when the position was
to be made permanent, English Department
Chair Eric Devlin refused to allow her to apply
for the permanent position.
Jacqueline "Jackie" Gill
Gill said when
about Devlin to
Antonio R. How-
ell, he initially
seemed to side
with her, but
after speaking to
refused to com-
with her. Gill said although she is a lesbian and
has never tried to hide that fact, she had never
talked about her orientation with Devlin or any-
one else at the school.
Both Devlin and Howell are named as co-de^
fendants in the lawsuit.
Gill is represented in the lawsuit by Lambda
Legal South Central Region staff attorney Ken
Upton, joined by pro bono counsel Benjamin D.
Williams from the law firm of Gibson, Dunn and
Gill and Upton held a press conference
Wednesday to announce that the lawsuit had
been filed earlier that morning in U.S. district
court in Fort Worth. The press conference was
held at a Hurst hotel located just a few blocks
from the Tarrant County College campus where
Gill had taught.
According to the complaint filed Wednesday,
and statements Gill made during the press con-
ference, Gill was first hired on a full time, tempo-
rary basis as an English professor on Aug. 21,
2009. A little more than a month later, at the end
of October, a female "dual-enrollment" student
— a high school student who was also taking col-
lege classes — in Gill's distance learning class
cheated by stealing an exam and skipped some
The student's high school counselor told Gill
that the student has a history of disruptive be-
havior, and when the student dropped the class,
Gill was told the situation was closed.
On Nov. 9, however, Devlin called Gill into his
office and told her the student had accused Gill
of "flirting" with female students. Gill denied the
accusations, noting that there was always an-
other teacher in the class at the same time.
That's when Devlin responded with "a
lengthy diatribe about homosexuals and how the
Texas public views them," according to the com-
plaint. Gill said Devlin went on to say that Texas
is a conservative state and TCC is a conservative
school, and that "Texas and Tarrant County Col-
lege do not like homosexuals."
Gill continued to teach at TCC, receiving high
praise and compliments from students and staff
alike, including from Devlin. Then in May 2010,
she and other full-time temporary professors
were told by Howell that all seven temporary full-
time positions were being made permanent, and
that they were being re-designated as adjunct
■ GILL, Page 9
HEAVENLY DEMONS | DFW Sisters Kerianna Kross, left, and MaeLyn Hanzment have a heavenly plan to
cheat their way to victory against Dallas Diablos Todd Hopkins, center, David Whitehead and Molly Whit-
4 dallasvoice.com ■ 09.09.11
Events to benefit
Angels battle devils in kickball
game; Be An Angel brings
Christmas in September
DAVID TAFFET I Staff Writer
Two fundraising events this week benefit
Legacy Counseling Center: The DFW Sisters
have challenged the Dallas Diablos rugby team
to a Sunday game of kickball. Then on Tuesday,
Be An Angel takes place in Deep Ellum.
What do the rough-and-tumble Diablos and
the ever-so-spiritual Sisters have in common?
The Diablos, who play one of the roughest team
sports, compete in the not-gay Texas Rugby
Union and participate in the International Gay
Rugby Association. Part of their mission is to
forge friendships and celebrate differences.
And nothing in Dallas could be more different
I LEGACY, Page 9
Rep. Jim Pitts
Fundraiser moved from
Republican's HP home
A fundraiser for British rugby star Ben
Cohen's anti-bullying foundation has been
moved from the home of a Republican
Texas lawmaker, after an Instant Tea post
about the event stirred controversy last
Jeff Hickey, a gay Dallas resident who's
dation, said he
chose to move
the event from
State Rep. Jim
dation is focused on combating anti-gay
bullying, and two days after the fundraiser
Cohen will be a special VIP guest at Dallas'
gay Pride parade. Rep. Pitts, meanwhile,
has an anti-gay voting record and sup-
ported an effort to ban LGBT resource cen-
ters from college campuses in Texas earlier
"It created a firestorm politically," Hickey
said of the Instant Tea post, written by
Daniel Williams. "Within one day, it was di-
verting all the attention and resources.
"Within the course of just a couple
hours, it made its way to London and
Austin and all over the place," Hickey
added. "The entire message was lost, and
that was extremely disappointing to a lot of
Hickey said the post prompted Cohen's
representatives in London to contact him,
and at one point the rugby star's entire four-
day visit to Dallas was in jeopardy.
"Ben's got a very sensitive brand and a
very popular international brand, and
they're not interested in that brand being
messed up in Texas politics," Hickey said.
Hickey said it was an "unfortunate situa-
tion" and he understands both sides of the
issue, including Instant Tea's desire to re-
port on the issue. He also said he was
"very honored" that Pitts offered to host the
event and noted that the state representa-
tive voted in favor of two anti-bullying
measures backed by Equality Texas in this
Asked how Pitts came to host the
fundraiser in the first place, Hickey said, "I
was approached by some people that said
we could possibly do it at his house." But
Hickey declined to say who those people
were or elaborate. Pitts hasn't returned a
phone call seeking comment.
Hickey said the fundraiser will now be
held at a private residence in Oak Cliff. Any-
one interested in attending can email
— John Wright
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Nash, Tammye. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 17, Ed. 1 Friday, September 9, 2011, newspaper, September 9, 2011; Dallas, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth239184/m1/4/: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.