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IN THE UNITED STATES D ISTRICT COURT
FoR THE W ESTERN D ISTRICT OF V IRGINIA
LYNCHBURG D IVISION
JUL 1 p 2213
JACQUELINE R . EUBANKS,
CASE N O. 6:13-cv-00040
M EM ORAN DUM OPm ION
LYNCHBURG CITY SCHOOLS,
JUDGEN ORMAN K . M OON
Pending before the court is Plaintiff s motion to proceed in forma pauperis (docket no.
1), which l will grant. However, for the following reasons, l will dism iss Plaintiff's complaint,
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. j l 915(e)(2)(B).
A district court must evaluate a complaint filed in forma pauperis and dismiss it if it
determines that dsthe action or appeal (i) is frivolous or malicious; (ii) fails to state a claim on
which relief may be granted; or (iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune
from such relief.'' 28 U.S.C. j 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(iii); see also Eriline Co. S.A. v. Johnson, 440
F.3d 648, 656 (4th Cir. 2006) Cdgsectionl 1915 pennits district courts to independently assess the
merits of informapauperis complaints, and to exclude suits that have no arguable basis in law or
fact.'') (citation and inttrnal quotations omitted).
A pro se litigant's pleadings are ûsto be liberally construed.'' Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U .S.
89, 94 (2007) (citation omitted). Still, the facts alleged m ust tdraise a right to relief above the
speculative level,'' and the com plaint m ust contain dtenough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'' Bell Atl. Corp. v.Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 570 (2007). This court
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m ay not dism iss an action under Section 1915 dsunless after accepting a1l w ell-pleaded
allegations in the plaintiff s com plaint as true and draw ing all reasonable factual inferences from
those facts in the plaintiff's favor, it appears certain that the plaintiff cannot prove any set of
facts in support of his claim entitling him to relief.'' D e 'f onta v. Angelone, 330 F.3d 630, 633
(4th Cir. 2003) (citation omitted). ln this case, Plaintiff s July 2, 2013 complaint fails to state a
claim upon w hich relief can be granted.
ln her com plaint, Plaintiff states that she was previously employed as a substitute teacher
by t e y
h L nchburg City School system . 1 Plaintiff alleges that she w as discharged in late January,
f her (tuse of religion.'' P1 's Com pl. 3.2 Plaintiff also states that she was discharged
because she was deem ed to be tcunqualified'' and ddunreliable,'' but contends that those allegations
are Skinaccurate.'' Id Plaintiff adds that ûsthe process for tennination requiregs) more than five
write-ups w ithin a school year,'' and appears to contend that, even if she had m ore than five
Sswrite-ups,'' they were spaced out over a period exceeding one year. Id at 4. Plaintiff has since
applied for a contract teaching position with the Lynchburg City School system , but states that
she has not been able to obtain a position. Id.
Plaintiff's allegations appear to suggest that the Lynchburg City School system took
action against her due to her dduse of religion'' in the classroom . How ever, such religious conduct
is not protected by either Title V l1, see, e.g., Grossman v. S. Shore Pub. Sch. D ist., 507 F.3d
1097 (7th Cir. 2007), or the First Amendment, see, e.g., Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578, 584
(1 987) (çiFamilies entrust public schools with the education of their children, but condition their
l Plaintiff states that she filed her initial complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
on or about June 20, 2012. Plaintiff s notice of her suit rights from the EEOC was m ailed on M ay 8, 2013.
2 Plaintiff alleges that John W omack a principal for Lynchburg City Schools, told her that he çûcannot have
(Plaintiftl using any form of religion . . . within the school.'' 16l
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trust on the understanding that the classroom w ill not purposely be used to advance religious
views that may conflict with the private beliefs of the student and his or her family.'').
Even if Plaintiff is attem pting to allege that she was unlaw fully discrim inated against
based on her religious beliefs,both when she w as term inated from her substitute teaching
position and when she was later rejected for contract teaching positions, her complaint still must
be dism issed. A plaintiff alleges a prim a facie case of discrim ination under Title V11 if she
pleads that: (i) she is a member of a protected group; (ii) her job performance was satisfactory
(or she was qualified for an open position for which she applied); (iii) she was subjected to an
adverse employment action', and (iv) similarly situated employees outside her class received
more favorable treatment (or she was rejected for the open position under circumstances giving
rise to an inference of unlawful discrimination). See Coleman v. Md. Court ofAppeals, 626 F.3d
187, l90 (4th Cir. 2010); Brown v. McL ean, 159 F.3d 898, 902 (4th Cir. 1998). Construing
Plaintiff's claim s liberally, Plaintiff has failed to allege facts to support the last of these four
required elem ents.
For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief m ay be
granted. Therefore, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. j 1 915(e)(2)(B), Plaintiff's complaint is dismissed.
The Clerk is directed to send certified copies of this m em orandum opinion and the
accom panying order to the Superintendent of Lynchburg City Schools, the Lynchburg City
Attorney, and to the Plaintiff.
Entered this / 0 .-day of July, 20l 3.
NO AN K. M OO
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE