The principal of Highland High School has filed a federal law suit against the Highland School district and the board of Education for sexual discrimination due to the fact that she makes a smaller salary than what she describes as less-qualified men who have been principals in the past. Highland Principal Karen Gauen filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis.
Gauen alleges in the lawsuit, according to the Belleville News Democrat, that the school board and district paid her predecessor Derek Hacke $25,000 more per year than she makes doing the same job even though he had 17 years less the experience than she. Furthermore, Gauen also says assistant principals and other lower level positions held by men are also paid more than she is. Gauen has two master's degrees, a doctorate in educational administration, and national board certification. She has not specified a dollar amount for the damages sought.