By John L. Braese
NYSSA – Bobby De Leon, a counselor formerly at Nyssa High School, is suing the Nyssa School District, claiming he was bullied and publicly disparaged by colleagues. He is seeking $200,000 in damages.
De Leon’s lawyer, Andrew Teitelman of Milwaukie, filed the complaint in Malheur Circuit Court Nov. 21.
The lawsuit states that due to De Leon being publicly disrespected and bullied, he suffered “physical ailments, including frequent headaches, fatigue, and stomach problems, as well as mental conditions, including anxiety and depression.”
De Leon also alleges he was punished with an increased workload and a “boyfriend of one of the harassing employees” was assigned as his supervisor.
“Due to the pending litigation, the district is unable to comment on this matter,” said Nyssa Superintendent Jana Iverson.
According to the suit, the first incident occurred April 27, 2015. De Leon said in his lawsuit that he hand delivered a complaint to the district showing “incidences of public discussions by co-workers surrounding plantiff’s performance and professionalism.” De Leon said a Nyssa High School office administrator “bullied him in the workplace.”
The harassment continued, according to De Leon.
De Leon maintained that in November 2016, he was punished for the April complaint by an increased workload. He also stated the district assigned the boyfriend of one of the harassing employees to supervise him.
As the situation worsened, De Leon requested the district reassign him to the elementary school or place him on leave, the complaint said. He now works at the elementary school and coaches the Nyssa wrestling team.
When contacted, De Leon said his lawyer recommended he not comment.
He did say filing a lawsuit against the district was a last resort.
“I tried other means before it came to this,” said De Leon. “I grew up here in Nyssa. I came back for a reason. I love this place.”
De Leon said his grew up in a family of 17 brothers and sisters and understands the struggles faced by many of the students in the Nyssa district.
“I want to be in this district and make changes in these kids’ lives,” he said. “But I also want to feel comfortable where I work.”
De Leon is requesting $75,000 in economic damages and $125,000 in non-economic damages.