LINCOLN (Aug. 5, 2021 – KFOR) – Lincoln Public Schools has agreed to pay a substitute teacher $300,000 to settle a lawsuit in which she claimed she wasn’t hired for a full-time position because of a disability.
Rachel Veenendaal is partially paralyzed from the waist down, but has been working as a substitute special education teacher despite her disability since 2009.
In 2017, she was offered a permanent position at Zeman Elementary School, but was told she had to submit to a physical examination before she could be hired. According to the lawsuit, she did not pass the exam, and was later told by an LPS Risk Manager that her disability could endanger children in her care.
The next year, she claims that she was barred from teaching special education in any capacity within Lincoln Public Schools. Following this, she filed a lawsuit against LPS under the Americans with Disabilities act.
The case was scheduled to go to trial in October, but instead, the two parties agreed on a $300,000 settlement to be paid to Veenendaal, and the case was dismissed. Other details of the settlement were not released.