According to Coach Stephens, shortly after Jerry Hendrick was promoted to Superintendent of the school district in August 2003, she was subjected to intense harassment by Hendrick and other school officials because of her sexual orientation.
On December 14, 2004, the School Board commenced proceedings to terminate Coach Stephens, with one and a half years remaining in her
In exchange for Coach Stephens' agreement not to pursue further legal action, the district agreed to pay her
the full value of her
The settlement came days before a scheduled administrative hearing, after School Board President Derous Byers testified under oath in a deposition that the Board's decision to terminate Coach Stephens was based on the personal anti-gay animosity of several school board members.
Byers also testified that several school board members publicly disparaged Coach Stephen because of her
sexual orientation, including stating that she
"did not deserve to work" in the district because she
is a lesbian.