Bend principal, under fire, fires back on school district

Matt Montoya files complaints alleging age, race discrimination

POSTED: 5:44 PM PDT July 23, 2013 
BEND, Ore. -

A suspended Bend elementary school principal has filed suit against the district -- a move that delayed a final decision on Matt Montoya's future at a Bend-La Pine School Board meeting Tuesday.

About 15 parents, friends and family members  of Montoya attended the special morning meeting, some offering supportive testimony.

The district put Montoya on paid leave on June 24th to further investigate a review of his personnel evaluation.

The district has not commented on what exactly prompted the investigation, but officials say the new allegations against the district are delaying any immediate action.

"We received a discrimination complaint from Mr. Montoya aimed against the district administration, based on age and race," Assistant Superintendent Jay Mathisen said Tuesday. "And at this point in time, we need to investigate that matter thoroughly."

Montoya supporters, still unaware of the district's reasons for the investigation, said they hope a final decision is reached soon.

"I don't know what he did that could cause this kind of thing, but we feel whatever it was, it can be learned, but you can't just teach someone to have a good heart," said Bear Creek parent Kathi James.  "And we feel that's most important."

James said Montoya is a wonderful principal who she fully trusts with her special-needs daughter.

Montoya filed the complaint against the district on July 9th.

NewsChannel 21 reached out to his lawyer, but didn't hear back immediately for comment.