A former Chicago Public Schools teacher has filed a lawsuit involving his memoir, and is claiming he is owed more than $300,000 in back pay and damages.
Luis Gabriel Aguilera was once a Spanish teacher at the Bronzeville Scholastic Institute, but after a student’s mother complained after reading his memoir, Aguilera lost his job.
In part of his book, ‘Gabriel’s Fire,’ Aguilera describes a relationship he had 20 years ago with a 26-year-old teacher. He was 13 at the time. He also alleges that a Catholic priest attempted to abuse him while he was growing up in Chicago’s McKinley Park neighborhood.
According to the lawsuit, Aguilera was fired in December 2009 after a woman allegedly told CPS she believed he may have been having an adult relationship with her daughter. He was asked if he was having a relationship with the girl and denied anything was going on with the student.
Aguilera’s attorneys say the student checked the book out of the school’s library, but there was nothing more to the story, as Aguilera and the student never had a relationship. His attorney says the girl’s mother simply disliked the contents of the book.
The lawsuit claims Aguilera’s first amendment rights were violated when he wasn’t given a fair opportunity to defend himself before being fired.