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Former Sacramento Teacher Files Lawsuit Against District, Claiming He Was Wrongfully Terminated Over Attendance At Jan. 6 Rally

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A man who worked as a physical education teacher with the Sacramento City Unified has filed a lawsuit against the district, claiming he was fired for going to the infamous Jan. 6 rally at the U.S. Capitol.

Dustin Watson filed the lawsuit on Monday, alleging he was wrongfully terminated for his political beliefs.

According to court documents, Watson - who worked as a PE teacher for New Technology High School - admitted to being at the Jan. 6 rally. However, he claims to have left the area before the riot and says he did not enter the U.S. Capitol building. He also says he proved his innocence to the FBI.

"Mr. Watson proved his innocence when he was investigated by the FBI and was relieved of any suspicion of domestic terrorism," the lawsuit states.

Still, according to Watson's lawsuit, the district mailed him a letter of non re-elect and he was placed on paid administrative leave until the end of the 2021 school year.

Watson's lawsuit claims his First Amendment rights were violated and that he should be awarded back pay and all lost benefits, and that he should be awarded emotional damages.

In a statement, the Sacramento City Unified School District says they have not received the lawsuit.

"In January of 2021, a SCUSD employee was placed on administrative leave while allegations concerning their participation in the January 6, 2021 events in Washington, D.C. were being investigated by the District. This employee was probationary and was non-reelected in March 2021. As such, the employee is no longer employed by Sacramento City Unified School District," the district wrote.

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