Direct evidence requires a statement be “made by an individual with authority over the employment decision at issue.”  Lawson v. Hinds County School Dist., 2014 WL 373199 *5 (S.D. Miss. Feb. 3, 2014) (Jordan, J.) (citing Krystek v. University of Southern Mississippi, 164 F.3d 251, 256 (5th Cir. 1999)).  However, “authority” does not mean the same thing as the power to hire and fire teachers.  The declarant was merely a school principal.  The court found that: “A jury could find that [the declarant] had sufficient influence.”

 

Lawson v. Hinds County School Dist., 2014 WL 373199, at *5 (S.D. Miss. Feb. 3, 2014) (Jordan, J.).