FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A Northwest Arkansas man has filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) after a local pre-school allegedly rejected his job inquiry because of his gender.

Fred-Allen Self inquired about a position with the pre-school at First United Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville and he said he received the following reply:

Thank you for your inquiring [about] the position. I will just be up front and tell you I have been doing this for 22 years and 20 years ago I hired a man and there was an issue with a child. I am scarred from it, and I am too fearful to hire another man. I am so sorry. I am sure you are a wonderful person, but that was in the days when parents were less sue crazy so I just can’t hire you. I wish you luck. There are several centers looking for teachers so I wish you well. Peace & Protection in Christ.

Cathy Hairston, Fire School Director

“There’s surely no way I read that right,” said Self. “I don’t think that’s a valid reason.”

When asked to comment, Hairston told KNWA that “First School does and has hired men in the past. Based on the information that Mr. Self provided in his email inquiry he did not appear to be the candidate for the position.”

Self thought his experience raised a greater concern surrounding hiring discrimination not just here but across the country.

“It really does make me think of people who face these types of things all the time. I feel for them, honestly, because it’s a tiny, tiny, tiny taste of it,” said Self.

Self has an interview scheduled with the EEOC on December 16.

KNWA/FOX24 spoke with a lawyer who didn’t want to be named, who’s not affiliated with the case, he said based on the content of the school’s original email, it does seem like discrimination.

To file a Title VII discrimination lawsuit, the business must employ 15 or more people.