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Teacher's Union Fired Teachers Sue Chicago for Racial Discrimination
5 years ago

The Chicago Teachers  Union is supporting three recently fired black teachers who are suing the city  for racial discrimination.

Donald Garrett Jr., Robert Green  and Vivionell Brown Jr. lost their jobs because of the Chicago Board of  Education’s turnaround program, which replaces most of the administrative and  teaching staff at low-performing schools.

These turnarounds tend to hit schools  with above-average numbers of black faculty members, and they have contributed  to a 10-percent reduction in black teachers in the past decade.

Along with the three teachers, the union filed suit against Chicago Public  Schools  on Wednesday. Even facially non-discriminatory employment policies can violate  civil rights laws if they disproportionately affect specific races in  practice.

Robin Potter, an attorney for CTU, said in a statement that the city’s  policies run afoul of those laws by primarily impacting black faculty and  staff.

“We’re now at a crossroads in Chicago. … The racial impact of the policies  and practices of this Board of Education have devastated the African-American  teaching force in that community,” she said in the statement.

The suit, which seeks class-action status, was filed on behalf of all black  teachers who lost their jobs  in June 2010 because of turnaround restructuring.

A spokesperson for Chicago Public Schools was unable to comment because the suit had not yet  been served.

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