Lawsuits alleging that Philadelphia School District officials violated their civil rights have been brought by four white teachers at an elementary school that has experienced racial strife previously.
The suits, filed in U.S. District Court, allege that during the 2008-09 school year district officials engaged in harassment, intimidation and discrimination against the four teachers at Mifflin School based solely on their race.
The teachers also allege that Charles Ray III, the school’s former principal, who is Black, said that because they were white that they were not fit “to teach African-American students at Mifflin.”
Ray, the teachers charge, also damaged their reputations by giving them low evaluations and denigrated them with false statements and defamatory remarks to others.
The discrimination suits were filed on May 10. A district spokeswoman said that when the district is formally served it will look closely at the allegations and respond accordingly. "The district's goal is to maintain an atmosphere of fairness and equality for all, and allegations of discrimination, on any basis, are taken seriously," she said.