(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) Racial tension is seemingly evident at predominantly-black Thomas Mifflin Elementary School.
Four white teachers, Colleen Yarnell, Nicole Boyd, Debra Marenbach and Marta Ciccimaro, have filed federal race-bias lawsuits accusing a black principal of creating a hostile work environment.
Their lawsuits say that a former principal had them read an article that said “white teachers do not have the ability to teach African-American students.”The teachers are seeking an apparent punitive award of more than $150,000 each.
The teachers also allege that the principal, Charles Ray III, and others undermined their work by reprimanding them, randomly changing their room assignments and letting black teachers ignore rules that their white counterparts had to follow. Ray also retaliated when they filed union grievances, they said.
“Charles Ray III consistently stated that he had a relationship with top school officials indicating that his conduct was part of an approved policy or was part of a pattern of practices sanctioned and supported by ‘higher authority,”’ the suits allege.