Jewish Journal

EEOC says NY discriminated against Muslim principal

by Brad A. Greenberg

March 15, 2010 | 6:00 pm

I last mentioned Debbie Almontaser two years ago, after she was forced to resign as principal of New York academy that would teach students Arabic. Now the EEOC has determined that Almontaser was discriminated against by the New York Department of Education. From the NYT:

Acting on a complaint filed last year by the principal, Debbie Almontaser, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found that the department “succumbed to the very bias that creation of the school was intended to dispel and a small segment of the public succeeded in imposing its prejudices on D.O.E. as an employer,” according to a letter issued by the commission on Tuesday.

The commission said that the department had discriminated against Ms. Almontaser, a Muslim of Yemeni descent, “on account of her race, religion and national origin.”

The findings, which are nonbinding, could mark a turning point in Ms. Almontaser’s battle to reclaim her job as principal of the school, the Khalil Gibran International Academy in Brooklyn.

The commission asked the Department of Education to reach a “just resolution” with Ms. Almontaser and to consider her demands, which include reinstatement to her old job, back pay, damages of $300,000 and legal fees. Should the two sides fail to reach an agreement, the dispute will end up in court, her lawyer said.

Not looking good for the education department. Coincidentally, I turned in this morning a final memo on a fictitious employment religious discrimination case. Unlike Almontaser, Hodge had a very weak case against the non-existence California Bureau of Crimes.

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