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Montclair Schools Face Discrimination Suits From White, Black Teachers: Reports

The Montclair public schools are facing at least three discrimination lawsuits.
The Montclair public schools are facing at least three discrimination lawsuits. Photo Credit: Google

The school district in a community widely known for its commitment to diversity is facing lawsuits alleging racial, gender and religious discrimination, according to published reports.

Kenneth Schnitzer, a 64-year-old Montclair High School teacher, claims in his suit that he was passed over for promotion several times in favor of younger, non-white candidates, NJ.com reported . Schnitzer, who is Jewish, also said in the suit that there are no Jews among the district’s administrators.

Six teachers at another Montclair school, Glenfield Middle School, say in their lawsuit that the district discriminates against teachers of color by offering opportunities to teach more classes -- and get more pay -- only to white staff.

In the last school year, the teachers allege in their suit, only white teachers were told of opportunities to teach an additional class on top of the five teachers are normally assigned, depriving the teachers of color the chance to boost their pay by 20 percent.

That suit was filed Aug. 13.

Montclair Local reported that another teacher at Montclair High School, Marleen Awad, filed a lawsuit accusing the district of allowing a hostile workplace environment, among other offenses. Awad said another teacher, Dana Rubin -- a male teacher who is also a defendant in the suit -- treated her in a threatening manner last year while they were working on lesson plans.

Awad claims Rubin continued to act in a hostile manner towards her, stating that Rubin would sit and stare at her while she was in the school’s math room. Awad also claims Rubin shoved her and slammed into her, conduct that would not have occurred but for Awad’s gender, the suit states.

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