Probationary Principal’s Discrimination Claims Rejected

In Byfield-Aboagye v New York City Dept. of Educ., 2018 NY Slip Op 32644(U) (NY Sup. Ct. NY Cty. Index 158036/2016 Oct. 10, 2018), the court dismissed plaintiff’s (a probationary principal) discrimination and retaliation claims – specifically, by denying her Article 78 petition seeking reinstatement.

From the decision:

Petitioner speculates that discrimination may have played a role in the denial of her certificate of completion of probation. She asserts that she was the only African-American assistant principal at The Heritage School and the only staff member with dreadlocks. She further asserts that she was
offended when Mr. Sugrim, who is of Indian descent and from Guyana, wore a dreadlocks wig to school every Halloween. She also asserts that she was treated in a disparate manner, as she
was denied important information that was given to other staff members. In addition, she asserts that during the 2015-2016 school year, the principal did not notify her of meetings; that
she was required to spend her own money to pay fees for advanced placement examinations, and that she was mistreated by other staff members who were never disciplined by the principal.

Petitioner further speculates that the denial of her
certificate of completion of probation may have been in retaliation for her taking medical leave. Petitioner’s speculations are simply insufficient to make out a prima facie case of either discrimination or retaliation.


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