|Bernice Marshall is suing the Perth Amboy School District. |
(Brian Amaral | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)
Hispanic Racism Against Blacks
PERTH AMBOY — Two former school district employees, including the one who oversaw its affirmative action policies, filed race discrimination suits in September, saying they were fired because they're not Hispanic.
Bernice Marshall, the former human resources manager, and Edmund Treadway, the former transportation manager, argue in Superior Court filings that the Perth Amboy School District is favoring Hispanic job candidates and employees.
"No one's paying attention to the kids," said Marshall, who is African-American. "It's about who's getting hired, who needs to be hired. They're paying attention to controlling the jobs in the district. They could care less about curriculum and instruction."
Among Marshall's claims in the lawsuit: One board member said that if there were 80 job openings, 80 Dominicans should be hired.
|Say it ain't so|
You mean Hispanics can also be racists?
The district, like many in New Jersey with a large Hispanic population, has struggled to attract bilingual teachers. Perth Amboy school employees traveled to Puerto Rico last year, sparking criticism. The Marshall and Treadway lawsuits point to the Puerto Rico trip as evidence of its alleged "discriminatory motives."
In an interview with NJ Advance Media this summer, Marshall said that some of her duties were taken away when she spoke out against a Hispanic job candidate that she didn't think highly of, sparking one of many incidents in her tenure there.
Obi Gonzalez, the president of the school board, disagreed with Marshall's assessment of the candidate's skills, Marshall said. Gonzalez made clear that, contrary to Marshall's view, she liked this candidate, who was up for a job at the WIlentz school, Marshall said.
After the disagreement, the acting superintendent, Vivian Rodriguez, summoned Marshall into her office, Marshall said. Rodriguez told Marshall that she was no longer allowed to speak at job interviews — she was simply to introduce the candidate and fetch water for the other members of the committee, according to Marshall.
In June, the district changed Marshall's job description to require a principal's certification, which she doesn't have (she was seeking a doctorate, which would have allowed her to be an assistant superintendent). Marshall's last day in the district was June 30.
What he values is a candidate from Perth Amboy, a city of nearly 52,000 that is 78 percent Hispanic . . . . .
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