ESL teacher says school district fired her because of her age

By The Penn Record | Jun 18, 2014

A former teacher with the Pennsbury School District in Bucks County says the

administration violated her civil rights when it passed over her for a promotion and ultimately terminated her position based on her age, according to a federal lawsuit filed at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Beth Anglin, 54, seeks compensatory damages, coverage of court costs and injunctive relief for two counts, including violating the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.

According to the complaint, Anglin worked as an English as a Second Language teacher for Pennsbury between 1994 and 2006 and from 2009 to 2012. Anglin says she worked above performance expectations and received letters of recommendation.

In August 2012, an internal advertisement for a new ESL teaching job at Afton Elementary School was posted by the district human resources department. Anglin applied and interviewed for the position, but found out a week later that the job went to a candidate 26 years younger and with minimal experience with the subject.

When she confronted one of her interviewers about the decision, Anglin was told, "The successful candidate has a solid ESL lens," a phrase the plaintiff describes as a "meaningless, ambiguous justification."

Angblin spoke to another supervisor, who explained that the position required special training to conduct the WIDA-Access Placement Test, an assessment that determines a student's need for ESL support.

The plaintiff says the training involved for this task involves watching a three to four video, and she could have easily received the training before the scheduled test in January 2013.  Anglin contends that the reasons given for the hiring decision are false, and the real motive is based on age discrimination. By the end of August, Anglin had been terminated from her position with the school district, the suit says.

Anglin is represented by Thaddeus Mikulski of Hamilton, N.J.

The federal case ID number is 2:14-cv-03692-MSG.

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