Teacher alleges she was terminated due to race

By Kasey Schefflin-Emrich | Jul 10, 2015

PHILADELPHIA - A Mountgomery County woman is suing an education business, alleging racism was the reason she was terminated from her job.

Corinne Howard filed a lawsuit June 25 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Nobel Learning Communities Inc., alleging wrongful termination in violation of the Civil Rights Act.

According to the complaint, Howard, an African-American, was hired by Nobel as a lead teacher in November 2000.

The suit says on Dec. 2, at the end of a music class at the defendant's Chesterbrook Academy in Wayne, Howard was performing the required face-to-name check of children as they were leaving.

Howard alleges when she noticed one of the toddlers, who was new to her class, becoming restless and going toward the open door, she quickly extended her leg to prevent the child from leaving the classroom, thus causing the child to bump into her leg.

The day after this incident, the lawsuit states, Howard had a discussion with her supervisor regarding an allegation that she violated the defendant's safety procedures and mistreated a child. Despite denying she did anything wrong, Howard was terminated Dec. 5.

The plaintiff alleges she was terminated because of her race, saying non-black employees who had engaged in similar or worse behavior than what she was alleged to have done, and actually had violated defendant's policies, faced no disciplinary measures.

Howard seeks reinstatement, back and front pay, compensation for mental anguish, an injunction prohibiting the defendant from engaging in further unlawful practices and discrimination, attorney fees, court costs and other relief deemed appropriate by the court. She is represented by attorney Robert T. Vance Jr. of the Law Offices of Robert T. Vance Jr. in Philadelphia.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania case number 2:15-cv-03564-CDJ.

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