NJ teachers fired for calling students ‘Negros’ sue Mount Olive district
Two former Mount Olive physical education teachers fired after 2013 for allegedly calling their students "Negroes" are suing the district, claiming they were instead fired over their ages, the Daily Record reports.
Brigitte Geiger and Sharon Jones are both claiming a breach of contract by the district, citing a state anti-discrimination law, according to the report. Geiger had been with the district for about 28 years, and Jones for abut 30, according to the report. The lawsuit reportedly claims the two teachers were falsely accused of using racial slurs.
Mount Olive Superintendent Larrie Reynolds told the Daily Record said the firings had nothing to do with the teachers' ages, and that his district has several teachers with 40 years or more on the job.
Reynolds brought the two teachers up on six tenure charges in 2012, according to New Jersey Office of Administrative Law records. The case was heard by Administrative Law Judge Tiffany Williams.
Williams' decision recounts that in 2012, when a student identified as G.H. was a senior at Mount Olive High School, she entered the girls' locker room with friend Z.C.
"While she was changing, G.H. heard Jones yell in a loud voice, 'these Negros think they are f****ing tough sh*t,'" Williams wrote in her decision.
It goes on to say G.H. then heard Geiger respond, “yeah, that’s what they are. They are f***ing Negros, Negros, Negros, Negros.” The decision states Z.C. heard the statements as well, and ultimately, G.H. reported the incident to the school's principal.
While both teachers denied using racial slurs, Williams didn't find their accounts credible, in part because "Geiger and Jones’ own testimony revealed frustrations with a group of African-American students at the school, which tends to lend credence to the credibility of the complaining students," the administrative law judge wrte.