A Michigan woman is taking the school district she used to work for to court, claiming she was discriminated against and eventually terminated from an elementary school because she’s white.
According to Detroit station WDIV, former Lawton Elementary School principal Shannon Blick has filed a $5 million lawsuit accusing the Ann Arbor Public Schools of discrimination, naming its school board and at least six administrators as defendants.
In the suit, Blick, 39, alleges African American administrators forced her out of her position to make way for an African American assistant principal who’d been reassigned there and was conspiring to get her job.
Blick says after it became clear that she was persona non grata in late April when she was placed on paid administrative leave before being stripped of her duties. At one point, she was even banned from attending any events on the school’s campus, including her own child’s fifth-grade graduation. Blick also claims that without any explanation she was also barred from attending a public school board meeting.
“It doesn’t make a difference if you are white or Black, the law still says you can’t use race in an unlawful way,” said Blick’s attorney Will Tishkoff, saying that this is a clear example of administrators of color receiving “preferential” treatment.
The complaint also alleges that when a group of supportive parents attempted to speak on her behalf at a school board meeting, they were prohibited from doing so. After she was placed on leave, administrators reportedly forbade her from making contact with any students, parents or staff about the matter, threatening her with termination if she violated the demand.
“I’ve never seen a case this extreme,” said Tishkoff.
Tishkoff later told local station WJBK that his client, “was never told why she was suspended and told to leave the premises and stop doing her duties on April 26,” before also pointing out Blick’s spotless record. “We have her personnel files, and there is no evidence in there that shows basis for suspension.”
Jennifer Chambers did a great job in her article today covering the federal lawsuit William G Tishkoff and Tishkoff PLC filed July 20, 2019 on behalf of Shannon Blick in federal court, Detroit, Michigan. #squad #reversediscriminationhttps://t.co/qeMvBAJzzf via @detroitnews
— William G. Tishkoff (@WTishkoff) July 22, 2019