The Turkish administrators at Truebright Academy in Philadelphia (a Gulenite-run school), summarily fired 8 American teachers and administrators who just happened to be the same 8 employees who currently have pending Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaints against Truebright. The teachers/administrators had filed discrimination claims based on the disparity in their pay and that of their Turkish colleagues.
Of course and in keeping with their modus operandi, the boys waited until after the school year to send out certified letters to fire the teachers, because frankly they don’t have the guts to actually have a face to face conversation with them. If they do not have lawyers speaking for them (again, at our cost), they pretty much invoke the 5th Amendment (ummm…wonder if that applies to H1-B /foreign workers…).
They knew that by waiting until July that it would be pretty difficult if not impossible for the teachers to find new positions as schools usually finish hiring by late May.
One-third — yes, one-third — of Truebright’s teaching/administrative staff is Turkish and none — yes, none — of the Turkish employees received a pink slip.
Further, it is clearly evident that the malicious act of terminating their employment was absolutely retaliatory in nature and should be viewed so by EEOC officials.
Now our experience with the EEOC to date has been that it’s too damn lazy to actually prosecute a case against the boys. Let’s see if the power of 8 individuals from one entity will persuade them to get off of their collective behinds and actually do their jobs – the jobs that the taxpayers are paying them to do.
At what point are the American tax payers and law makers going to be so fed up with the systematic pillaging of our tax dollars and civil rights violations that they will finally take some action against the Turkish mobsters and insist that our government officials actually do something?
Martha Woodall of the Philadelphia Inquirer has been hot on the trail of the boys for the past two years, and recently published a story about the mass firing of the American teachers.
Here is Ms. Woodall’s story:
Days before its charter hearing, Truebright fired 8 teachers
Just days before a hearing began to prove that it should be granted a new operating charter, Truebright Science Academy Charter suddenly told eight of its 15 certified teachers – plus its technology director – that they would be terminated, staff members told The Inquirer.
The Philadelphia School Reform Commission took the first step toward closing Truebright in April by passing a resolution that said the commission did not plan to renew the charter for 18 reasons. It cited poor academic performance at the North Philadelphia school and said it had not met the state requirement that 75 percent of its classroom teachers be certified.
Truebright, which opened in 2007, is one of more than 130 charters nationwide run by followers of a Turkish imam, M. Fetullah Gulen, who lives in self-imposed exile in the Poconos.
The FBI and the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education are looking into allegations of kickbacks by Turkish teachers at the charters nationwide, according to sources.
One-third of Truebright’s teachers and administrators are Turkish, and most are working in this country on nonimmigrant visas. Those teachers appear to have kept their jobs at the school, which will continue to operate during at least the 2012-13 school year.
The teachers who received certified letters July 3 saying they had lost their jobs were U.S. citizens.
Many of the American instructors Truebright let go were among nine teachers and administrators who filed complaints last year with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging they were being paid less than noncertified Turkish staffers. Those cases are pending.
Teachers and staff members at the publicly funded charter school are not unionized. All are at-will employees with one-year contracts.
Brian Leinhauser, Truebright’s attorney, declined Thursday to confirm the number of employees who were not being rehired or to detail the reasons.
“First, the school does not discuss personnel matters publicly regarding individual employees or the number of employees that are offered continued employment,” he said in an e-mailed statement.
“However, all decisions related to renewal of employee contracts are based on employee’s performance and no consideration is given to the nationality or national origin of the individual teacher. Finally, the school will comply with all of its obligations under state and federal law to maintain appropriate ratios of certified teachers.”
Teachers said the letters they received ending their employment cited “issues” they said had never been mentioned in performance reviews or did not pertain to their jobs.
According to the School District’s charter-school office, only 60 percent of teachers were certified.
During the SRC hearing that began Tuesday, Leinhauser challenged that rate. He said the staff list Truebright sent to the state Department of Education for the certification calculation mistakenly included administrators and a security guard who were not required to be certified.
He also questioned the district’s assertion that Truebright had a high rate of administrative turnover because the school has had two CEOs and one interim CEO in its five-year history.
Bekir Duz, a Turkish national who became Truebright’s chief executive in August, has denied that the school was part of a Turkish charter network or under federal investigation.
He also has said Truebright has not discriminated against American-born teachers. He told The Inquirer in the spring that the school adopted a salary scale after the EEOC complaints were filed.
Current and former staff members said the sudden departures of so many teachers would shock students.
“This is not going to benefit the kids at all,” said one.
Some former teachers say they plan to attend the SRC hearing on Truebright’s charter when it resumes Aug. 20.