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MORTON v. CITY SCHOOL DIST. OF CITY OF NEW YORK

July 13, 1990

MARY MORTON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK, A PUBLIC ENTITY CREATED PURSUANT TO AND UNDER THE LAWS OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, FRANCES VAZQUEZ, FORMERLY SUPERINTENDENT OF THE BRONX HIGH SCHOOLS, DIVISION OF HIGH SCHOOLS/CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK, JACK VALERIO, PRINCIPAL OF JAMES MONROE HIGH SCHOOL, VICTOR HERBERT, SUPERINTENDENT OF THE BRONX HIGH SCHOOLS, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robert P. Patterson, Jr., District Judge.

OPINION AND ORDER

Defendants move and plaintiffs cross-move for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56. Plaintiff is an African American woman who was 62 years of age when this lawsuit was filed on February 23, 1988. She brings this suit against defendants City School District of the City of New York and three of its employees, seeking monetary damages and equitable relief based on allegations that defendants discriminatorily decided not to hire plaintiff to be an Assistant Principal at James Monroe High School.

BACKGROUND

In 1964, plaintiff was appointed to a teaching position at James Monroe High School, a public school in Bronx, New York. In 1983, the Assistant Principal (AP) retired and plaintiff assumed the AP's duties despite the fact that she did not satisfy the educational and licensing requirements for the AP position. On February 10, 1987, the New York City Public Schools Division of Personnel distributed a notice that there was an opening at James Monroe High School for the position of "Assistant Principal Supervision Stenography and Typewriting." Ex. 5 to Goffin Aff. (August 7, 1989).*fn1 On February 23, 1987, plaintiff submitted an application for the position. Ex. 6 to Goffin Aff. On March 6, 1987, Ms. Susan Friedman, a white female of a younger age than plaintiff, submitted the only other application for the job.

Plaintiff had become licensed to be an AP by early 1987 and on March 27, 1987, the Division of High Schools officially appointed plaintiff "interim acting" "Assistant Principal-Sten/Type. Ex. 3 to Goffin Aff. On April 29, 1987 the Executive Director of High Schools granted the Superintendent of the Bronx High Schools, defendant Frances Vazquez ("Vazquez"), permission to begin the interviewing process for hiring a permanent AP. Pursuant to Special Circular No. 30-R issued by the Chancellor of the Board of Education, see Ex. 34, 35 to Goffin Aff., the two candidates were interviewed by a five member committee consisting of an assistant to Vazquez, two Board of Education principals from different boroughs, a parent and a retired employee of the Division of Personnel.

After interviewing plaintiff on June 19, 1987, the panel completed "Summary of Interview Data" sheets with the following conclusions under the headings "strengths," "weaknesses" and "comments":

  I. Strengths: "She has experience as the Interim
    Acting AP for 4 years."

"Reasonable/Well Spoken."

"Knowledgeable re `U' rating."

"Experienced/Knows School."

"Civic orgs. — on the job experience."

"Strong portfolio."

  "Job experience is inevitable but Mrs. Morton could
    have told more of her on the job experiences."
  II. Weaknesses: "Role of work unclear in so far as
    knowing her responsibilities."

"Ans[wers] poorly organized — need prodding."

"Didn't respond to problem posed."

"Her answer lacked specificity."

"She was lackluster."

  "Did not demonstrate and/or explain any major
    contributions she has made to dept. during her
    tenure as I.A.P."
  "Identified problems but did not offer adequate
    solutions."
  "Does not handle challenges well re: cuts in dept.
    Does not know how to be an advocate to `sell' her
    dept."

"Poorly organized answers — no solution."

"Lacked up to date knowledge in ...


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