Judicial Watch, a conservative activist group, announced Tuesday that a lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a Minneapolis taxpayer over a teachers union agreement stipulating that white teachers be laid off or reassigned before “educators of color.”
The agreement, covered by The Daily Wire earlier this month, was struck to allegedly “remedy the continuing effects of past discrimination by the District.”
“It is incredible that in this day and age a school system would engage in blatant racial discrimination in employing teachers,” President of Judicial Watch Tom Fitton told Fox News Digital.
“The courts can’t move soon enough to shut down this extreme leftist attack on the bedrock constitutional principle that no one can be denied equal treatment under law on account of race,” Fitton added.
The suit targets the superintendent of the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS), the Minneapolis Public Schools, and the Minneapolis Board of Education for allegedly violating the Equal Protection Guarantee of the Minnesota Constitution, Fox News Digital noted.
The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT) is stipulating that there be racial standards before seniority when it comes to layoffs to guarantee “educators of color protections,” Alpha News reported.
“Starting with the Spring 2023 Budget Tie-Out Cycle, if excessing a teacher who is a member of a population underrepresented among licensed teachers in the site, the District shall excess the next least senior teacher, who is not a member of an underrepresented population,” the agreement says. “Excessing” refers to the reduction of staff.
Teachers of color “may be exempted from district-wide layoff[s] outside seniority order,” the agreement says, adding that the reinstatement of teachers from “underrepresented populations” will be prioritized over white teachers, according to the outlet.
The racial stipulation was added, in part, in the name of social justice; or “to remedy the continuing effects of past discrimination by the District.”
“Past discrimination by the District disproportionately impacted the hiring of underrepresented teachers in the District, as compared to the relevant labor market and the community, and resulted in a lack of diversity of teachers,” the agreement reads.
Speaking to the Star Tribune in June, Edward Barlow, a black teacher from MPS, praised the pending stipulation as a rule that could be used as a national model.
“It can be a national model, and schools in other states are looking to emulate what we did,” said Barlow, a band teacher at Anwatin Middle School and a member of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers executive board, according to the Tribune. “Even though it doesn’t do everything that we wanted it to do, it’s still a huge move forward for the retention of teachers of color.”
“There’s so much more than seniority at stake here,” he continued. “This is a bigger conversation about working conditions, compensation, and microagressions in the workplace. Those are the pieces that this district also needs to reflect on and make some motions to improve.”