Latino DCPS Employees Fight Back
CLAIM THEY WERE TARGETED AS BI-LINGUAL EMPLOYEES AND UNJUSTLY FIRED
A group of Latino employees, terminated in August of 2010 by Chancellor Rhee as part of the broader dismissal of 266 teachers, have organized themselves to protest their termination on the grounds that it was done without proper assessment and that they were targeted as bi-lingual employees who were no longer needed in a system where the fastest growing segment are Hispanic children.
The termination occurred to approximately 35 'para-professionals' who worked primarily in clerical positions and with the head start program of the D.C. schools. In this group of dismissed individuals over 20% were bi-lingual Latino employees. Eight of them are now organizing to file a complaint with the EEOC and D.C.'s Office of Human Rights.
"I had 3 positive evaluations in my job and then, just before the dismissal, another very negative evaluation was made of my work. Shortly thereafter I was fired." claims Marta Bonilla, one of the affected employees. The group is planning a press conference once their claims are filed and have been working with the union to have their position vindicated and their positions returned to them. Many of these former employees continue unemployed and only one of them has been rehired in a position of fewer hours and lower salary.