Teacher Accuses MCS of Discrimination

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(Memphis) Edward Harper says he was booted from his position as a middle school teacher because of his age and where he is from.

He filed charges with the Office of Equal Opportunity Compliance but Memphis City Schools says he’s being booted for something else.

Harper says he loved his job as a science teacher at Cyprus Middle School until May of 2012 when he was forced out.

“I am tenured,” said Harper. “I have been with Memphis City Schools for 18 years.”

Harper says all his years of hard work and passion for teaching has come down to this, “It’s been almost a year without income.”

Harper has been suspended without pay since 2012.

He says six teachers in all were suspended from Cyprus Middle School because their teacher evaluation scores were low, but he says since then most of the teachers have been hired back, “The only two that are still not back at work is myself and another lady who is from the Middle East.”

Harper, a Jamaican citizen, believes he's been pushed out of Memphis City Schools because of his nationality and he’s age.

He is 56 years old, “Once you are making what they think is a lot of money, They want to push you out and get rid of you.”

Harper has filed discrimination charges with the Equal Opportunity Compliance Office  but MCS says the science teacher is way off base with his accusations.

Instead, MCS says Harper is being recommended for termination for things like, "inefficiency and incompetency", including being tardy 90 times in just one year.

Harper insists MCS is just building a case against him so it can let him go, “so this fight will continue.”