Former Kelly Elementary teacher files federal suit claiming age, racial discrimination

A former teacher at John B. Kelly Elementary in Germantown has accused the Philadelphia School District of firing her based on age and race.

In a federal lawsuit filed this week, Lynne Mancuso alleges that then-Principal Fatima Goodman Rogers “harassed, discriminated against and advised that I be terminated” because she was older and white.

Mancuso is 51. Rogers, who is black, is 38.

“We feel that she was treated extremely unfairly and did not deserve to be fired,” said Samuel Dion, her attorney.

Mancuso’s case

Mancuso maintains that she always had “satisfactory evaluations” prior to Sept. 2010, when she was voluntarily transferred to Kelly.

After arriving, the district veteran said Rogers treated her differently from younger and black teachers, that she “humiliated her in front of her peers on a daily basis, singled her out and made her feel inadequate,” according to the complaint.

The suit also claims that Rogers gave Mancuso “false disciplinary write-ups.”

In March 2012, for example, Rogers reported that Mancuso had “ignored unruly students who were acting up in the classroom, despite that plaintiff intentionally addressed the matter more than once,” according to the complaint.

In late Aug. 2012, Rogers recommended that Mancuso be fired. She was terminated by the district in Feb. 2013.

Responses sought

Rogers now leads C.W. Henry School in Mt. Airy. A voicemail left at the school was not immediately returned on Friday.

District spokesman Fernando Gallard said the district does not comment on pending or active litigation.

The suit calls for a jury trial to award unspecified damages for emotional distress, harm to reputation and lost income, among other things.

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