Jersey City teacher alleging grade-fixing, discrimination placed on paid leave

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A Jersey City teacher who has pending litigation against the school district, alleging grade-fixing and discrimination, was placed on paid leave earlier this month, documents show.

Nabil Youssef, a Lincoln High School math teacher, has been placed on paid leave in the midst of a lawsuit he filed alleging grade-fixing and discrimination.
Nabil Youssef, a Lincoln High School math teacher, has been placed on paid leave in the midst of a lawsuit he filed alleging grade-fixing and discrimination.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Effective Monday April 10, 2017, you are being placed on Administrative Leave, with pay, from your position as a Math Teacher, pending further Board action,” reads an April 7 letter to Nabil Youssef, who works at Lincoln High School.

The letter is sent from the Jersey City Public Schools Human Resources Department and is signed by Celeste Williams, MPA, the chief of talent for the department.

As a result of being placed on leave, a protest is scheduled in front of Public School No. 11, located at 886 Bergen Ave., prior to tonight’s board of education meeting – which begins at 7 p.m.

Back in August 2014, Youssef filed a lawsuit that claimed supervisors had approached him earlier in the year that he had to alter grades of children that were failing his class in order to ensure the district continued to receive federal funding.

In the suit, Youssef also says that Superintendent of Schools Dr. Marcia Lyles, Associate Superintendent Ellen Ruane, LHS Principal Cheryle Richardson-Evans, LHS Vice Principals Monica Patel and Chris Gadsden (now the Ward B councilman) all got involved in asking him to change students’ grades.

Despite this fact, he refused to change the grades, hampering any opportunities for employment advancement, as well as leading to verbal harassment and abuse from his peers, the lawsuit says.

One instance of a hostile work environment named in the litigation is when he was forwarded a “no-fly list” by a supervisor, which he felt was a textbook example of “institutional discrimination” against Arab Americans.

Hostilities allegedly escalated to the point where he was not allowed to take time off to attend his mother’s funeral in Egypt or to see his father when he was in deteriorating health.

Youssef’s attorney in the matter, Robert Anderson, of Escandon, Fernicola Anderson and Covelli, and a representative from the school district did not immediately return inquires seeking comment.