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JONES v. SCHOOL DIST. OF PHILADELPHIA

October 7, 1998

CHARLES S. JONES
v.
SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PHILADELPHIA



The opinion of the court was delivered by: JOYNER

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

 JOYNER, J.

 October 7, 1998

 Defendant, the School District of Philadelphia has filed a motion for summary judgment on all of the claims set forth against it in plaintiff's complaint. After careful review of the record and for the reasons set forth below, the motion shall be granted.

 Factual Background

 Plaintiff, Charles Jones, an african-american, was employed by the School District of Philadelphia as a physics, chemistry and physical science teacher from 1985 through June, 1995 when he involuntarily resigned after being threatened with removal. During his employment with the School District, Mr. Jones taught at Northeast High School from 1985 until April, 1993 when he was administratively transferred to Washington High School. The following year, Plaintiff was again transferred from Washington High School to Edison High School.

 Plaintiff contends that while he was employed at each of the three high schools, he was subjected to discriminatory and retaliatory treatment because of his race in that he was treated differently than similarly situated white teachers, was not selected for a coaching position for which he was better qualified than the white male candidate who received it and that he was passed up for an assignment to teach a physics class or roster for which he was certified while the white female candidate who received the class assignment was not.

 In response to Plaintiff's allegations, Defendant asserts that Plaintiff was terminated for cause and only after he was given numerous warnings about his teaching and grading techniques, his repeated refusals to meet with parents, several incidents of improper behavior involving and verbal altercations with other teachers and students and following an incident in which he physically struck and injured an Edison High School student.

 In 1993 and 1995, Plaintiff filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission alleging racial discrimination in the terms and conditions of his employment. He subsequently received notice of his right to sue from the EEOC in January, 1997. He commenced this suit in March, 1997.

 Summary Judgment Standards

 The standards to be applied by the district courts in ruling on motions for summary judgment are set forth in Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. Under subsection (c) of that rule,

 
....The judgment sought shall be rendered forthwith if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. A summary judgment, interlocutory in character, may be rendered on the issue of liability alone although there is a genuine issue as to the amount of damages.

 Pursuant to this rule, a court is compelled to look beyond the bare allegations of the pleadings to determine if they have sufficient factual support to warrant their consideration at trial. Liberty Lobby, Inc. v. Dow Jones & Co., 267 U.S. App. D.C. 337, 838 F.2d 1287 (D.C.Cir. 1988), cert. denied, 488 U.S. 825, 109 S. Ct. 75, 102 L. Ed. 2d 51 (1988); Aries Realty, Inc. v. AGS Columbia Associates, 751 F. Supp. 444 (S.D.N.Y. 1990).

 Generally, the party seeking summary judgment always bears the initial responsibility of informing the district court of the basis for its motion and identifying those portions of the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories and admissions on file, together with any affidavits, which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 106 S. Ct. 2548, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265 (1986). In considering a summary judgment motion, the court must view the facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and all reasonable inferences from the facts must be drawn in favor of ...


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