November 10, 2019

School fires worker not for race but for refusal to chaperone zoo trip he found dangerous

A former Rockford, Illinois, elementary school employee was unable to prevail on his race discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against the Rockford Board of Education because he could not prove that he was meeting the Board’s legitimate job expectations or that his past complaints caused his discharge.

Roy Ford, a parent and community engagement specialist, was fired after several infractions, including failing to supervise two students who fought each other while in detention, failing to properly report his absences and his refusal to go on a field trip to the zoo. He refused to go to the zoo because, as the court said, having never been to a zoo, “Ford feared that he and his students would be in danger there.”

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