PHILADELPHIA - Four white teachers in a predominantly poor, black Philadelphia school are suing a black principal, charging that he suggested they were unfit to teach black students, The NY Daily News reports.
Principal Charles Ray III was also charged with treating the white teachers differently than black instructors at Thomas Mifflin Elementary School.
"Charles Ray consistently stated that he had a relationship with top school officials indicating that his conduct was part of an approved policy or was part of a pattern of practices sanctioned and supported by 'higher authority,'" the lawsuits said.
The teachers also alleged that when they complained, Ray retaliated against the quartet. Ray lasted only a single school year before he left, according to the lawsuits.
The school district declined to comment, and spokeswoman Shana Kemp declined to say if Ray was still employed by the district.
Mifflin is home to about 270 students, with about 86 % of them black and 85 % poor.
The school has a history of racial tensions going back to 2007, when a white principal departed over complaints by black teachers.
The next year, a mural at the school was marked with anti-Semitic graffiti - followed by Ray's arrival for the 2008-09 school year.