Charleston Co. School District employees allege discrimination in hiring process
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Latoya Crook was shocked when two weeks before her wedding day, she found herself out of a job at the Charleston County School District.
You know you have your job, you do your job, and I didn’t have any issues while I was there, so it was a big shock,” Crook said.
According to Crook and her coworkers in the Facilities Management Department at CCSD, their positions were eliminated in 2020 due to budget cuts and COVID-19.
“As a result, I was demoted and paid $17 for another position that they gave me, and they said I had no other choice but to take,” employee Larry Washington said. “They didn’t have any other jobs at all.”
But similar positions were later posted, positions Washington says kept changing to exclude him from.
Meanwhile, Crook says when she was let go, she was promised she would be rehired if new jobs became available, but when they did she was never called back.
“There is a white female who worked with the temp agency who worked as a QA inspector that still works for the district when I was told everyone was being eliminated from that position,” Crook said.
The Racial Justice Network held a news conference on Wednesday demanding a state investigation into the district’s hiring practice. Last week, district officials confirmed they hired an outside law firm last fall to review their practices, but interim superintendent Don Kennedy has not shared the conclusions with the public or the Racial Justice Network.
“He was supposed to call us in several weeks ago to let us know the findings of what the outside investigators did,” Elder James Johnson, with the Racial Justice Network, said. “He has not done that yet, so we will be holding him accountable also.”
Johnson says there are at least seven more employees with discrimination complaints and says lawsuits are on the way.
District administration is on spring break right now and was unavailable for comment. However, the chairman of the school board, Eric Mack, sent a statement.
I take very seriously the allegations made by the Racial Justice Network and our CCSD employees. CCSD officials are on break this week, but I expect and anticipate necessary conversations to occur upon their return.
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