August 5, 2011, - 11:19 am
UPDATE: Dearborn Christian Teacher / Muslim Principal Lawsuit Continues, Escalates; HOW YOU CAN HELP
Many readers have asked me about the federal lawsuit against the Dearborn Public Schools and its former principal, Imad Fadlallah, which I filed nearly a year ago on behalf of my clients, Christian teachers Bryan Purcell and Georgene Stergalas. The case is ongoing and moving forward. I cannot discuss it much beyond that because the litigation is ongoing. I am fronting almost all the costs of this suit, and I really appreciate the help of all of you who donated to the costs last year. Thank you. If you would like to contribute to our very expensive ongoing case, please donate by using the yellow Paypal button on the upper left-hand side of this page.
In the meantime, in a separate action from the federal case, I can tell you that the Dearborn Public Schools has initiated a Tenure Act termination of one of my clients, Mr. Purcell, and we have filed an appeal with the State of Michigan Tenure Commission. Please read the appeal. That case is separate but related. I will be filing a “More Definite Statement” as an amendment to our appeal, which I will post in a week or so, and which will tell you more about what is going on here.
Some of you have noted that you read the article in the Dearborn Press & Guide about this, and I am reposting it below. I am posting it and commenting about this to correct the record because of the inaccuracies published against my client, which harm my client’s interests and are unfairly prejudicial to my clients. If I do not correct the record, my client’s reputation and cause of action will be unduly harmed
In fact, because I filed the appeal, my client is not “fired” (contrary to the claim in the article) until and unless the Dearborn Public Schools prevail both before an administrative law judge and the State Tenure Commission. Also, the article implies that my client was fired because he did not show up for a hearing. That is not correct. The Dearborn Public Schools planned to go forward with the termination and included a giant 500-or-so pages of alleged “evidence.” He barely had the chance to look it over. And they were going forward, regardless. My client was given the opportunity to either send a statement or make it in person. We chose to send it.
Fordson teacher involved in suit fired
By Katie Hetrick
DEARBORN — Dearborn Public Schools has fired one of two former Fordson teachers suing the district for religious discrimination and harassment.
Bryan Purcell was terminated after he failed to show up for a personnel hearing on May 23. Details of why the math teacher was fired are protected under privacy laws, and public school board records do not give any clues, although minutes from the public portion of the meeting include an e-mail Purcell submitted to the board.
In the e-mail, he called the allegations a “mountain of fiction” and continued to assert that since Imad Fadlallah became principal at Fordson High School in 2005, FHS administrators have systematically tried to force non-Arab and non-Muslim faculty out of the school.
“This a pattern of harassment and the hostile work environment he created has continued under Youssef Mosallam, and in fact, the harassment has been stepped up,” Purcell said in the email.
Fadlallah retired last summer and was replaced by Mosallam as principal.
Purcell’s attorney, Debbie Schlussel, said Purcell would fight his dismissal under the state’s teacher Tenure Act.
“It is obvious that the dismissal is pretextual, discriminatory, and retaliatory, and we intend to fight it all the way,” Schlussel said via email.
Schlussel, an ultra conservative commentator who calls the city “Dearbornistan” on her website, also said the suit against the district is ongoing. She declined in the email to provide additional comment because the case is still pending in U.S. District Court in Detroit.
Schlussel filed the suit in September on behalf of Purcell and Georgene Stergalas, a marketing teacher. Both the Fordson High School teachers said school administrators had harassed them because they were neither Arab nor Muslim.
Both claimed in the suit that administrators tried to drive them out by reassigning them to less desirable courses, putting troublemaking students in their rooms, and scheduling them to teach two classes at the same time in different areas of the building, among several other allegations.
When the suit was filed, both teachers had taken medical leave because of the stress caused by the situation. Purcell had taught in Dearborn for 10 years and Stergalas for 16.
Stergalas is now teaching at Dearborn High, said Brian Mustonen, Dearborn Public School’s communications coordinator. He confirmed the suit is still making its way through the courts.
School administrators have said since the beginning that the suit has no merit. Previous claims against Fadlallah had been unsubstantiated, they noted.
However, the suit was similar to one filed in 2009 by ousted wrestling coach Gerald Marszalek. He claimed he was forced out of his coaching job after 35 years because Fadlallah did not like that a volunteer assistant wrestling coach was doing Christian outreach work outside of school.
That suit was eventually settled out of court, the district said.
*** HOW YOU CAN HELP: The Law Offices of Debbie Schlussel is a one-woman, shoe-string budget operation, in which most cases involving the defense of Western values, including freedom of speech and religion for Christians and Jews, are taken on a pro bono [free] or contingency basis. Your support for its continuing endeavors to continue to pursue matters such as the instant action is appreciated. You can either use the yellow buttons on the left, or you can prevent the PayPal fees by going to PayPal and sending it directly to: email@example.com. No amount is too small.***
As previously noted, the Law Offices of Debbie Schlussel is a private law firm, which in addition to performing other legal work, defends and promotes Western values, including freedom of speech and religion for Christians and Jews. Debbie Schlussel also defends non-Muslims and moderates against unjust criminal allegations designed to silence them. Among the matters in which attorney Debbie Schlussel has successfully prevailed, are:
* Haitham Masri et al v. Ron Wolf, in which a Shi’ite Muslim doctor and open supporter of HAMAS and Hezbollah sued an indigent Jewish man, Ron Wolf, in an attempt to silence Mr. Wolf from talking about Mr. Masri’s unethical medical practices and the extremist Shi’ite mosque to which he belongs. Schlussel represented Mr. Wolf pro bono and prevailed in getting the lawsuit dropped, as it was little more than an attempt by a wealthy Muslim to squelch the First Amendment speech rights of an indigent Jewish man. Schlussel also exposed Dr. Masri’s fraudulent divorce, which was a transparent Islamic attempt to fraudulently convey property to avoid collection of judgments against him in American courts. Mr. Masri’s daughter, Lena Masri, is a lawyer for a militant Islamic “civil rights” group.
* People/State of Michigan v. “Haidar” [real name redacted for security reasons], in which Schlussel successfully defended “Haidar,” a moderate Shi’ite Muslim who was framed for a violent crime because he voiced his support for Israel and opposition to Hezbollah and married a Jewish woman. Schlussel represented Haidar pro bono. He was an informant for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Haidar’s primary accuser, Ali Taleb, is a wanted terrorist in Lebanon and an agent of Hezbollah, who lies in the Detroit area. After a two-day trial in which the judge severely limited the exculpatory evidence Schlussel wished to present in her client’s defense, the jury returned with two unanimous “NOT GUILTY” verdicts for Haidar, after less than 25 minutes of deliberations.
Again, if you would like to support to the work of Debbie Schlussel, including legal fees and costs incurred in case of Purcell et al v. Fadlallah et al, and now the Michigan Tenure Act case against Bryan Purcell brought by the Dearborn Public Schools, you can either use the yellow buttons on the left, or you can prevent the PayPal fees by going to PayPal and sending it directly to: firstname.lastname@example.org. No amount is too small. Your support means more efforts like those described herein. If you would like to contact or consult the Law Offices of Debbie Schlussel, please e-mail Debbie Schlussel at email@example.com.