Former Rochester schools chief, now in Chicago, under fire

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Educators in Rochester are suing Jean-Claude Brizard, who headed the city’s school system for three years before being tapped to run Chicago’s schools.

Brizard began working as CEO of the Chicago Public Schools in May, but the start of his new job was marred by news of the lawsuits, which allege age bias and “punitive practices” against teachers who crossed him in Rochester.

One suit, filed by the EEOC, says Brizard was biased against older ­workers, allegedly firing one 58-year-old deputy superintendent because of her age. He also allegedly told a group of teachers, “You all are old.”

The EEOC investigated and found probable cause that the teacher had been fired because of her age, race and sex.

Another lawsuit accuses Brizard of “punitive and insensitive” practices against teachers and administrators facing discipline or termination. He allegedly assigned them to meaningless work for months at a time before firing them.

That led the Rochester Teachers Association to file class-action grievances against Brizard, and members of the union issued a resounding vote of no-confidence in him before he ­accepted the Chicago appointment.

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