Former Collingswood High School basketball coach Joe McLoughlin refuses to participate in what he describes as the "climate of racism" found throughout the school's athletic department. He claims, however, that his opposition to racist practices resulted in him losing his job. In response to the alleged retaliation, McLoughlin has now filed a race discrimination and retaliation lawsuit in New Jersey Superior Court seeking both compensatory and punitive damages.
McLoughlin's lawsuit identifies over forty claims. His claims include allegations that the school criticized him for giving equal opportunities to both black and white students, that he was directed by the school to give minority players less playing time, and that school officials regularly used racial slurs to describe minority students, teachers, and coaches. McLoughlin says that he repeatedly stood up against the alleged misconduct. He claims, however, that the Collingswood Board of Education took action against him "as a direct result of his objection to racist acts and practices."
McLoughlin believes that he was unfairly given negative reviews after he questioned school officials about the inappropriate conduct. He believes that these negative performance evaluations were retaliatory and that the Collingswood Board of Education eventually fired him for refusing to partake in the school district's "climate of racism." McLoughlin also claims that he was both emotionally and materially harmed by the school board's actions. This harm, combined with the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD), now serve as the basis of a lawsuit McLoughlin has filed against the school board.
Prior to the suit, the school took independent action to investigate McLoughlin's claims. Due to the nature of the allegations, however, the school refuses to publicly discuss the findings of the investigation. If successful in his suit, McLoughlin hopes to recover for the damage he personally suffered as a result of his firing. He also hopes that the school board will change its ways so that no student is subject to unfair treatment based solely on his or her race.
Source: Collingswood Patch, "Ex-Coach McLoughlin Claims Bias Retaliation in Lawsuit," Matt Skoufalos, Aug. 21, 2013
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