After a squeaky clean teaching career of 34 years, Ms. Lillie Leon, Kindergarten teacher in the burough of Queens has been the victim of age based discrimination. Wishing to push her out , administrators placed her and her 25 four and fiver year old students in a classroom far from any bathrooms. Each time any one student needed to use the bathroom, she would have to escort all 25 of them across the school, and to through the cafeteria. Her requests for a classroom with a bathroom, a classroom closer to a bathroom, or a transfer to the first grade (where students are more able to take care of their own bathroom needs) were ignored by the school administration. Instead they fired her for "insubordination" and inability to do her job.
For the last few years Ms. Leon has used the help of a cane to get around more ably. She has recently celebrated a birthday, and is now 80 years young! Ms. Leon's teaching record has been stellar, her ability to teach has never been brought into question, and her performance in all other respects has never been anything less than satisfactory in the eyes of the school administration.
There was a time when teachers were respected for the work they do shaping young minds, and were taken care of. There was a time when education was for its ability to progress society forward. There was a time when elders were honored for the wisdom, steadiness and dedication they bring to their work. I've seen that time. Even today though, there are laws that protect the citizens of this country from discrimination based on age or condition of disability. Don't let a tight economy erode the very values which have made America great. Let's bring issues like this to the light, and live in a society which is truly fair and equal, and were we or a loved one never have to fear the sort of discrimination Ms. Leon has unjustly endured.
Reinstate Ms. Lillie Leon to her position as teacher in the New York City public schools! She has been an inspiration for hundreds of the City's school children, as well as teachers who have followed in her footsteps. There are many more young minds Ms. Leon will shape and guide if only given the chance. Teaching is Ms. Leon's passion in life, and her great gift. Reinstate Ms. Leon, allow her to share her gift, and to retire when she choses.
Read more about Ms. Leon's Story below:
"Teaching is my passion." - Ms. Lillie Leon, front-line fighter in the battle against age discrimination, and veteran NYC public school teacher.
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