FAIR News: Professor Stands Up Against Penn State's Discrimination
Dear Friends of FAIR,
Professor Zack De Piero began working at Pennsylvania State University in August of 2018 in the English department at the Abington campus. Almost immediately upon the outset of his employment, Professor De Piero noticed a race-essentialism focus, which he feared would be harmful to his students, a majority of which were from minority backgrounds and ethnicities.
Professor De Piero was required to attend professional development meetings to view videos such as “White Teachers Are a Problem”, and was directed to “assure that all students see that white supremacy manifests itself in language and in writing pedagogy.” Incidents like these made it clear that Penn State harbored a bias against him based on his skin color. So he took the prescribed course of action and filed a bias report. The Penn State Affirmative Action Office quickly called Professor De Piero into a Zoom meeting where its Associate Director informed him that, “There is a problem with the White race” then directed him to continue attending antiracist workshops “until you get it.”
It became impossible for Professor De Piero to effectively perform his job duties. In August 2021, he was forced to leave a job he had prized and students he cared for deeply.
On June 15th Professor De Piero filed suit against Penn State in federal court alleging violations of his civil rights under federal and Pennsylvania law. Professor De Piero is represented by FAIR Network Attorneys Michael Allen and Samantha Harris of Allen Harris Law. For more information on Dr. De Piero's case, you can read his complaint, filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, on our website here.
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