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Second lawsuit filed against Riverhead Charter School, principal

10/13/2015 6:00 AM |

 The new 50,000 square-foot Riverhead Charter School building on Route 25 in Calverton.

Just two months after a lawsuit was filed against Riverhead Charter School and its principal, four new complainants have now filed a second, and similar, claim for discrimination and harassment.

The new suit, filed last Thursday in state Supreme Court by Garden City law firm Dell & Dean, alleges that charter school principal Raymond Ankrum discriminated against employees because of race, gender and age, and sexually harassed them — allegations similar to those in the complaint filed in August. The suit also alleges that Mr. Ankrum engaged in such behavior against some of the school’s parents and children.

“Mr. Ankrum’s agenda was the product of his racist, ageist, sexist, and other discriminatory beliefs,” the latest complaint reads. “Mr. Ankrum illegally made these atrocious beliefs part of the terms of employment at [RCS] … Mr. Ankrum’s discrimination was directed at parents and students as well.”

Mr. Ankrum and his attorney both declined to comment on the case.

[Related: Charter school’s union president fired after egg allergy incident]

The four plaintiffs in the latest lawsuit are all former school employees who resigned or were fired. One woman and one man were teachers, one woman was a social worker and another man was an administrator.

Many of the claims in the latest lawsuit match those made by the 13 individuals involved in the earlier action, particularly with regard to the alleged treatment of older Caucasian female employees. The plaintiffs claim Mr. Ankrum, who is black, gave preferential treatment to teachers who were on a “hot list” he created or treated white employees poorly because he favored black employees.

Among the new allegations are an incident in which a student did not receive mandated special education services, a claim that Mr. Ankrum modified the attendance records of black students who missed class and the assertion that the principal asked a teacher to lie on a report following an incident of racial bullying within the school.

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Photo: The Riverhead Charter School in Calverton. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

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