A former Southampton High School assistant principal was recently forced to resign after filing a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights alleging that the district discriminated against him.
Keith Saunders, who is Black, filed the complaint against the Southampton Union Free School District and Superintendent Nicholas Dyno, who are accused of retaliating against Saunders for going on a job interview with the Central Islip School District — something white counterparts do with impunity, he claimed.
“To receive a letter of termination for exercising the right to interview with other potential employers when several of Mr. Saunders’s white counterparts have interviewed with other districts and have been celebrated and welcomed back after leaving is overtly and painfully discriminatory,” the report stated.
Saunders, whose 28 years of experience as an educator previously included more than a decade at the Uniondale School District, stepped down earlier this month. A district representative did not respond to a request for comment. Saunders is represented by Hempstead-based civil rights attorney Frederick Brewington.
“Mr. Saunders has, unfortunately, been subjected to treatment that can only be labeled as outrageously unacceptable,” Brewington said in an email. “The school district was aware of his complaints and did nothing to address them except double down on their intentional acts. The district forced Mr. Saunders to submit his resignation today or face the public humiliation of a board vote to terminate him.”