Southeast Delco Counselor Challenges Layoff

Posted: June 23, 1991

Charging racial discrimination in his pending layoff from the Academy Park High School guidance staff, Frederick Clayton has taken his case to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.

Clayton, a black counselor, said he did not believe the Southeast Delco School District's claim that it was reducing the high school guidance staff

from four to three because of declining enrollment. He said his layoff, scheduled for the end of the school year along with those of black teachers Jacquelyn Almes and Carolyn Smalls, was an attempt to eliminate black staff members.

"They do not want blacks working in the district," said Clayton.

"I have standing job offers at three other school districts and two major universities, but I'm not just fighting for a job, I'm fighting for what is right."

Superintendent William Donato said he was not free to comment on the case. Almes and Smalls could not be reached for comment. Clayton said his hearing before the commission was scheduled for July 1.

Clayton said he came to Southeast Delco as a guidance counselor in 1988

from the Philadelphia School District, where he had been a math and English teacher for 16 years.

"Since I came here, they have gotten rid of every black support person at the high school," said Clayton.

"There is only one black math teacher and one black science teacher in the district and only one black industrial arts, (one)social studies and (one) English teacher at the high school."

Pointing to a strong employment record, Clayton said that since he had been with the district, the number of students attending post-secondary education had risen from 33 percent to 68 percent.

Many of these graduates, he said, had received scholarships to some of the country's best colleges because of the hard work of the guidance department team.

The notification Clayton received in April said he was being selected for layoff over other guidance counselors because of his low seniority.

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