DOVER — Celena Spencer, who previously filed a lawsuit against the Dover Board of Education alleging racial discrimination, is now taking legal action against the Parsippany Board of Education.
In the lawsuit against Dover, Spencer, a former supervisor for the district, claimed she was offered a salary less than what she had requested and below what her white counterparts were earning for similar roles. Spencer, the only Black Supervisor among seven, pinpointed a pay disparity where she earned between $13,000 to $33,000 less annually than her colleagues. The lawsuit emphasized these racial pay discrepancies and stated, “Spencer was not paid an amount comparable to her similarly situated ‘White’ co-workers and was paid significantly less than every single one of her similarly situated ‘White’ co-workers.”
Now, turning her attention to the Parsippany Board of Education, Spencer alleges discrimination and retaliation during her role as the assistant principal of Parsippany High School. She believes the decline in her working relationship with her supervisor stemmed from her report of a concerning interaction he had with a Black special needs student and a complaint she relayed from a teacher about a Native American display in the school.
Despite earlier positive job performance reviews, Spencer’s contract was not renewed. The lawsuit pinpoints a series of events, including her addressing of a complaint about “Native American iconography” and an incident concerning a Black special needs student, which led to a deteriorating work environment. She details a change in attitude from Keith Bush post these events, marked by diminished communication and lack of positive feedback.
Spencer’s claims emphasize the racial dynamics at play, specifically pointing out the racial identities of Keith Bush, Nicolas DeBlasio, Michael DiBernard, Denis Mulroony, and Dr. Barbara Sargent, all of whom are white.
Both lawsuits are represented by attorney Drake Bearden, Jr. Esq. and were filed in Morris County Superior Court. Spencer is currently employed as a teacher with the Linden Board of Education, as per her LinkedIn profile.