Black Employees File Racial Discrimination Suit Against Black Superintendent

CBS Seattle, March 21, 2012

Nine employees of the Tukwila School District have filed complaints of racial discrimination against their superintendent for allegedly making inappropriate comments.

A group of female staffers at Showalter Middle School says the superintendent, Ethelda Burke, once referred to them as slaves. Burke is herself black.

“I couldn’t believe my ears she would refer to professional African-American women as slaves,” teacher Sandra Goins told NWCN-TV.

Athletic and activities director J.D. Hill claimed that Burke “makes racially derogatory statements.” Hill also wrote in his complaint that Burke said he was hiring too many people of color and said he was “making the district look too black” and turning her district into a “ghetto.”

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Staffers told NWCN they were hesitant to complain about Burke because she is black.

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The Tukwila school district is one of the most diverse in the state; seventy percent of the children are minorities.

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