NY Teacher Fired Due to Size
The teacher, Michael D. Frank, who is 6-foot-4, weighed 325 when he was fired in May 2004 after four years of teaching seventh- grade math at the Lawrence Middle School, according to the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.
Despite more than a dozen "overwhelmingly positive" reviews from four supervisors over the years, he said his fortunes changed abruptly in February 2003.
That's when the assistant superintendent for curriculum who was evaluating him for tenure observed his class. She described his lessons as "well- planned" and "well-executed," according to the May 11 complaint. But she also said, "You are so big and sloppy," and that his "obesity was not conducive to learning."
"Big and sloppy." Stereotype much? This is a pretty clear case, I would think, given he had proven he could teach just fine.
The part that makes me uncomfortable is this:
Frank's lawyer said that obesity is a medical condition protected under the Americans With Disabilities Act and New York State human-rights laws. Those laws make it illegal to fire someone because of a disability.
It would be very unfortunate if fat had to be classified as a disability in order for justice to be served. [Thanks, Kim!]