Former Pittsburgh Public Schools welding teacher sues claiming sex discrimination
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The longtime welding teacher for Pittsburgh Public Schools sued the district today, saying his advancement efforts were thwarted and his vocational program nixed because he is a man in a mostly female department.
George Kirk taught for the district for 12 years, according to the complaint written by attorney Edward Olds, and was assigned to the Career and Technical Education department.
In that department, according to the complaint, "supervisory positions ... have been awarded exclusively to women for almost a decade."
Mr. Kirk sought the position of executive director of the department in 2010, according to the complaint, but the post was awarded to Angela Mike, characterized in the complaint as "a cosmetology teacher with little or no management or supervisory experience."
Mr. Kirk was passed over for other supervisory jobs for which he was qualified later that year, according to the complaint.
During the 2010-11 school year, it said, Mr. Kirk was denied money for safety glasses and welding jackets, while Ms. Mike was able to spend money to send cosmetology student to a "hair show" in Baltimore.
Mr. Kirk filed a discrimination complaint in 2010, it said. He was furloughed in 2011 and the welding program was eliminated in December.
The district has said the welding program's elimination was part of a series of closures driven by budget problems.
A district spokeswoman could not be immediately reached for comment.
Mr. Kirk alleges that he was a victim of sex discrimination and retaliation, and denied equal protection. He demands money.
First Published May 14, 2012 1:51 pm