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Former teacher accuses Elmwood Franklin School of discrimination; Officials say charges are false

A rally Tuesday morning challenged the minority hiring practices at Buffalo's Elmwood Franklin School. The protest was prompted by the firing of African-American teacher Shellonnee Chinn, who contends she was the only African-American classroom teacher in the private school's 127-year-old history. Chinn claims Elmwood Franklin's work environment was "unimaginably hostile."  She says she is hoping the protest will get school administrators to consider whether their hiring and work practices are racially discriminatory.

"I just want to be treated like everyone else that I work with," Chinn told WBFO. "When you don't treat people fairly, that's illegal."

Chinn adds that protesters are asking the Internal Revenue Service to review whether the school is in compliance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, in light of its tax exempt status.  

"There's government money involved," Chinn said. "That's why we want the review."

Elmwood Franklin Headmaster Andrew Deyell contends the accusations are false.

"There have been numerous African-American teachers in the last 30 years, including an African-American head of school from 2006 to 2012," Deyell said.

Deyell says he can not comment on the matter extensively because the school is in litigation, but says the EEOC has dismissed Chin's claims and he expects the school will win in federal litigation as well.