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Teacher Hit in Head at and Fired by Bronx Urban Assembly Heads to Mediation before Motion

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell book

SDNY COURTHOUSE, May 10 – Melissa Samuels was working as a teacher at a charter school in The Bronx, Urban Assembly, when a hardball thrown by a student hit her in the head, injuring her.

   She had a concussion which "impacted her ability to care for herself."

 She said the school and its founder David Noah told her not to report it to the police, "asking if she really wanted to get a kid involved with the criminal justice system."

  When the police report was filed, Samuels was cut off from the school's email system, allegedly so she wouldn't share student information.

Noah emailed Samuels that "you were not assaulted. [Student] accidentally hit you with a nerf ball while he was throwing it at [Student] in a raucous classroom." Then she was fired. She sued.

The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on February 17 when Inner City Press found it in the dockets, asserts a dozen causes of action.

Perhaps ironic, Noah is a Yale Law School graduate who previously "advised clients on employment and labor compliance matters."

On May 8, Noah and the Charter School filed a pre-motion letter with the assigned District Judge, Ronnie Abrams, arguing among other things that "Plaintiff's claim of retaliation under the First Amendment should be dismissed as the filing of a police report is not an activity protected by the First Amendment."

On May 10 Judge Abrams docketed an order "denying without prejudice Letter Motion for Conference re: proposed motion to dismiss. Pursuant to the Southern District of New York's Second Amended Standing Administrative Order of October 1, 2015 regarding employment discrimination cases, this case is designated for automatic referral under the Court's existing Alternative Dispute Resolution program of mediation. Accordingly, Defendants' request to file a motion to dismiss is denied without prejudice to renew at a later date. This case will be referred to mediation by separate order....if the Southern District mediation process is unsuccessful, counsel for all parties shall appear for an initial status conference on August 11, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. to be held in Courtroom 1506 of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 40 Foley Square, New York, New York. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, no later than August 4, 2023, the parties shall submit a joint letter, not to exceed five (5) pages, providing the following information in separate paragraphs: as set forth herein. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, no later than August 4, 2021, the parties jointly submit to the Court a proposed case management plan and scheduling order." Watch this site.

The case is Samuels v. The Urban Assembly, Inc., et al, 23-cv-1379 (Abrams)


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