Teacher sues N-C Schools

A teacher’s aide at Adrian Shuford Elementary School in Conover has brought a lawsuit against the Newton-Conover City Schools charging age discrimination in its hiring policies, after her court documents indicate she applied for a higher position and was by-passed for a younger applicant.

In a civil action filed Oct. 9 with the Catawba County Clerk of Court office, Christine Dukes, a former 12-year educator in the city school system, charges that she was denied a full-time teaching position during the 2011-12 academic year when she sought a post of physical education teacher at Shuford.
Dukes, who worked for N-C Schools from 1994 to 2006, had for several years been a teacher and girls’ basketball and track coach at Newton-Conover Middle School.  After moving to Florida, according to her court filings, she and her family returned to the local area, and she was hired at Shuford School in 2009 as a teacher’s aide and substitute bus driver.

Her husband, Dennis Dukes, was a teacher, coach and athletic director at Newton-Conover Middle School before leaving the local education system in 2003. The couple’s five children attended the city schools. The couple moved back to Catawba County in 2009 after—according to her civil lawsuit—they had lived in Florida for a while.              According to the court papers, Christine Dukes is not asking for specified monetary damages. She is asking for a jury trial of her case. The filing indicates she is represented by a Charlotte attorney, Geraldine Sumter, of the firm Ferguson, Stein, Chambers and Sumter, PA.

To read more of this story, pick up the Friday edition of Catawba County's community newspaper, The Observer News Enterprise, at newsstands throughout the county.