A former athletic coach for the Agnes Irwin Faculty has filed a federal discrimination cost, alleging she was unlawfully fired by the Most important Line personal college after mother and father complained about years-old social media posts criticizing Israel.
Natalie Abulhawa, a 24-year-old Palestinian American, says she was fired in November, 10 days after beginning as an athletic coach on the all-girls college. The problem cited by college officers, she mentioned, was a profile about her hosted by an internet site that payments itself as documenting “people and organizations that promote hatred of the USA, Israel and Jews on North American faculty campuses.”
Abulhawa and the Council on American Islamic Relations — which this week introduced it had filed the cost with the Equal Employment Alternative Fee on Abulhawa’s behalf — say the web site is Islamophobic and targets faculty college students lively in advocating for Palestine.
“They paint me to be a really violent and anti-Semitic individual, which could be very, very removed from the reality,” Abulhawa mentioned Thursday of the Canary Mission’s web site, which has been referred to by the Jewish Ahead as a “shadowy on-line blacklist.” She didn’t dispute the accuracy of the tweets the location attributed to her however mentioned they have been chosen “to verify their narrative” and generally lacked context — together with whether or not she was responding to a different individual or whether or not she had written subsequent messages.
“Israel doesn’t have the appropriate to exist,” one tweet reads — a 2016 publish that also seems on Abulhawa’s Twitter account. Lots of the different posts compiled by the location, all of which date to 2016 or earlier, seem to have been deleted; amongst them are posts referring to “stocking up on rocks” whereas mentioning the presence of Israeli troopers, and calling for Zionists to “rot in fking hell.”
A 2019 Temple College graduate, Abulhawa mentioned she was learning in Palestine in 2016. She mentioned the Canary Mission’s part on her involvement with Temple’s College students for Justice in Palestine membership was deceptive, provided that a number of the listed incidents involving the membership happened earlier than she was a scholar there.
The location additionally notes Abulhawa’s participation in an anti-Israel protest along with her mom, a Palestinian writer.
No matter statements Abulhawa made in years previous on social media “are usually not as necessary as the choice to terminate her and the best way she was terminated,” mentioned Timothy Welbeck, a lawyer with CAIR-Philadelphia, which argues that Agnes Irwin discriminated in opposition to Abulhawa in violation of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.
Within the grievance filed with the EEOC, CAIR mentioned Abulhawa had realized of “considerably comparable social media posts” made by different Agnes Irwin staff who weren’t reprimanded or fired.
Abulhawa mentioned she wasn’t allowed to supply any rationalization after the college’s athletic director notified her that oldsters and college members had made complaints associated to the Canary Mission’s website.
In a subsequent assembly with the top of faculty, Abulhawa mentioned she was informed that her termination was efficient instantly.
“That was the half that was most tough: You fell into this hate platform profiling me, and also you gave them what they wished,” she mentioned.
A spokesperson for Agnes Irwin mentioned the college “is conscious of a pending grievance with the U.S. Equal Employment Alternative Fee (EEOC) involving a former worker” however declined to remark particularly on the case.
“We will share that Agnes Irwin has a longtime equal employment alternative coverage that prohibits discrimination of any form,” mentioned the spokesperson, Jubin Kwon. “Respect is a core worth of our college, and we try to deal with all with dignity and understanding, welcoming variations in backgrounds, views, and cultures. We additionally consider that our college have to be a secure house for all members to be taught, train and work collaboratively.”
A lawsuit in opposition to the college might be doable, however the EEOC has to situation a discovering first, Welbeck mentioned.
Abulhawa mentioned she’s struggled to search out full-time work because the firing and is working for one more college per diem, filling in for a buddy on maternity depart.
Whereas she was conscious of the Canary Mission’s profile of her, Abulhawa mentioned she was “caught off guard” when the college cited it in her termination, regardless of no point out throughout what she mentioned was an in any other case thorough hiring course of.
“A easy Google search would have introduced this up,” she mentioned.