Irish-American teacher files complaint over meeting on St Patrick’s Day

Dr Brian O’Dwyer, senior partner at law firm O’Dwyer and Bernstein
Dr Brian O’Dwyer, senior partner at law firm O’Dwyer and Bernstein

An Irish-American teacher has filed a legal complaint after a parent-teacher conference was scheduled to coincide with St Patrick’s Day in spite of his protests.

Frank J. Schorn, a public school teacher in New York City, has complained to the NYC Human Rights Commission over the local Department of Education’s decision to hold the parent-teacher conference on an important date for Irish-Americans.

Mr Schorn said: “The insensitive scheduling of parent-teacher meetings on March 17th has put me in an untenable position of choosing between my ethnic and religious heritage and my duty to help my students.

“I foresee being prevented from attending any Irish cultural events on March 17th.”

His lawyers have requested an injunction preventing the conference and future conferences from going ahead on St Patrick’s Day.

Dr Brian O’Dwyer, senior partner at law firm O’Dwyer and Bernstein, said: “The scheduling of the conferences on the most sacred day for Irish Americans not only interferes with the religious observance of the many Irish-American school teachers and administrators employed by the Department of Education, it similarly interferes with the rights of the parents of children enrolled in the New York City school system and that they also must make a choice between discussing their child’s scholastic progress or observing a religious feast day.”