The New York Botanical Gardens vigorously denies discriminatory practices alleged in a lawsuit from a former employee.
However, the New York Post reports that a source at the American Dream Charter School in the Bronx confirmed that the gardens initially refused to allow its students to enter an exhibit in what the source described as a “horrendous experience.”
The federal lawsuit claims that the gardens’ staff permitted a group of White students to view a Frida Kahlo exhibit in June 2015, but they barred the charter school’s predominantly minority students from a different school from entering the exhibit on the same day.
According to The Post, the school paid nearly $1,000 for its students to see the exhibit, and the teachers accompanying the middle school students presented a receipt to the staff. After standing in the rain and watching the White kids go inside, the staff eventually allowed the students into the exhibit “for a few minutes,” the suit stated.
Andrea Chusid, who was fired from the gardens after working there from February 2010 through July 2016, filed the lawsuit.
Chusid said she witnessed the incident and claims the institution, which gets city funding and utilizes city land, fired her after she complained. A spokeswoman for the gardens said Chusid was fired for poor performance.
The gardens is also guilty of religious discrimination, the suit alleges. According to DNA Info New York, Chusid claims that a supervisor lowered the salary of a job offer to discourage an observant Jewish candidate who would not have been able to work on the Sabbath, which runs from sundown Friday to sundown on Saturday.