[Fox News] White teacher sues California union after allegedly blocking him from leadership for being White

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EXCLUSIVE — A White history teacher accused a California teachers union of discriminating against him on the basis of his skin color and called the move “disgusting.”

Isaac Newman, a teacher in the Elk Grove School District, on Friday filed a federal lawsuit against his local National Education Association affiliate for allegedly violating his Title VII civil rights. The suit alleged that the Elk Grove Education Association formed a seat on its executive board that was only available to candidates of color, meaning Newman wasn’t eligible.

“It’s disgusting, and that’s why I’m suing,” he told Fox News Digital in an interview.

“My union barred me from a leadership position simply because of the color of my skin,” he said, discussing the suit. “I’m prohibited from running for a leadership position simply because of my race. This kind of racial litmus test is illegal, and it’s un-American, and that’s why I’m taking them to court.” 

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In 2023, Elk Grove Education Association officials voted to create a “BIPOC At-Large” seat on its executive board, a position limited only to people who “self-identify” as “African American (Black), Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawai’ian, Pacific Islander, Latino (including Puerto Rican), Asian, Arab, and Middle Eastern,” according to the suit. 

“Plaintiff Isaac Newman is a white [EGEA] member who wants to run for union office to address the District’s recent adoption of what he believes to be aggressive and unnecessary Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) policies,” reads the lawsuit, filed by The Fairness Center, a legal group focused on representing “those hurt by public-sector union officials.”

The suit asked the court to “declare the BIPOC Position unlawful” and prevent the union “from creating any similar positions in the future where candidate eligibility is, in whole or in part, based on race.” 

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Newman said the alleged discrimination was “frightening,” as was the prevalence of critical race theory in society’s culture. 

“I’m actually really frightened for my children,” he said, “when we look to a future where people are being taught [critical race theory].”

Newman believes that DEI ideology pushes hostile messages that focus on a person’s skin color as opposed to their expertise and knowledge.

“The message there is that as a White teacher in a district that is very diverse, my students can’t learn from me,” he said. “It’s abhorrent, and it’s flatly wrong.”

Newman told Fox News Digital that after disagreeing with the union pushing “aggressive” DEI agendas in the district, he decided to run for an executive seat to challenge the status quo. 

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“I’m looking to see my district and union back away from this fantastically toxic ideology, back away from DEI and embrace merit and individuality,” he said. “I’m hoping to see that other teachers, other people in similar organizations, will stand up.” 

Newman said he was not alone in his opposition to DEI in school districts. 

“Most people who think like me are unwilling to speak up,” he said. “There are a lot of teachers [who are silent], and it’s not really a conservative or liberal thing.”

“There are a lot of teachers who recognize that meritocracy, colorblindness are at the core of good teaching,” Newman added. “What’s shocking is in these DEI trainings, they actually call out colorblindness and meritocracy as racist myths. And of course, if you’re dedicated to that, well, then you’re going to have division, and you’re going to have mediocrity.” 

Fox News Digital reached out to the Elk Grove union for comment. 

“Teachers’ unions don’t get a pass from laws that prohibit racial discrimination,” said Fairness Center President and general counsel Nathan McGrath. “The Civil Rights Act explicitly forbids unions from discriminating based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin and from segregating members based on these attributes.” 

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