(CBS) — A Chicago teacher blew the whistle on alleged wrongdoing at a Chicago high school, and now he’s out of a job. He believes he was fired for speaking out and he’s not alone.
“I know it’s retaliation,” Manny Bermudez said after losing his job at Benito Juarez Community Academy High School.
CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports Bermudez is now out of a job, two months after speaking to CBS 2 about alleged attendance altering and grade boosting at Juarez High School.
“I’m tired of our administration going out there and telling lies,” the tenured, 13-year computer teacher said back in May, on the same day CPS confirmed its inspector general was investigating the allegations at Juarez. Then, early this summer, came a termination letter citing budget cuts and a phone call from Juarez Principal Juan Carlos Ocon.
But Bermudez doesn’t buy it and says he continues to speak with the an IG investigator twice a month. He also sent CPS Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd Bennett an email about the alleged wrongdoings, to which she responded ‘If accurate, this is completely unacceptable.”
And Bermudez isn’t the first casualty. Juarez veteran and “superior” rated teacher Yolanda Munoz believes her termination was retaliatory, too.
She says it was retaliation for, “giving Manny documentation that also … my attendance was also altered.”
“I have no regrets,” said Bermudez. “I am actually very proud of what I have done.”
Both Bermudez and Munoz are fighting their terminations, yet say they have no regrets about speaking out.
When asked for comment, a CPS spokesperson simply cited difficult budget decisions as a reason for firings in general, and refused to answer questions about the ongoing investigation.