267 F.3d 723 (7th Cir. 2001), 00-4059, Greer v Bd. of Education of Chicago, IL

Docket Nº:00-4059
Citation:267 F.3d 723
Party Name:TYRONE J. GREER, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, a municipal corporation of the city of Chicago, formerly known as CHICAGO SCHOOL REFORM BOARD OF TRUSTEES, Defendant-Appellee.
Case Date:October 03, 2001
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Page 723

267 F.3d 723 (7th Cir. 2001)

TYRONE J. GREER, Plaintiff-Appellant,


BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, a municipal corporation of the city of Chicago, formerly known as CHICAGO SCHOOL REFORM BOARD OF TRUSTEES, Defendant-Appellee.

No. 00-4059

In the United States Court of Appeals, For the Seventh Circuit

October 3, 2001

Argued APRIL 10, 2001

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 99 C 7005--Charles P. Kocoras, Judge.

Page 724

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 725

Before COFFEY, ROVNER and DIANE P. WOOD, Circuit Judges.

COFFEY, Circuit Judge.

Plaintiff Tyrone Greer is an African-American, who sued the Board of Education of the City of Chicago ("the Board"), alleging racial discrimination and retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The district court granted the Board's motion for summary judgment, and Greer appeals. We affirm.


Greer was hired as a freshman and sophomore English teacher at South Shore High School in 1990. Chicago's high school principals have considerable control over personnel matters, and in July 1997, apparently due to shifting student enrollment patterns, the principal of South Shore "closed" Greer's position. This meant that Greer's services were no longer needed at South Shore, and that he was now subject to reassignment anywhere within the district.

Greer then pursued three courses of action. First, he filed a sex discrimination charge with the EEOC, alleging that the principal closed Greer's position because he is a male. Second, he filed a grievance with his union, alleging that the principal's decision was prohibited by the district's collective bargaining agreement. Third, he contacted the Board's human resources department for assistance. The department informed Greer that he would be classified as a "reassigned teacher." He would continue working as a part-time substitute teacher and would receive his full salary and benefits. However, pursuant to Board policy, he would have to actively seek appointment to another position within the district, and he would be terminated if he did not secure a permanent position within ten months.

In October 1997, officials at Collins High School gave Greer a 60-day probationary appointment, where he would teach a curriculum titled "Options-For- Knowledge." Greer applied for a permanent position at

Page 726

Collins shortly afterwards, and he spoke with Rosa Vazquez, who is a recruiter in the Board's personnel department. Vazquez conferred with various officials and noted that Collins had a disproportionate number of minority teachers on staff. This was a problem because, since 1980, the Chicago public schools have operated under a federal consent decree designed to achieve racial integration among students and teachers. Vazquez determined that Greer's employment at Collins would not advance the goals of the consent decree. As a result, the Board notified Greer that he could not be permanently assigned to Collins unless the school's principal, Clement Smith, submitted a waiver request to the Faculty Integration Committee for its approval.

In January 1998, the Board's director of recruitment and staffing advised Smith that he needed to apply for a waiver if he wanted Greer to obtain the full-time position. Smith never submitted the request, stating that he did not want to jeopardize the school's attempts to integrate the permanent faculty. As a result, the Board rejected Greer's application, and he stopped working at Collins in June 1998. Greer then filed a second charge with the EEOC, alleging that the Board had discriminated against him on the basis of his race and age, and, furthermore, had retaliated against him for filing the previous sex discrimination charge.

The Board honorably terminated Greer in January 1999 because he had failed to secure permanent employment within the school district.1 Two months later, labor arbitrator Barry E. Simon found merit in Greer's grievance concerning the South Shore position. Simon disagreed with the Board's argument that he lacked jurisdiction over the grievance, and he ordered the Board to reinstate Greer. The Board continued to maintain that Illinois law prohibits the arbitration of certain disputes over classroom assignments and schedules, and, in the end, the Board refused to comply with Simon's ruling.2 Greer accepted a teaching position at another Chicago public high school in August 1999.

The district court found that Greer's EEOC charge was limited to the denial of employment at Collins High School, then proceeded to grant the Board's motion for summary judgment on Greer's Title VII and Section 1981 claims of race discrimination and retaliation.3 The court found that Greer had failed to raise an inference of discrimination and, in any event, had not rebutted the Board's proffered race-neutral reasons for its decision. The court also found no merit in Greer's claim of retaliation.


We review the district court's grant of summary judgment de novo. Kuemmerlein v. Board of Educ. of Madison, 894 F.2d 257, 261 (7th Cir. 1990). We affirm if there is no more than some "metaphysical doubt" whether there is a genuine dispute of material fact for trial. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986).

Page 727

Greer was not represented by counsel, and as a threshold matter, we address his repeated insinuation that the district court did not afford him the liberal construction of pleadings that is due to a pro se plaintiff. As the district court noted, the Board submitted a proposed list of 72 undisputed material facts, supported by citation to the record, along with its motion for summary judgment. For at least two reasons, Greer's response miserably failed to comply with Local Rule 56.1,4 which requires the non-moving party to admit or deny each factual statement proffered by the defendant and to designate with specificity and...

To continue reading