The principal who founded a controversial Arabic language school sued the city Monday, saying her rights were violated when she was fired for comments she made to a newspaper.
Debbie Almontaser claims she was pushed out of her job at the Khalil Gibran International Academy after defending a student T-shirt that read "Intifada NYC."
In her suit, she asks to be restored as principal of the Brooklyn public school and seeks financial damages. Almontaser, who still works as a schools administrator, alleged that Mayor Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein caved to a right-wing, anti-Muslim smear campaign.
Almontaser's suit maintains that school officials suggested she give an interview to the New York Post and initially praised her comments. Then, an aide to Bloomberg insisted she resign to placate critics.
Her suit claims she was told her "media naiveté" made her unqualified to lead the school. She lost the job, she argues, "not because of her lack of qualifications but because of her protected speech as reported in the New York Post."
City and school officials had no comment.