The former leader of the chess team of the Succcess Academy charter chain sued the corporation for $64 million for racism.

NEW YORK CITY — A national chess master accuses the city’s largest charter school network of systemic racial discrimination in a $64 million lawsuit, court records show.

Former Success Academy chess director Jerald Times tells Patch he believes he was fired for speaking out against a “separate but equal” doctrine that saw Black educators sidelined to the benefit of less-qualified white employees.

“Success Academy was in essence operating under a color line,” Times told Patch. “I challenged the color line and was dismissed.”

Times’ lawsuit, filed last week in New York Federal court, details nearly two years of service during which the chess master saw a Black guest speaker with a Ph.D. fingerprinted and himself replaced by a white worker without a college degree.

A Success Academies representative declined to directly respond to the lawsuit but noted 69 percent of staff and 55 percent of teachers are not white….

The chess master began almost immediately to disapprove of Success Academy’s game.

Times joined Success Academies in 2019 with an impressive resume, accolades that included a glowing New York Times profileand a strong desire to teach the game he loved to New York City kids of all colors.

But as Times taught students to master the board, Success Academy began making moves he couldn’t condone.

The lawsuit contends the following:

  • Success Academy appointed a white job applicant over five more-qualified people of color, as well as directing Times to demote three Black teachers, the lawsuit contends.
  • Internal chess competitions were held in Cobble Hill and the Upper West Side and none in Black and brown communities, despite the fact that more than 80 percent of students are of color.
  • Success Academy’s chess manager routinely gave Black chess coaches lower evaluations than their white counterparts and denied them promotions.
  • The school system furloughed its basketball coaches, who were mostly Black, but didn’t do the same for its white soccer coaches.
  • Success Academy demanded a Black man with a Physics Ph.D. first be fingerprinted, submit to an intensive background check and be tested for drugs before speaking at an online chess tournament. Two other white guest speakers did not go through the same process and only one was fingerprinted.