Lawyers for principal of Khalil Gibran Academy in court

BROOKLYN - Lawyers for the founding principal of Khalil Gibran International Academy were in court Friday, arguing that the city violated their client?s constitutional rights.

Debbie Almontaser?s lawyers claim that the Department of Education refused to consider her application for her old position on the basis of her merits. Almontaser had resigned as principal, and her lawyers are saying that resignation was coerced.

The lawyers want the judge to halt the process of selecting Almontaser?s permanent replacement. They also want Almontaser re-introduced as a candidate and they want a disinterested third party to determine who should run the school.

Defense lawyers for the DOE and the city indicated that they would argue Almontaser?s lack of qualifications removed her from consideration.

The case is an urgent one for Almontaser, because if the judge doesn?t halt the selection process, a decision is expected within the next week or two.

Almontaser left the Khalil Gibran International Academy in August after criticism for her failure to condemn the use of the word "intifada" on T-shirts. The Arabic term is commonly used to refer to the Palestinian uprising against Israel.

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