A white male substitute teacher has sued Evanston/Skokie School District 65 claiming he was passed over for a job teaching second grade at Oakton Elementary School because he isn’t a black woman.

In the suit, first reported by the Cook County Record, Eliott Cady claims that although he had been filling the position in 2012 as a substitute, the principal declined to interview him, that he heard from other teachers that the principal planned to hire a black woman, and a black woman was eventually hired.

Cady also alleges that while he had 19 years of teaching experience, person hired was a recent college graduate with no teaching experience.

Original story

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Take it to trial

    I hope Cady takes D65 to trial so Evanstonians can learn what's happening behind the scenes at D65. ..

  2. Because Mr. Cady was a
    Because Mr. Cady was a substitute, the principal would have had opportunities to see him teach, manage the classroom, etc. In addition, the teachers for whom he substituted and alongside whom he had worked would have also formed an impression of his suitability as a colleague and steward of young minds. It more than plausible, then, that Mr. Cady was passed over due to his skills, not his gender or race.

    Being a decent substitute (i.e., executer of the teacher’s plans, manager of student behavior) does not mean a school/district should or would want hire you as a full-time certified professional teacher. Yes, being a building sub can give you a foot in the door when it comes to getting an interview, but a long tenure as a sub should never be a guarantee or a way of “paying dues.”

    1. Anne, you gave your opinion

      Anne, you gave your opinion and while I agree with it is possible, the best person doesn't always get the prize. Like both public and private business, much of the time, it is not what you know but who you know that wins out.

      A smart principal would have interviewed Mr. Cady since he did sub the prior year. This would have avoided this type of problem, especially if Mr. Cady had an excellent review of his sub assignment. The principal should take some training to enhance her/his interviewing skills. Heavens help the principal looking for a new job if the school shows up in court with a less than good review and Cady has a much better review in hand.


      We don't know how this will turn out but I think it can go either way. Most people don't sue unless they really feel they have been wronged and lawyers usually will not take cases unless they believe the client has a good chance of prevailing or the client has deep pockets.

      Just my opinion.

      1. In addition…
        the original article states: “But, even though the district’s human resources director personally recommended Cady to the principal, the suit alleges the principal never interviewed Cady.” It seems odd that he wouldn’t even give the guy an interview after him subbing and after the district’s HR director recommended him. A decent administrator would at least throw the sub a bone by allowing him to interview, even if he never intended to offer him a job.

      2. Because my field is education

        Because my field is education, I would say that the best person almost NEVER gets the job! 🙂 But without being able to examine the claims and evidence that Mr. Cady and D65 are presenting, there's no telling if that was the case with Mr. Cady. If it turns out that the other candidates selected for interview were all black females, then Mr. Cady might have a chance. The smartest principals I know would never interview a sub–or anyone for that matter–that they knew they wouldn't hire. It would be a waste of time, especially if the principal had a range of qualified candidates to choose from. The qualifications to be a sub in Illinois are minimal. Substituting can be an entry point for potential candidates, but it's not an internship or apprenticeship. Other candidates from D65 as well as external candidates could very likely be far more qualified and have actual teaching experience. Agreed that it takes guts to bring this case in the first place, and some lawyer thinks the case is strong enough to be worth the time.

      3. To amend my reply to your

        To amend my reply to your reply, I see now that Mr. Cady says he had 19 years of experience and that the person hired had none. That's interesting, if true…although I have questions about how and why someone with that much experience is subsitute teaching….

  3. D65 Hiring Policies

    I'm guessing the fact that Mr. Cady is a white man isn't what took him out of the running. It's more likely his 19 years of experience that lost him the chance to interview. With purse strings tightening, principals were told to hire teachers with less than 3 years experience.  I'm not sure if that's changed since Dr Goren took over, but I know that was the push in 2012. 

    1. If that is true—
      So the policy would be hire the inexperienced first but then when there are layoffs, they are the first to go. Also as is common [at least in NY and Chicago] give the worst jobs to those with lack of experience.
      If the policy is to hire the inexperienced first, then why have Tenure which keeps the older teachers in place no matter how bad they are ?
      Seems like a lot of contradictions.

Leave a comment
The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *