The Crusader Newspaper Group

Atty. Crump joins fight to restore ousted Lindblom principal

Photo caption: Pictured left to right: Attorney Sa’ad Alim Muhammad; Troy LaRaviere, president of the Chicago Principals & Administrators Association; Abdul Muhammad; and Attorney Ben Crump.

Famed Attorney Ben Crump has agreed to work with Attorney Sa’ad Alim Muhammad, formerly known as Berve Power, the lawyer for Abdul Muhammad. They allege the former principal of the Lindblom Math & Science Academy High School was illegally fired by CPS.

During the Juneteenth Day service at Saint Sabina on June 18, Father Pfleger introduced Attorney Crump, who was the guest speaker, Attorney  Muhammad, Troy LaRaviere, president of the Chicago Principals & Administrators Association, and other Nation of Islam members. They have reached out to Father Pfleger for help in getting Abdul Muhammad reinstated as the principal of Lindblom Math & Science Academy.

Abdul Muhammad was chosen as principal of Lindblom on June 15, 2022, hired on July 7, 2022, and fired less than a year later on March 31, 2023. According to Attorney Muhammad, the former principal was fired without a hearing or a determination. This deprived him of an opportunity to defend himself.

LaRaviere accused CPS officials of allegedly engaging in selective prosecution. He blames seven white teachers and a Black clerk for making “82 documented lies” against Muhammad including one email that said, “Do not hire this Muslim.”

An irate Father Pfleger vowed to do everything in his power to help restore Muhammad to his principal position by the fall. He also wants to know why six Black principals have been fired this year alone without cause.

And Pfleger isn’t buying into CPS’s reason for not commenting on this case because “it’s under investigation.” He’s demanding transparency, facts and the truth. Pfleger said it was Abdul Muhammad “who brought transformative change to Lindblom High School, and they’ve removed him. We are fighting to make sure they put him back in his position as the principal of Lindblom High School.

“The Board of Education has demoted six Black principals,” Pfleger told his congregation. “They can’t keep saying that they want more Black teachers and then fire Black principals. Something is wrong with that, but we’re with you and we will continue to fight until they put you back in place this fall.”

When asked about Attorney Crump’s decision to lend his legal assistance in this case, Father Pfleger said, “Attorney Crump has chosen to spend his life fighting injustice. What happened to Brother Abdul is unquestionably unjust. It’s only natural that he [Crump] would join the fight.”

In a late-night interview with the Chicago Crusader on Juneteenth Day, Attorney Muhammad said, “The Campaign for Justice is gaining momentum and public support from Father Pfleger as well as Attorney Ben Crump. More information is coming to light about the things they [CPS officials] have done incorrectly.”

He refused to say what other evidence he has uncovered but did say it may be for a “potential lawsuit.” Attorney Muhammad is focused on unearthing the truth. “We intend to leave no stone unturned in our quest for justice for Principal Abdul Muhammad.

“There appears to be some rogue element in the Chicago Public School system that is engaging in discrimination in one form or another that is tarnishing the good work of sincere career educators,” Attorney Muhammad said.

“We intend, by the Grace of God, to locate, expose and uproot every rotten, no-good character who had any hand in the unjust removal of Principal Muhammad” from the Lindblom school, vowed Attorney Muhammad.

When Sunday’s service ended, he, Abdul Muhammad, Attorney Crump and Father Pfleger met afterward. It was there that Attorney Crump was briefed on Abdul Muhammad’s case. Attorney Muhammad and Father Pfleger said Crump has agreed to help restore Abdul Muhammad to his principal position.

After Attorney Crump agreed to lend his help with Abdul Muhammad’s case, Attorney Muhammad was overwhelmed. “It was phenomenal, tremendous. I had never heard him speak before. I was so impressed, and my admiration for him went through the roof, truthfully.” He also admired Crump’s lengthy history of civil rights legal work for the “underserved.”

“There were people in the school who were actively working to literally undermine his administration,” said LaRaviere referring to the “Lindblom Seven” mostly white teachers who throughout Muhammad’s tenure were “plotting” to oust him from Lindblom.

According to Attorney Muhammad, Abdul Muhammad was illegally fired and he is seeking Abdul Muhammad’s reinstatement as principal of Lindblom Math & Science Academy where he said parents and students liked and respected his leadership.

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