NEW YORK - Three longtime education officials reportedly are suing the city, claiming they were demoted because of their race.

The plaintiffs - all white women - accuse Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza of creating what they call an "Us vs. Them" culture within the Department of Education.

They claim they were each demoted and replaced with less-qualified persons of color.

The lawsuit also says Carranza ordered DOE employees to either get on board with his equity platform or quit their jobs.

Last week, the chancellor commented on the pending suit, saying the claims weren't true and that he made changes to reflect the needs of students and schools.

"What I was looking to do was to create a management team that was capable of leading the kind of work that we needed to lead. It's more about the mindset that i was looking for, and I'm glad to say that that mindset comes in all kinds of colors," Carranza said.

The DOE issued a statement saying, "We hire the right people to get the job done for kids and families, and these claims of ‘reverse racism’ have no basis in fact."