Teacher Fired For Reporting Sexual Harassment Among Students
A Utah school district is being sued after a teacher accused the district of retaliating against her for reporting sexual harassment among students. According to the teacher, a few fifth-grade girls reported that one boy was touching them inappropriately and staring at them in a manner that made them uncomfortable.
The teacher then immediately reported the conduct to the principal who suggested she inform the parents. The principal then demanded that the classroom be segregated by gender, a remedy that the teacher strongly disagreed with. What did not happen, according to the teacher, were any consequences for the boy who committed the sexual harassment nor any remedy to protect the girls in the class from further misconduct.
Eventually, each of the classmates was interviewed one-by-one outside of the teacher’s classroom. A determination was made that the classroom was now harmonious and that the male and female gendered halves could once again be reintegrated. Shortly thereafter, another teacher came to relieve the plaintiff apparently after she requested a transfer. However, the plaintiff contends that she never requested a transfer. The principal called the teacher into his office where he then gave her the “opportunity” to transfer to another district. The teacher says she was given no real choice in the matter.
Understanding the lawsuit
Weirdly, this is not actually a sexual harassment lawsuit since the teacher was not the victim of sexual harassment. Instead, this is a retaliation lawsuit because the teacher is the victim of retaliation for reporting incidents on behalf of girls in her class. Obviously, there are several serious problems here and even in a post #MeToo environment, cultural problems including protecting sexually aggressive boys persist.
Here, you can see all of the problems that cause sexual violence to persist in one misguided attempt to corral a single student. Instead of addressing the matter with the student and the victims, the principal sees fit to punish the entire class by dividing them by gender. This insulates the boy and their parents from individual responsibility while simultaneously giving the appearance that the school is doing something to curtail the behavior. Once they gave the appearance that something was being done, they removed the source of the problem: The teacher who was complaining about the misconduct.
Part of the problem is that school districts do not face individual liability for these sorts of claims. Instead, the lawsuits are filed against the district and paid out of public coffers. While individual teachers and administrators may face administrative punishments for their failures, that doesn’t happen unless the teacher files a retaliation lawsuit. Ultimately, a lawsuit like this is about changing the process for dealing with sexual harassment within the schools.
Talk to a Jacksonville Sexual Harassment Attorney Today
The Law Offices of Carol Galloway can help Jacksonville residents file sexual harassment claims against their employers. Call our Jacksonville sexual harassment attorneys today to schedule a free consultation and we can advise you on how to proceed.