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School Fires Teacher After She Reports Being Sexually Harassed By Student

A teacher from Westchester County has filed a lawsuit against Mary McLeod Bethune Junior and Senior High School in the Greenburgh Eleven Union Free School District in Dobbs Ferry, New York, after she was fired for calling the police when a student sexually assaulted her. Judy Sugar, a former teacher at a school for male students with emotional, behavioral and learning difficulties, informed the Principal, Elton Thompson, that a student had touched her legs and buttocks with his exposed penis whilst she was bent over a microscope.

No action was taken by the Mr. Thompson, leading to Ms. Sugar calling the police. Ms. Sugar was appalled when a student exposed his penis to her, touching her legs and buttocks while she was bent over, during one of her classes.

Although she immediately reported the incident to the school’s principal, Mr. Thompson, no action was taken to reprimand the student. Ms. Sugar then notified her head teacher, however, they also “disregarded and dismissed,” her claim, leaving Ms. Sugar confused and outraged.

Ms. Sugar informed her head teacher that she wished to call the police, however, the school informed Ms. Sugar that they already had, and that she would have to wait until the end of the day to visit the Dobbs Ferry police station.

Unhappy with the lack of response from her superiors and worried about the safety of other students and teachers, Ms. Sugar called the police, who informed her they would be at the school immediately. Upon hearing this, Mr. Thompson reportedly asked, “You called the police?” before demanding that Ms. Sugar leave the school grounds.

Ms. Sugar left the school, however, she still reported the incident to police, who informed her that her call was the only one they had received regarding the incident and that they were refused entry to the school earlier that day after she called.

The student in question was arrested the next day, with an order of protection preventing him from having any further contact with Ms. Sugar. In the following week, Ms. Sugar was summoned back to Mary McLeod Bethune, where Mr. Thompson dismissed her “because of complaints by students and other teachers.”

Mr. Thompson also allegedly told Ms. Sugar that, because she was not a permanent employee, he could fire her with no repercussions and she was not entitled to a hearing.

Ms. Sugar has claimed in her lawsuit that the real reasons she was fired was because of an apparent violation of district policy that prohibits teachers from calling police to report crimes that may have occurred on school grounds. Such a policy was found to have never been published by the district and Ms. Sugar was never made aware of the policy.

Ms. Sugar also stated in her lawsuit that Mr. Thompson was worried that the incident would reflect badly on his professional position, thus, he wished to prevent her from involving the police.

Ms. Sugar has asked for her job back at the school. In addition, Ms. Sugar is also asking for her lost wages, bonuses, benefits as well as damages and legal fee coverage.

Ms. Sugar has also asked that the court declare that the district violated her free speech rights and state human rights law prohibiting workplace discrimination.

Neither Mr. Thompson, nor the superintendent or school board, have commented on the matter.

Source: New York Post, The Blaze
Photo: YouTube

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