Lawsuit against Garrett Academy says male student sexually harassed teacher

Charleston County News
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) – A lawsuit filed by a female teacher at Garrett Academy claims the school’s principal and assistant principal would not do enough to discipline a student who she said was sexually harassing her.

In May of 2014 during school hours, the teacher said she was approached by a white, male student who was physically larger than her, and aggressively, loudly and directly made sexually explicit comments to her.

The lawsuit said the student in question has a long history of student code of conduct violations, including at least 15 discipline referrals and multiple referrals for disrespect offenses.

It also claims the student was not adequately monitored or punished for his behavior after that incident, and just two weeks later, on May 16th, again approached the teacher and obscenely and threateningly began to hump the table with his genitals at the table the teacher was sitting at and loudly shouted at her saying that’s “how he was going to [expletive] that thang” and that she “had a big [expletive] and he wasn’t gonna stop talking to her until he got some.”

The teacher said she felt physically threatened, humiliated and severely interfered with her ability to perform her job.

After the first incident, the teacher wrote a discipline referral in accordance with the district’s police.

The lawsuit says the school’s principal and assistant principal were the final decision makers when it comes to punishment and monitoring of students who sexually harass employees of Garrett Academy of Technology.

She said, again, both failed to adequately punish or monitor the student due to the abusive and sexually offensive behavior, allowing the student to again make the sexually suggestive movements and statements on May 16.

She said it caused her to suffer severe mental distress, depression, emotional anguish, and required medical care and expenses, sleep disorder, a change in personality, time missed from work – she also had to take prescription medication.

The lawsuit states the victim is seeking compensatory damages, reasonable payment of attorney fees and costs against all of the defendants.

Count on 2 reached out to a school district spokesman, Andy Pruitt, who said the district does not have a comment on pending litigation.

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