CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A former teacher at Daniel Jenkins Academy claims she was sexually and racially harassed by students and forced to leave her job and seek medical care, according to a federal lawsuit filed on Nov. 24.
The teacher’s lawsuit claims some students would use sexual and racial slurs to address her and many other female teachers frequently.
Shelly Hudson’s complaint focuses on her time as a teacher between August 2018 and May 2019.
Some alleged incidents happened over the court of just three days. The lawsuit claims students in Hudson’s classroom yelled phrases at her using derogatory terms and phrases that seemed to criticize her appearance and sex.
The lawsuit also describes an alleged assault that involved a student pushing and shoving Hudson.
Overall, court documents claim teachers were made to feel humiliated, threatened and degraded by some students, and the school’s administration perpetuated the harassment by not adequately disciplining students or responding in a timely or effective manner.
Students would be sent to in school suspension for their misbehavior and then returned to the very same classroom just minutes later, according to the lawsuit.
Court documents said this only escalated the harassment because other students would see that bad behavior was going unpunished.
“You have to show respect for the adults that work in the schools before you can expect students to behave because that’s what they see. You can’t learn unless you have that kind of environment. And you shouldn’t have to work in an environment where you’re not respected and you’re subject to horrible views based on your gender or race,” attorney Larry Kobrovsky said.
Hudson’s lawsuit said the harassment culminated into her suffering from PTSD, depression and other health issues and forced her to leave her job and seek medical care.