Teacher ‘who had condoms thrown at her by students wins $450,000 settlement

A teacher in Brooklyn has won a landslide  settlement after she said she was ‘treated like dirt’ by her students, who would  throw condoms at her and verbally abuse her.

Theresa Reel, who taught at the High School  for Legal Studies in the Williamsburg neighbourhood of Brooklyn, said that her  former employer punished her for speaking out.

Because of her hardships, the city has  awarded her $450,000.


Treated like dirt: Theresa Reel’s complaints fell on  deaf ears and instead she was sent a letter chastising her for wearing an  ‘inappropriate low-cut, V-neck lace top’

Ms Reel, 52, filed a lawsuit against the high  school in 2008, after she said that her complaints of sexual and verbal  harassment fell on deaf ears.

She said at the time that she kept quiet for  three years ‘because I didn’t have tenure.’



Disgusted: Reed was told by one of the students: ¿I¿ve  got rubbers ¿ want to party?¿

The educator told the New  York Daily News  at the time that she was sent a letter  from the Department of Education chastising her for wearing a ‘low-cut, V-neck  lace top,’ which they deemed ‘inappropriate attire.’

The principal at the time, Denise Morgan,  didn’t listen to her complaints either, Ms Reel said.

According to the Mississippi native, when she  told Ms Morgan about the inappropriate behaviour from her students, Ms Morgan  responded: ‘And how does that threaten you?’

Ms Reel told the Daily  News  that the time spent at the high school  was dreadful. ‘I wasted six years of my life being treated like dirt –less than  dirt.’

She said she’s elated that this settlement  allowed her to quit her job, which she started in 2005.

Ms Reel said the things her students told her  were horrendous. One allegedly said: ‘I’ve got rubbers – want to  party?’

The constant barrage of attacks from her  students made her depressed, she said, and at one point she contemplated  suicide.

In reviews on greatschools.org, School for  Legal studies, which has around 750 students, was given a possible 2/10, based  on state test results.

One former student wrote: ‘As a legal studies  student for three years, I find that the school is a non-education experience.  It is horrible student and teacher wise.’

Another wrote that they transferred out after  freshman year because they didn’t learn anything.

And according to performance trends, the math  and reading scores for the school’s students are well below the 50th percentile.

The student ratio has gradually crept up  while the number of full-time teachers has gone down in recent years.

City officials declined comment on the  case.

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