When asked, most educators in New Jersey would say that their job is rewarding. Those who work with children find joy in knowing that they have made a difference in a young life. But let's face it; the job of any educator is not always an easy one. With enough on their plate, no school official should have to suffer sexual harassment on top of it all, but that is exactly what one New Jersey guidance counselor said she had to endure.
A lawsuit was filed in 2008 by the woman who worked as a guidance counselor for children at Bridgeton High School. Now, several years later the board of education agreed to settle the lawsuit in the amount of $75,000 to be paid to the woman.
In the lawsuit, the woman claimed that she began suffering extreme sexual harassment and discrimination based on her race during the 2007 school year. Specifically, she said that she had to endure demeaning sexual advances and requests made by her superior in the guidance department. The requests were vulgar, seeking things such as oral sex.
The woman claimed that not only was she solicited by her supervisor, but that he targeted her based upon "unsubstantiated" or "unfair" causes. He also set her apart from co-workers in terms of her duties, something that she believed was done based upon her sex and her gender.
When the woman complained to the school's principal, she said that nothing was done. While no corrective actions were taken, she found that her performance reviews began to suffer. It was then that she decided to stand up for rights and filed the lawsuit.
Source: nj.com, "Bridgeton Board of Education reaches $75,000 settlement for sexual harassment, discrimination lawsuit," Lauren T. Taniguchi, June 28, 2012