Dobbs Ferry, NY – A former Westchester County school teacher has sued the Greenburgh Eleven school district and a school principal after they fired her for reporting a sexual assault in her classroom.
Judy Sugar was assaulted on May 14, 2015 by a student who came up behind her and touched her legs and rear end with his exposed penis as she bent over a microscope, according to the complaint filed on Thursday in the U.S. District Court in White Plains.
Sugar immediately told the school principal what had happened, but Elton Thompson did nothing about it.
It wasn’t the first time she reported this student to the principal, the New York Post reported.
Her supervisor told her that to file a police report, she’d have to go by the Dobbs Ferry Police Department on her way home.
But Sugar called the police from the school, which is located on the campus of The Children’s Village, a facility for troubled youth, Lohud.com reported.
When Thompson heard Sugar had called the police, he told her to leave the school property, and made her think her job was in danger. Then the school turned police away when officers arrived to take the report, according to the New York Post.
Sugar went to the police station on her way home, and filed the report about the sexual assault.
Police arrested the student the next day, and Sugar was issued a protective order that barred the student from contact with her, according to the lawsuit.
Four days later, Sugar was fired from her job.
The New York Post reported that the school district claimed she’d violated a policy that prohibited teachers from calling the police to report a crime on school grounds.
Sugar denied having any knowledge of that policy, and her lawsuit called it “unconstitutional.”
The lawsuit filed by Russell Wheeler, Sugar’s attorney, called for the former teacher to get her job back, with back pay, bonuses and benefits. It also asked that the school district be ordered to pay Sugar’s legal fees.
Greenburgh Eleven Superintendent Anthony Gyetua-Danquah said he had not yet seen the lawsuit.
“I’m not going to comment because I have not been made aware of it,” Gyetua-Danquah told Lohud.com on Monday.