NYC teacher gets $450,000 in settlement

Sept. 22, 2012 at 4:22 PM
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NEW YORK, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- A New York high school teacher who said she was sexually harassed by students was awarded a $450,000 settlement from the city.

Theresa Reel, 52, a former teacher at the School for Legal Studies in Brooklyn, filed a discrimination lawsuit against the New York City Department of Education in 2008 over the alleged harassment and the school's response, the New York Daily News.

Reel said she was sexually harassed and verbally assaulted by her students ever since she started working at the school in 2005.

When she complained about the abuse to her supervisors, "I was told I wanted to make the school look bad, I was called a troublemaker," she said. "That was the worst for me: that my employer reacted this way. I felt so worthless."

A judge ruled in May there was sufficient evidence for a jury to decide the case and set the trial date for Sept. 10, CNN reported.

The Department of Education offered a settlement before the trial was set to begin.

The New York City Law Department issued a statement saying the agreement was based "on an assessment of the City's best interest in this case, which included obtaining an agreement from the plaintiff to leave the DOE's employment and not seek to be employed by our school system again."

"I think we had a very strong case," said Reel's attorney, Joshua Parkhurst, "but this way my client can go on with her life."

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