A Deerfield Beach teacher, unhappy with the handling of an accusation that she possibly contributed to a student's sexual orientation, is taking action against the Broward school system and several of its employees, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.
Juliet Hibbs, 47, has filed charges with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the Broward County school district, and the principal and assistant principal of Deerfield Beach High School. Although she was cleared of the accusations and no action was taken, Hibbs said she believes the complaint should have been handled by the school and not the district, a decision made by principal Jon Marlow, according to the Sentinel.
The teacher of 10 years, who said she is now on medical leave for stress related to the incident, was investigated for the alleged misconduct last year after parents of an 18-year-old student made allegations to the principal. They told investigators they were upset Hibbs did not tell them about their daughter's sexual orientation, and accused Hibbs of contributing to her homosexuality, the Sentinel said. They also believed Hibbs told the student not to go home.
"I was shocked by the charges," the teacher was quoted as saying.
The incident began in class last year after Hibbs reported the student's stepfather for child abuse and cyber-bullying, according to a district report. She said the man bombarded the student with Twitter messages after he discovered her homosexuality, the newspaper reported.
Hibbs said she believes the district's investigation was an attempt to bully her for being too outspoken at the school, the Sentinel reported. Broward Superintendent of Schools Robert Runcie told the Sentinel he would look into intimidation at the school following teacher complaints this summer about mistreatment.