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You know a school is tough when the teachers complain about bullying and are terrified of the students. Kathy Perez said that is how it was in two Queens schools where she worked. Now she has settled a claim with the New York City Law Department for $125,000.
The claims against the state's Department of Education stem from incidents with her students, both of which landed Perez in the hospital with injuries. The teacher says that her teenage students in Queens harassed her sexually and racially in addition to causing her physical injury.
Perez told the New York Post that she was twice taken out of her classroom by medics on a stretcher. Still, she said that school officials did nothing to address her complaints about student behavior. "These kids knew they could beat on me all they wanted, and the administration would tacitly encourage it by not doing anything about it," Perez said. "In no other workplace would I be expected to take this as part of my day."
One of the two schools that Perez was placed in, MS 72, reportedly has known bullying and discipline problems and low student achievement. Although Perez made numerous reports about student behavior, her lawsuits stem from two major incidents.
In one incident Perez was chased around the classroom by teenage students who trampled her. In the other major event a girl shoved the teacher to the floor. Both times Perez says she was removed from the classroom on a stretcher by emergency medical personnel.
Apart from the two major incidents that led to serious injuries and multiple surgeries, Perez made multiple reports of harassment by students. She said that they called her by racist names and accused her of being a racist, among other claims.
Although school officials said that they did discipline children who misbehaved in the classroom and who were rude to the teacher, Perez said school officials never addressed the complaints with her and even warned the teacher about her behavior. The teacher's claims were settled with the City Law Department in April and the resolution was reported by the New York Post this month.
If you, like Kathy Perez, were injured at work or elsewhere, talk to a lawyer. Tell your story and find out your options. Many personal injury attorneys consult for free or a minimal fee and will be happy to assess your case.
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