A New Jersey high school settled with a former Spanish teacher who claimed he was harassed by students once they found out he was gay.
Kevin McManus — who began working at Somerset County Vocational and Technical High School in 2008 — in a lawsuit claimed he “was the subject of a hostile work environment” after a student revealed he was gay during a class in 2011, NJ.com reported.
The students would allegedly mock him with statements like “don’t drop the soap” and “do you like nuts?” according to the suit, originally filed in 2015.
The former teacher also alleged that the school in Bridgewater not only failed to take action on the matter, but retaliated against him after he filed a civil rights complaint.
The taunting endured, so McManus eventually approached the school’s disciplinary coordinator, Jamie Morales, who allegedly neglected in taking “the appropriate steps to stop it.”
McManus then turned to Principal Diane Ziegler and Affirmative Action Officer Teresa Morelli, both of whom also allegedly failed to address the harassment.
And after filing a complaint with the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights, McManus alleged school officials retaliated against him by demanding his resignation and preventing him from using personal days and paid leaves of absence, according to NJ.com.
President of the school’s board of education William Hyncik quietly signed off the $110,000 settlement for McManus last month. The agreement contains a confidentiality clause and a stipulation stating the payment cannot be interpreted as an admission of guilt.
Had the school been more proactive, maybe they would’ve kept their $110,o00.