Teacher Fired After Calling Cops on Student Who Touched Her With Exposed Penis


You would think that years of high-profile sexual assault cases making headlines would send a pretty clear message: It’s time to take this seriously, and stop covering for abuse when it happens.

It looks like a school in New York state hadn’t gotten the memo. A school district and its principal are now both facing a lawsuit from a former female teacher after she says they tried to cover up a disturbing incident — and then fired her for going to the police.

Although the alleged incident happened in 2015, the lawsuit was filed last week.

According to TheBlaze, Judy Sugar worked as a teacher at Mary McLeod Bethune Junior and Senior High School, the only school within Greenburgh Eleven Union Free School District in Westchester County. The all-boys school has about 250 students, all with emotional, behavioral and learning problems.

Teachers in that setting are no doubt used to dealing with unruly situations, but the incident that Sugar describes in court documents would certainly be considered disturbing to almost anyone.

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“[T]he student approached her ‘from behind while she was bent over a microscope, with his genitals exposed, and touched her leg and buttocks with his exposed penis,'” reported TheBlaze, citing the lawsuit paperwork. “The student then fled.”

The age and identity of the student were not included in the lawsuit, however, the suit states that the teacher had complained before the May 14, 2015, incident about the “potential danger” posed by the student.

That May incident could clearly be considered a sexual assault, and Sugar reported the incident to the school principal, Elton Thompson, the lawsuit states. Shockingly, the lawsuit states, he allegedly did absolutely nothing about the incident.

“She then reported the incident to her head teacher, who ‘disregarded and dismissed’ her claims, the lawsuit said,” TheBlaze reported.

Should schools be able to prevent teachers from calling police in a situation like this?

A caseworker who was familiar with the student involved in the alleged assault reassured Sugar that she should take whatever action she thought was necessary to feel safe, according to the lawsuit.

Sugar told her supervisor that she wanted to report the incident to police — but that school official claimed that the police had already been called, and that Sugar could go to the police station at the end of the day to discuss it with them if she chose.

“Sugar called police anyway, the lawsuit said, and police said they would come to the school immediately,” TheBlaze reported. “The lawsuit said the principal expressed disapproval toward Sugar and said, ‘You called the police?'”

Shockingly, according to the lawsuit. Sugar said that she was then asked to leave the school and that “she would be contacted with further instructions regarding her employment.” In other words, her job was in jeopardy.

Even worse: If the teacher’s lawsuit is factual, that supervisor wasn’t telling the truth, and the police had never actually been called in the first place.

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“The lawsuit said Sugar visited the police station later that day, and the officer assigned to the incident said Sugar’s call was the only one police received. And when police attempted to enter the school following Sugar’s call, they told her they were turned away by staff,” TheBlaze reported.

The student was arrested the day after Sugar reported the incident, the lawsuit states.

Sugar was officially fired four days later, according to the lawsuit, based on the claim that there were “complaints by students and other teachers.”

However, in her lawsuit, Sugar insists that the true reason is because she called the police herself, “because Defendant Thompson did not want a crime reported, for fear of it reflecting poorly on his tenure as the Principal […] because he failed to act in response to Plaintiff’s previous complaints about the hostile behavior.”

To be clear, these claims will all have to be shown in court, and there are always at least two sides to every story. However, it looks very strongly like the school tried to shrug off a sexual assault simply because it was bad publicity.

This is a pattern that we’ve seen almost everywhere lately: In Hollywood, in the mainstream media, in Congress, and now in our schools: Establishment figures are covering up disturbing assaults with no regard for the truth… or the consequences.

Thoroughly looking at each case to make sure that claims are accurate is important, but that due process cannot start unless we treat sexual assault as the serious crime that it is.

It’s time for the establishment figures to get off their high horses and start being held responsible for enabling perversion — and that goes for every segment of the culture.

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Benjamin Arie is an independent journalist and writer. He has personally covered everything ranging from local crime to the U.S. president as a reporter in Michigan before focusing on national politics. Ben frequently travels to Latin America and has spent years living in Mexico.