Shawn Kochinsky and Gia McKenzie, ABCNews4.com, September 6, 2006
Former Brentwood Middle School teacher Elizabeth Kandrac won the discrimination lawsuit filed against the Charleston County School District.
The jury awarded Kandrac nearly 300,000 dollars.
After nearly 7 hours of deliberation the jury agreed the work environment was hostile for Kandrac.
Kandrac says she was racially discriminated against and harassed at the predominately black middle school.
The Charleston County School districts attorney says she plans to make motions to appeal.
Of the actual damages awarded- 295 thousand dollars is against the Charleston County School District.
And 1 thousand dollars each.. from former Principal Wanda Marshall and former Associate Superintendent Darrell Johnson.
A jury has ruled in favor of a former Brentwood school teacher, who sued the Charleston County School District for racial discrimination, and awarded Elizabeth Kandrac more than $307,000 in damages.
After five days of testimony, and nearly seven hours of deliberations, the jury agreed with former Brentwood teacher Elizabeth Kandrac that she did work in a racially hostile environment and nothing was done about it. They then awarded her more than 307-thousand dollars in damages.
Two years ago, Kandrac says students threatened and verbally abused her with racial slurs and profanity, because she is white, and administrators ignored the problem. Kandrac says the case was not about money, but about sending a message to the Charleston County School District. She says, “We need to expose this. This isn’t the way teachers should have to live their lives. Everyday teachers would cry, go home crying, have their blood pressure checked daily by the nurse, stress attacks, headaches, you shouldn’t have to see a teacher cry in her classroom. I hope it sends a message to the school district this won’t be tolerated in the future, what we said was the truth.” Attorney Larry Kobrovsky says, “I think this is a major civil rights victory not only for teachers, but for students that just because you’re poor does not mean you can go to a school where cursing and dis-respecting teachers is tolerated. This is not only a victory for teachers by for students, because no student can learn in that kind of environment.”
Here’s a breakdown of the award: The jury ruled that the Charleston County School District will have to pay Elizabeth Kandrac $295,000 in actual damages; Former Brentwood principal Wanda Marshall and former associate superintendent Dr. Darrell Johnson will both have to pay $1,000, for a total of $297,000 in actual damages; The jury also ruled that Marshall and Johnson will have to pay punitive damages totaling $10,500.