Teacher Abused by Students Wins $125k Settlement

Susan Edelman, NY Post, June 12, 2016

A Queens teacher won a $125,000 city settlement for injuries caused by out-of-control teens who also harassed her racially and sexually while school leaders did nothing to stop it, she says.

Kathy Perez suffered five herniated discs in her back, two in her neck and a torn meniscus in two incidents at MS 72 Catherine and Count Basie in Jamaica about 18 months apart.

In the first case, teens racing around the room trampled her. In the second, a girl shoved her to the floor. Both times, ambulance workers removed Perez on a stretcher.

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Perez says several kids taunted and threatened her as they spewed X-rated profanity. They called her “white bitch,” pelted her with pencils, and tossed rocks as she walked to her car, warning that she would “get shot” and “get my ass kicked.”

Among the reports she filed:

  • One boy ran around class waving a collapsible cane, narrowly missing students and swinging it close to Perez’s head. A dean removed the boy for several minutes and “then sent him back in–with the cane.”
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  • One girl sprayed perfume in Perez’s face. The same girl taped sanitary pads colored with red markers around the room, shouting at Perez: “Nobody wants to see your nasty period on the wall, dumbass!”
  •  A boy climbed on a table and “pretended to hump his backpack,” telling Perez, “You know you want it so drop your pants. I’m gonna give it to you hard.”

Her attempts to control the hooligans met with accusations of racism.

“‘It’s because I have a flat top (haircut) and I’m black you f–in’ racist,” she quoted a boy she told to sit down.

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[Editor’s Note: MS 72 Catherine and Count Basie is 71 percent black, 14 percent Asian, 13 percent Hispanic, and 1 percent white.]

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