A lesbian teacher at Tor Bank School in Dundonald, Belfast has won £15,000 in damages after she alleged the headmaster “bullied and harassed” her over her sexuality after she rebuked his advances. Jill Young, 37, claimed she had no option but to resign over the treatment.
Ms Young — a special needs teacher in a civil partnership with another female employee at the school — subsequently claimed constructive dismissal. South Eastern Education and Library Board have agreed to pay her compensation without admitting liability.
Bullying and harassment
As part of her claim against the school, Ms Young made several allegations against the headmaster. For example, following her move to a classroom near a road, he said that he hoped her next move would be “out the school gate”. And when he saw her holding a sheet of paper, she alleged he said that he hoped it was her “letter of resignation”.
She also claimed the school’s deputy-head joined in the “campaign of less favourable treatment”. On one occasion, she alleged the he called a classroom assistant to “discuss her sexual orientation” and also said several complaints had been made about her work.
The Equality Commission said: “Frustrated by her alleged treatment and strained working relationships the claimant resigned and claimed constructive dismissal.”
A spokesperson for the South Eastern Education and Library Board said that it was the board’s policy not to comment on individual cases, and reaffirmed its commitment to equality of opportunity in employment and fair working practices.
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