CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A former Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teacher has filed a federal lawsuit against the school system, alleging she was assaulted and insulted by students and school administrators, and had to resign after officials failed to make accommodations for her sensitivity to chemicals.
Nada Feldman, 67, filed suit Thursday in federal court in Charlotte, seeking $67,500 in pay and other damages on the grounds of workplace harassment and discrimination, among other things.
In the lawsuit, she says she worked at several Charlotte middle schools from 2006 to 2009, but resigned due to her medical condition and what she called "a severe campaign and environment of hostility and harassment" against her.
Her lawsuit says disruptive students at J.M. Alexander Middle School called her "whitey" and "bitch" and branded her a racist during state end-of-grade testing in 2007. The suit says the principal falsely accused her of making a profane, derogatory remark to a student.
After she was transferred to Ranson Middle School, she alleges, police took a zip gun and a .22-caliber revolver from one of her students. However, she alleges in the lawsuit that CMS officials told the press only a pen knife had been confiscated.
CMS spokesperson Kasia Thompson said today the district hasn't been served with the lawsuit and would have no immediate comment.
Feldman, reached by phone today, also declined to comment.
Feldman says in the lawsuit that she resigned in 2009 after CMS officials repeatedly failed to make accommodations to protect her from chemicals such as perfume, paint, bleach tar and cleaning solutions. She has a medically documented sensitivity to such substances, the lawsuit says.
She filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, but the agency told her it was unable to conclude whether her civil rights had been violated.