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A white teacher who brought racial discrimination allegations against the Charleston County School District in a federal lawsuit has settled for $50,000 and says he hopes his experience will encourage other teachers to speak out.
The case was resolved by mediation without an admission of wrongdoing by the school district.
“Hopefully, out of this, things will change,” former Brentwood Middle teacher John Smith, a 51-year-old retired submariner, said.
During his first year as a public school teacher, Smith taught at the predominantly black school. He claimed the school’s administration allowed a racially hostile environment in which students swore and were disrespectful and that he was subjected to jeers and harassment daily.
In the lawsuit, he said former Brentwood Principal Wanda Marshall “would not allow students to be disciplined for racial slurs or other disruptive behavior toward white teachers.”
Smith, now working as longshoreman, said his complaints led to not being invited back to teach. He also said he was blackballed from other schools in Charleston County.
Note: Brentwood Middle School is also being sued by Brandy Stokes on similar grounds.
(Posted on November 9, 2005)