A lawsuit has been filed against an Upper East Middle school in New York that let go of a social studies teacher after he stood up to students who were bullying another student and for being gay.
The suit alleges that he was constantly under fire from the teachers and the students for being gay. The lawsuit also says that he was allegedly called derogatory terms by a student during one of his classes.
Robert Halkitis suffered a range of issues while teaching in the Robert F Wagner Middle School. During his tenure as a teacher in the school, Halkitis was said to be a well-liked teacher and had received 'effective' on his annual assessment for his teaching techniques. The teacher alleges that he received no support for the bullying that was happening in the school.
A teacher, a student and Robert F Wagner Middle School
The suit was a gateway for his emotions. Halkitis sexual orientation has been seen as a ground for many of the staff members to throw several allegations against him. The suit mentions that the school clerk suggested that he had a sexual relationship with another male teacher on school grounds.
But, according to the suit, his sexual orientation was not the only reason for the school to fire him. He was known to stand up for students in the school, and for not accepting students being bullied under his watch.
Halkitis had also mentioned to the school principal about the ongoing bullying happening in the school but no action was taken. In June, the school let go of him by saying that they wouldn't be renewing the contract. When questioned about the same he didn't receive an answer. The school has been alleged to be working towards removing his chances of getting another job as a teacher. Miranda Barbot, a DOE spokeswoman mentioned to the Post that they would be reviewing the suit.
School has been under fire for racism as well
The school has been under scrutiny for bullying before as well. Tyler Davis' parents were shocked to learn that the 11-year-old boy had been suffering from bullying and the teachers were aware of it. Racist slur was used by students in the school against the boy.
A white boy tied a yarn noose around the boy's neck and told him that is what his ancestors went through. His mother learned about the series of events that ensued later after the boy told his older sister about the bullying.