By Michelle Garcia
Originally published on Advocate.com November 13 2012 5:06 PM ET
A Florida high school teacher is fighting her school district over its poor handling of a parent's accusation that she turned his daughter into a lesbian.
The Deerfield Beach High School student's stepfather realized that his stepdaughter was a lesbian through her Twitter feed. He resorted to sending her inflammatory messages on Twitter, which the teacher, Juliet Hibbs, eventually discovered.
"As each message came, she got smaller," Hibbs told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "I watched her get destroyed."
As a result, Hibbs reported the stepfather's harassment as child abuse and cyberbullying. Since the young woman was 18, an abuse counselor also told her that she was not required to live at home anymore. She never returned home, according to the article. This prompted the young woman's parents to request an investigation from the school board. Hibbs was investigated for misconduct after the parents alleged to principal John Marlow that she turned their daughter into a lesbian.
The investigation was later dropped, but Hibbs says her 10-year career has been ruined because of the incident. Hibbs, who is straight, said she was being bullied out of her job because of her outspokenness on other subjects.
"Before Deefield, I had an impeccable record," she told the Sun-Sentinel. Now she is on medical leave, dealing with the trauma of the incident.
Hibbs has filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the school district, Marlow, and the Deerfield Beach High School assistant principal.
Hibbs is also determined to run for a seat on the local school board.
"I reported properly and I was charged with professional misconduct for reporting the abuse," she wrote in a Facebook post Monday. "This was a tactic by my bullying principal."