A former counselor at Bergen County Technical Schools has filed a lawsuit claiming she was fired after reporting a colleague who wanted to bring a gun to the school’s office, according to a report by NJ.com.
Dumont resident Laura Martin was working as a career counselor for special needs students at the school’s “One Stop Career Center” in Hackensack when her newly-hired coworker said she wanted to carry a weapon, court papers said.
The suit, filed in Bergen County Superior Court last month, claims the coworker “had asked Human Resources if she could bring a gun to work because of the type of people who came in for assistance.”
Although the suit says that the HR department denied the coworker’s request, she then apparently told Martin and another coworker that “there were no metal detectors at the school, so she could bring the gun anyway.”
The students who require services at the office in Hackensack “largely include minority teenagers,” NJ.com said citing the suit.
Martin subsequently reported the coworker’s comments to HR after she became concerned due to the recent influx of school shootings nationwide,” as well as her coworker’s “generally odd behavior,” the suit states.
When no action was taken, Martin reportedly made a second complaint to the Hackensack Police Department, NJ.com says.
"After this police report, Ms. Martin (was) harassed and ostracized at BCTS," the suit says.
School superintendent Dr. Howard Lerner was not available for comment when NJ Advance reached out last Thursday.
Martin was eventually ordered by her doctor to take time off from work as a result of the stress and anxiety from harassment, the suit states.
Named in the suit are Martin’s former supervisors as well as the school, which reportedly violated New Jersey’s Conscientious Employee Protection Act.
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