SAVANNAH -- Some teachers stand students in the corner, others expel them from class or take points off their overall grade. Theodore Brown sues for $100 million.
Mr. Brown, a Savannah Technical Institute math instructor of 24 years, has filed lawsuits in Chatham County Superior Court against two students. The students claim the only thing they're guilty of is trying to get an education.
Mr. Brown says his career and reputation were damaged by Amanda Glover and Rechon Ross. He is seeking $100 million in punitive damages and court costs from each of them.
Mr. Brown is representing himself. The students are being represented by attorney Kathleen Horne, who says her clients are neither rich nor classroom troublemakers.
"They're just women trying to do something with their lives," Ms. Horne said.
Ms. Glover was a student in Math 97, a remedial class that Mr. Brown taught this summer. His lawsuit alleges she refused to purchase a textbook and disrupted the learning process by borrowing books from other students during class.
Mr. Brown claims she became verbally abusive to him on at least three occasions and embarrassed him in front of the class. He alleges she filed complaints with his supervisors, which resulted in disciplinary action that he declined to discuss.
Mr. Brown claims he suffered character defamation, humiliation in front of students, faculty and staff, a blemished career record, and mental and emotional distress.
Ms. Ross took Mr. Brown's Math 101 class this summer. The instructor says she also defamed and embarrassed him, causing trouble with his supervisors and damaging his career record and emotional well-being.
Ms. Ross is raising two children with sickle-cell anemia, a hereditary disease that prevents the normal flow of oxygen-carrying blood through the body and causes pain and damage to vital organs. She said she didn't enroll in school to end up in court with her teacher.
"I was working two jobs, and I went back to school to be able to do better for my kids," Ms. Ross said. "Then in my first semester, I ended up with this."
Most people laugh at the thought of a teacher suing students after a difficult day in class.
"Even the sheriff's deputy who served me with the paperwork was laughing," Ms. Ross said.
But this isn't funny to the parties involved.
Ms. Ross said the case filed against her is absurd but she still finds it difficult to walk Savannah Tech's halls each day, wondering if her accuser is around the corner. Ms. Horne is working to complete a response to the lawsuits.