Cheraina Bonner speaks publicly about sexual harassment claim against county school official
SARASOTA - "I have been insulted, belittled, and humiliated," said Cheraina Bonner. "Most of you don’t realize how many sleepless nights I’ve had, or bouts with anxiety and depression that I have to experience since this has started.”
Tuesday night’s school board meeting heard many voicing their support for Bonner, the woman accusing Sarasota County School District COO Jeff Maultsby of sexual harassment, after Superintendent Dr. Todd Bowden requested an expansion of the investigation look into Bonner’s possible ties to the teacher’s union.
"From an emotional standpoint it’s a roller coaster, one day is different from the next,” said Bonner.
Bonner spoke publicly for the first time since filing two complaints against Mautlsby and Bowden after she says her claims went ignored.
"To finally be able to release some of my feelings it was a relief but very emotional," said Bonner. "I feel like I’ve been – like I said belittled, haven’t been taken serious, or I’ve been neglected and my claims have been swept under the rug.”
Bonner says Bowden’s investigation looking into her possible ties to the teacher’s union is shameful.
"At the last board meeting there was a lot of things that were said about me publicly, in relations to some of my personal affairs," she said. "So I felt it was time for me to express my feelings as well.”
With her mother by her side Bonner says she done being silenced hopes her experience helps other use their voice to stand up for equality. "I won’t lie and say it’s an easy thing to do, but it’s the right thing to do and I was taught if you side on the side of right, you can’t be wrong," she said.
Maultsby continues to be on paid leave while the investigation is ongoing.