Cheraina Bonner files retaliation complaint against Sarasota County School District
SARASOTA - Cheraina Bonner's battle is far from over. Bonner's attorney has filed a retaliation complaint against Sarasota County School District.
"It’s fairness, justice, and prevents other women from being victims in a balance of taxpayers’ dollars,” said Sara Blackwell.
After hours of hearing Sarasota County School District board members and residents voice their opinions on Superintendent Dr. Todd Bowden handling of alleged sexual harassment claims by Bonner. Now Bonner and Blackwell, her attorney, filed a retaliation complaint against the school district.
"We filed the complaint for sexual harassment retaliation yesterday and we had them served today. They have 20 days to answer," said Blackwell.
An emotional day for Bonner one that included her being removed from the school board chambers,.Though doubtful she hopes the lawsuit will bring her justice after months of hardship.
"Come to ahead I guess…I don’t know, I don’t know because I still don’t have a lot of faith in what’s going to happen on December 10th," said Bonner. "A part of me feels like it could’ve been all for show.”
The lawsuit states Dr. Bowden violated Title VII of the Rights Act by not promptly or properly handling Bonner’s complaint of sexual harassment. Blackwell says they are asking for a $500,000 settlement for all Bonner has endured with this investigation.
"No amount of money can give me my sleepless nights, no amount of money can take back the moments when I felt fear, there’s nothing anybody can do to give me back those moments,” said Bonner fighting back tears.
Bonner says she isn’t doing this just for herself but to make sure no one ever goes through what she did.
"My bottom line is to make sure that in Sarasota County School District that this doesn’t happen anyone" said Bonner. "We need to create a safe environment for all not just adults but also students."