LAKE CITY, Fla. (WCJB) — The topic of teacher bullying was front and center at Tuesday night's Columbia County School Board meeting.
First-hand accounts from two former students said they were bullied by a teacher at Columbia High School-- and that it is still going on.
Skyler Colley and Sarah Calzada graduated from Columbia High School in 2018.
They showed up to the Columbia County School Board meeting to speak out about their experiences of being bullied by a teacher who still works at the school, although they chose not to say the teacher's name due to their fear of legal consequences.
"We fear that there might be a case for slander against us or hurt of other people within the school system because of her connections that she has family-wise within the columbia county school system," said Calzada.
They shared stories of being yelled at and publicly embarrassed by the un-named math teacher and cross country coach.
"Constant singling you out in front of everyone, making fun of you, pointing out stuff, just constantly yelling at you, just harassing you down the hallways," said Colley.
They said those experiences had a lasting effect on their lives.
"It's sticks with you psychologically and makes you question, 'am I worth it to the people around me?'" said Calzada.
"I actually gained a lot of weight, I lost the endurance to run, I lost my courage and my strength, my confidence and all that. I didn't believe in myself as much as I used to. I felt worthless," said Colley.
Colley and Calzada said there are many others who have also been bullied by the same teacher, including both former and current students.
After hearing their stories, school board members assured that they will be investigating the claims of teacher bullying.
"I hope that the school system will actually take some disciplinary action against this teacher because of all the accusations that many students, not only us, have come forward with," said Calzada.