A teacher at Macon's Cirrus Academy claims she was harassed because she reported violations of state special-education rules.

Diana Humble filed a civil-rights lawsuit Thursday at the U.S. District Court in Macon.

She is claiming protection under the state's whistleblower law, which says people can not be punished for reporting violations. She also claims she was discriminated against because she's white, while most of Cirrus's administration and staff is black.

In March, a state Department of Education report said the Cirrus Academy charter school was short-changing its special-needs students. They ordered the school to put staffing in place to provide services for those students or risk losing state funding. The report says three staff members complained to the state about special education staffing and policies at Cirrus.

Her lawsuit says, "Ms. Humble's supervisors threatened and warned her not to contact the Georgia Department of Education or to report violations.

After she did that, Humble claims, the "hostility and retaliation" from her supervisors increased.

Humble has been on unpaid leave since January, on advice of a medical professional, due to harassment and "anonymous threats of physical violence," the suit says.

Her lawsuit is asking for at least $50,000 and legal fees.

We could not reach Cirrus Academy officials for comment.

According to her lawsuit, Humble filed a discrimination complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in January; the agency dismissed her complaint in February.

Ken Barton Statement by 13WMAZ on Scribd