Gary Peel sues high school on behalf of teacher

The August 2002 lawsuit was filed by Peel, 62, on behalf of high school teacher Deborah Pontious, who he later married.

It maintains her suspension and removal from the Effingham High School campus by three armed guards April 25, 2002, was to intimidate her for criticizing the curriculum.

Pontious was suspended without pay until the end of the school year for allegedly wearing a see-through skirt and no underwear, but was returned to her teaching position for the 2002-2003 school year.

Gary Peel later added his own claim to Pontious' lawsuit against the school district, alleging district personnel unlawfully entered Pontious' school computer and read e-mails between lawyer and client.

School officials discovered an Aug. 29, 2002, e-mail between the two that contained what Peel characterized in a legal brief as material that would be "highly offensive to a reasonable person."

Pontious quit the district in January 2003.