Academic journal article Journal of Law and Education

Recent Decisions - PRIMARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION

Academic journal article Journal of Law and Education

Recent Decisions - PRIMARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION

Article excerpt

Employment and Dismissal - Teachers

Teacher sued school, school board and police chief alleging negligence and violations of due process and equal protection. Teacher was accused of engaging in sexual relationship with a student and placed under investigation. Teacher had previously reported one of the investigators for misconduct. Teacher was ultimately suspended. Held: For the teacher in part and for the school, school board, and police chief in part. School and school board were rational in investigation and breached no duty hiring its investigators. However, investigator's possible bias may have tainted investigative proceedings. Purvis v. Bd. of Educ. of Hall High Sch. Dist. 502, 599 F. Supp. 2d 968 (CD. 111. 2009).

Teacher appealed Board of Education 's decision to terminate employment. Teacher engaged in sexual relationship with a former student. Student was a minor when relationship began and did not attend school within teacher's district. Teacher's employment was terminated for immorality. Held: For the Board of Education. Although sexual relationship occurred outside classroom, a reasonable connection existed between teacher's relationship with student and teacher's fitness to teach. Lehto v. Bd. of Educ. of Caesar Rodney Sch. Dist., 962 A.2d 222 (Del. 2008).

Teacher appealed conviction of possessing child pornography. Student had child pornography on an open share file believed to be accessible by teacher. Teacher's computer was seized. Held: For the teacher. Teacher's sharing of commercial movies with student did not create a reasonable inference that child pornography was also shared. Further, mere interest in adult pornography did not give substantial basis to conclude child pornography was on teacher's computer. Investigators violated teacher's Fourteenth Amendment rights and therefore, conviction was reversed. Cmmw. v. Kaupp, 899 N.E.2d 809 (Mass. 2009).

Teacher sued Department of Education alleging violation of Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Teacher was terminated after several complaints and poor performance reviews. Teacher filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaint. Held: For the Department of Education. Teacher presented no evidence that age was a factor in poor performance reviews. Further, negative evaluations and complaints occurred before teacher filed the EEOC claim. Thus, there was no inference of retaliation. Papasmiris v. Dist. 20 of N.Y.C. Dept. of Educ, 299 Fed. Appx. 97 (2d Cir. 2008) (unpublished).

Teacher sued school alleging violation of Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Teacher's employment was terminated after receiving several written complaints from students and teachers. Teacher was also given an unsatisfactory performance evaluation. Held: For the school. School demonstrated legitimate, non-retaliatory reasons for teacher's termination. Teacher did not demonstrate evidence of negative consequences following her age complaint. Thus, claim was not validated. Mauskopf v. Dist. 20 of N.Y.C. Dept. ofEduc, 299 Fed. Appx. 100 (2d Cir. 2008) (unpublished).

Teacher sued School District alleging Title VII employment discrimination, retaliation and violation of Texas Whistleblower Act (TWA). Teacher received numerous complaints and negative evaluations. Teacher's contract was not renewed and she resigned without filing a grievance. Held: For the School District. Teacher did not follow administrative procedures nor provide substantial evidence of discrimination. Further, because School District did not have notice that teacher had initiated an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint before her resignation, retaliation claim was not established. Garrett v. Judson Indep. Sch. Dist., 299 Fed. Appx. 337 (5th Cir. 2008) (unpublished).

Teachers' union sued school board, seeking injunction from revised drug testing policy. To combat workplace drug abuse, school board implemented policy allowing for random drug testing. …

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