Academic journal article Journal of Law and Education


Academic journal article Journal of Law and Education


Article excerpt


Faculty and Administration

Principal sued city Department of Education (DOE) for failing to provide legal counsel for her defense. A special education student sued the principal for discrimination when she did not permit the student to represent the school in a regional spelling bee. The DOE refused to provide legal counsel for the principal's defense on the grounds she acted outside the scope of her employment. Held: For the principal. Because the principal was exercising professional discretion in the discharge of her duty, which fell within the scope of employment, the DOE must provide legal counsel for her defense. In re Brown v. N.Y.C. Dept. of Educ, 891 N.YS.2d 878 (NY. Sup. Ct. 2009).

Teacher sought review of revocation of his teaching certificate. The teacher was arrested for, and acquitted of, sexual misconduct in the presence of a student. However, the board of education revoked the teacher's permanent teaching certificate after conducting a hearing that allowed testimony that was not allowed at the criminal trial. Held: For the board of education. Although the student providing testimony against the teacher was the sole eyewitness, other evidence and other witnesses supported the student's credibility. In contrast, the teacher's testimony was inconsistent. Furthermore, traditional rules of evidence were not mandated for the hearing. In re Mow v. Mills, 896 N. YS .2d 493 (N.Y. App. Div. 3d Dept. 2010).

School district issued notice of probable cause for discharge to teacher for retaliation against student. A teacher called a former student who had participated in a harassment investigation against him a "bitch" and "whore" and lied to an investigator about the harassment allegations. Held: For the school district. Sufficient cause for a discharge required either an unremediable deficiency that materially affected the teacher's performance or conduct of the teacher which lacked any positive educational aspect or legitimate professional purpose. Lying during an investigation of professional misconduct lacked any professional purpose. Fed. Way Sch. Dist. 210 v. Vinson, 225 P.3d 379 (Wash. App. Div. 1 2010).

Teacher appealed conviction of misdemeanor sexual abuse challenging allowance of expert testimony. The teacher appealed admission of expert testimony arguing that the subject matter was not beyond the average juror's knowledge, the expert was unqualified due to lack of formal training, and the expert's methods were not generally accepted. Held: For the United States. The testimony was allowed because courts cannot presume all jurors have the necessary knowledge about child molestation. Additionally, expertise can come from scholarship or experience, and the teacher objected to the expert's qualifications not methodology. Jones v. U.S., 990 A.2d 970 (D .C. 2010).

Former student sued school district alleging negligence. A middle school student had an intimate relationship with a privately-employed security guard who worked at her school. She ran away from home and lived with the guard for ten years. The student alleged she suffered sexual abuse because the school district was aware of and failed to prevent the inappropriate relationship. Held: For the school district. The student failed to file her suit within the time prescribed by statute. Further, the delay in bringing suit was due to the student deliberately concealing her whereabouts from her parents and law enforcement. Kach v. Hose, 589 F3d 626 (3d Cir. 2009).

Teacher and family sued school and others alleging defamation and invasion of privacy. The school sent a letter to the parents and all affiliated parishioners relating the sex offender status of a teacher's spouse. The teacher was assured her relationship with her husband would have no effect on her employment, but her contract was not renewed. Held: For the teacher in part and for the school in part. The letter, sent to the entire parish, and implying students would be unsafe with the teacher supported the defamation claim. …

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