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COA upholds termination of Bloomington high school teacher

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Finding that substantial evidence supported the decision by the school board to end Bloomington High School South teacher Stephen Smith’s contract, and that the board followed proper procedures in canceling the contract, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the lower court’s affirmation of the board’s decision.

The Monroe County Community School Corporation Board of School Trustees ended Smith’s contract in the summer of 2011 for insubordination, neglect of duty and other good or just cause. Smith, who taught at the school for 20 years and coached the freshman boys’ baseball team, was placed on paid administrative leave following loud and obscene outbursts at a social studies department meeting in May 2011. The outbursts came just a month after he suffered a severe injury after being hit in the head by a baseball.

As part of the leave, Smith was not allowed on any MCCSC property. The administrative leave was extended on July 15, 2011, and he was informed over the phone the same conditions applied. His termination came after he went to an elementary school to return a key to a staff member.

Many of Smith’s challenges on appeal asked the judges to reweigh evidence, which it would not do. In Stephen G. Smith v. Board of School Trustees of the Monroe County Community School Corporation, 53A01-1211-MI-511,the appellate court found the rule prohibiting him from any school property was not ambiguous or unreasonable. It also found that the board’s conclusion that Smith willfully disobeyed the rule prohibiting him from school property is not clearly erroneous.

Smith’s due process rights were not violated because the notice given to him by the school was sufficient, the judges held. The notice amply stated the reasons for the preliminary decision to end his contract and the summary facts put him on notice of the facts the school corporation planned to present at the conference before the board.

 The COA also noted no error in the admission of hearsay testimony and that the board’s decision was not based solely on hearsay evidence.
 

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  1. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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