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Teacher sues Florida school district for wrongful termination


In 2007, a Florida teacher pleaded guilty to criminal battery after he allegedly pushed a student's head into a door after a 2006 incident. But despite it being his first offense, and it being almost three years later, in 2010 the state Education Practices Commission suspended his teaching license because of a 2008 law mandating such sanctions of any teacher convicted of misdemeanor battery of a minor.

When the School Board found out about the license suspension, the school district immediately fired the teacher. Now, in an attempt to regain his job and back-pay on wages, the teacher has sued the school district who may have violated his rights when they let him go.

According to the state's 1st District Court of Appeals, when the Education Practices Commission suspended the teacher's license, they did so after retroactively applying a law that the state never intended as such. In the 1st District Court of Appeals' opinion, the teacher should have never lost his license and therefore would not have been wrongfully terminated under the circumstances.

It was because of this appeals' court decision that the man requested that the school district rehire him. But the district refused arguing that "there's no time machine that can take him back." The former teacher has since sued, requesting that he should be reinstated and paid for more than two years of lost salary as a result of his termination.

A situation such as this is definitely not one that a person would want to tackle alone. Anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation are encouraged to seek legal representation.

Source: The Sun Sentinel, "Judge to decide whether teacher should get job back," Marc Freeman, Feb. 4, 2013

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