Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Appeals Court Upholds Grant of Unemployment to Special Education Teacher

The Ninth District Court of Appeals has upheld the decision of a trial court finding that a special education teacher was terminated without just cause.

In that case, the special education teacher was discharged by her board of education for allegedly abusing a student in her care. She was initially denied unemployment benefits, after there was a finding that she was discharged for just cause. However, the teacher continued her appeals, and the decision was subsequently reversed by the review commission.

The review commission's decision was appealed to the Court of Common Pleas, which upheld the decision of the review commission. That decision was affirmed by the Ninth District. In reaching its decision that the trial court's decision was not unlawful, unreasonable, or against the manifest weight of the evidence, the appeals court relied on the facts that a county children services did not reveal bruising on the child's wrist or neck. Also, the children services’ final determination was that the claim of abuse was unsubstantiated and the Center for the Teaching Profession after conducting an investigation determined there was no abuse and renewed the appellee individual's teaching certificate. Furthermore, the state Department of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities did not place the appellee individual on its registry of those who had abused students.

Accordingly, the teacher was able to collect her unemployment benefits.

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