Education A National Roundup

California Court Backs District in Dismissing Untenured Teacher

By Ann Bradley — September 22, 2004 1 min read

A California appeals court has upheld a lower-court ruling rejecting a damages suit filed by an untenured Los Angeles teacher who twice blocked random weapons searches of her classrooms.

The former art teacher at Locke High School objected to the searches despite warnings from her principal that they were critical to the safety of both students and teachers. The principal recommended that the teacher’s one-year contract not be renewed.

The teacher sued the Los Angeles Unified School District, accusing it of wrongful termination and violation of her freedom of speech. A trial judge held that she could not sue for wrongful termination because she had not been fired, but rather was not hired for another year.

The Second District Court of Appeal, in Los Angeles, upheld that ruling on Sept. 10. The appeals court said that the teacher was claiming greater rights than fully credentialed teachers have.