District Found to Retaliate Against Teacher for Past Suit

By Caroline Hendrie — September 22, 2004 1 min read

The Clark County school district in Nevada has been found liable for retaliating against a teacher after she was fired and then reinstated as part of an earlier legal battle.

In a unanimous ruling on Sept. 1, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, in San Francisco, upheld a lower-court ruling against the 280,000-student district. Finding that the district had violated her First Amendment right of access to the courts, a jury awarded elementary school teacher Trudi Lytle $75,000 in damages.

This is the second retaliation case that Ms. Lytle has brought against the district. She filed an earlier claim after being fired following a 1992 letter she wrote to state senators criticizing a new district program, court papers say. Before her firing, officials had sought to transfer her to another school and she refused. She was awarded $135,000 in damages.

Her second suit, filed in 1995, claimed that administrators retaliated against her after the court reinstated her.