News Update

March 11, 1987 1 min read
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A high-school English teacher who claims her principal pressured her into changing a star basketball player’s failing grade so he could continue playing on the school’s undefeated team has filed suit against the Campbell County (Tenn.) school board and superintendent.

Anne McGhee initially resigned her post after changing the grade, but she later asked to be reinstated.

Instead, the district’s superintendent suspended her without pay and benefits, Ms. McGhee said last week. (See Education Week, Feb. 4, 1987.)

The lawsuit, which was filed in Campbell County Chancery Court, contends that the district denied the teacher her due-process rights and arbitrarily and illegally suspended her, Ms. McGhee said.

The suit asks, she added, that the court restore her tenure, and her salary and benefits for the remainder of the school year.

“I am not asking for my job back,’' she said.

The superintendent, Kenneth Miller, and lawyers representing the district last week declined to discuss Ms. McGhee’s suspension or the lawsuit.

“We feel we are in the right,’' Mr. Miller said.

The Arizona State Board of Education has voted to reassess a rule adopted last December giving school districts broad authority to set their own academic-eligibility requirements for student participation in extracurricular activities.

James Brunstein, associate superintendent of public instruction, said the board voted 5 to 1 on Feb. 24 in favor of a proposed new rule that would bar students who receive a failing grade in any course from participating in such activities until the grade is brought up to at least a D. He said the board would hold a public hearing in late May before taking a final vote on the proposal.

Last year, the state legislature passed a measure directing the board to set statewide standards. The board responded by requiring all districts to adopt eligibility requirements, but gave them leeway in the development and enforcement of the rules. (See Education Week, Dec. 10, 1986.)

According to Mr. Brunstein, lawmakers who were upset that the board did not take stronger action had threatened to push for legislation requiring participants in activities to maintain a C average or better.

A version of this article appeared in the March 11, 1987 edition of Education Week as News Update


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