Thursday, August 27, 2009

School Board Votes To Give Teacher’s Accusers $121,000

Editorial

In a strange move—but perhaps one that should not come as any surprise—the Mount Vernon City School Board voted Wednesday to give the Dennis family $121,000. Had this been any other school board, you might expect that they had reached a settlement. Not so for this board.

The lawsuit will continue in spite of giving thousands of dollars—through the board’s insurance company—to the suing family. The headline in the Mount Vernon News would have you believe that the lawsuit has been settled—the News went so far as to title their article “School board resolves federal lawsuit.”

In return for the money, the Dennis family is supposed to drop as defendants: the board, superintendent and middle school principal. The lawsuit will continue but with the pretense of only including the teacher, John Freshwater.

The News quotes the board as making a statement that implies the payment to the Dennis family will help the school district focus on educating the students. “Being in the business of educating children, the board recognizes the need to remain focused on what is best for the students of this district,” the board stated, according to the News.

The payment, when it is made, will in effect help fund the family's continued lawsuit against the teacher. Does this help the district focus on educating the students? Would the students, and tax payers, been better served if the board had only agreed on a payment—if there really was a need to pay the suing family—on the condition that the lawsuit IN ITS ENTIRITY be dropped?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are right. It is a strange twist in the battle.

Anonymous said...

You obviously know nothing about law. The family can't do what they want with the money. It gets paid directly to the law firms, for time already billed, not future billing.

The teacher also has his own law suit against the family. I don't think they can include him in dismissing a suit because of that, as one reason.

mountvernon1805 said...

Anonymous said: “You obviously know nothing about law. The family can't do what they want with the money. It gets paid directly to the law firms, for time already billed, not future billing.”

The “settlement” does help fund the continuation of the lawsuit by the Dennis family. The actions by the board in this matter have created a situation where they are in effect funding—through money from their insurance company—a lawsuit against their own teacher.

Most of the money is going to legal costs the Dennis family has already incurred through their legal actions—basically “payment number one.” This keeps the Dennis family from having to carry a huge upfront burden for the cost of the lawsuit against Freshwater. They now have more of their personal funds freed up to continue their legal battle against Freshwater—thanks to the school board.

Anonymous said: “The teacher also has his own law suit against the family. I don't think they can include him in dismissing a suit because of that, as one reason.”

Freshwater absolutely could have been included in the “settlement”—in which case it would have been a real settlement. The lawsuit by Freshwater in no way interferes with the ability of the Dennis family to settle the lawsuit that they are pursuing.

Anonymous said...

I thought this was about religion and the persecution there of. It seems petty to whine about the money and who happens to have more.

Post a Comment

Comments from all ideological viewpoints are welcome. However, please avoid abusive language and ad hominem attacks.