Teacher Receives $500,000 in Wrongful Termination Settlement
Kelly Wallace, a Montgomery County High School teacher, recently received a $500,000 settlement from a lawsuit she filed against the board of education and the former superintendent.
It is one of several lawsuits filed by employees who worked for Superintendent Josh Powell in the Montgomery County School system. Powel has since been terminated and his certification revoked until 2020.
According to Wallace’s attorney Michael J. Cox, “… it took over two and a half years of litigation and until the eve of a jury trial for the defendants to finally do the right thing.”
Wallace was an employee of the Montgomery County Board of Education beginning in 2010. She worked as a health and PE teacher, as well as department chair and a volleyball coach at Montgomery County High School.
In documents related to the case, Wallace stated she was the victim of an ongoing campaign of retaliation, led by Powell, ending in non-renewal of employment following the 2013-14 school year. Powell believes the retaliation was in response to a Title IX complaint she filed against the school district regarding the use of the school’s weight room.
Targeted by School District for Seeking Equality
In a statement to the Herald-Leader, Powell said, “Shortly after beginning my tenure with Montgomery County Schools, it became apparent to me that male and female academic and athletic programs were not equitable. Because I was an advocate for equality, I was targeted by Superintendent Josh Powell and other Montgomery County School District employees when an anonymous Title IX complaint was filed against the district. When my principal, Jim Dusso, would not provide negative teaching evaluations to support my dismissal as directed by Powell, a scenario was created to rationalize my departure. This monetary settlement does not cover all the extensive financial and emotional damages I have suffered, but it does allow me to move on.”
Wallace alleged in her lawsuit that Powell directed school officials to make sure her evaluations reflected “issues sufficient to justify that her employment not be renewed” even though she had had no previous performance issues. One school official who has also filed a lawsuit against the district and Powell refused to alter the evaluation documents and called Powell’s requests “illegal and unethical.”
Powell has neither admitted nor denied liability in any of the settlements. According to the Education Professional Standards Board he “drove many good educators out of the district and crushed the careers of others.”
Previous legal action against Powell has resulted in several settlements ranging from $140,000 to $250,000.
Speak to Someone Immediately If You Were Wrongfully Terminated
Shocking as it might seem, wrongful termination lawsuits are quite common. Our firm has recovered millions of dollars for people who were wrongfully terminated from their jobs.
There is a limited amount of time in which you have to act if you are wrongfully terminated. With only 180 days to act after wrongful termination, it’s important you seek the counsel of an experienced attorney as soon as possible. If you wait, you could lose your opportunity to file a civil suit and recover the compensation you deserve.
For more information or to speak to someone about whether you were wrongfully terminated, contact Heavens Law at 888.897.5377