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11/04/81 BARBARA AARON v. ALABAMA STATE TENURE

November 4, 1981

BARBARA AARON
v.
ALABAMA STATE TENURE COMMISSION, ET AL.



Appeal from Baldwin Circuit Court

Before Holmes, Judge. Wright, P.j., and Bradley, J., concur.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Holmes

HOLMES, JUDGE

This is a teacher tenure case.

The teacher, Barbara Aaron, taught fourteen years in the Baldwin County school system. For the past nine years she taught physical education at the Baldwin County High School.

On September 3, 1980, the Baldwin County Board of Education advised the teacher of the proposed cancellation of her contract. The teacher contested her termination at a hearing before the Board. The Board voted to cancel the teacher's contract, whereupon the teacher appealed to the Alabama State Tenure Commission.

The Commission sustained the action of the Board of Education. Pursuant to § 16-24-38, Code of Ala. 1975, the teacher filed a petition for mandamus with the Circuit Court of Baldwin County, Alabama. The trial court denied the petition and the teacher appeals.

The teacher, through able counsel, alleges denial of the petition of mandamus was error because: 1) the evidence presented did not prove incompetency or insubordination on the part of the teacher; 2) the person to whom the teacher was allegedly insubordinate did not have supervisory authority over the teacher; and 3) evidence that the teacher received unemployment compensation after she was given notice of termination was improperly received and considered by the Board.

We find no error with the circuit court's denial of the petition for mandamus and affirm.

Viewed with the attendant presumptions, the record reveals several incidents during the 1979-80 school year which precipitated the Board's action.

In October, 1979, the teacher did not keep her physical education class dressed out for the entire class period. The Director of Physical Education, Charles McKinney, told the teacher she was required to keep her class dressed out the entire hour. Mr. McKinney testified that the teacher became upset and told him she did not have to obey Mr. McKinney's instructions. The teacher purportedly told Mr. McKinney she was only required to follow instructions from the principal or the school superintendent.

In April, 1980, the teacher and Mr. McKinney again became involved in a heated Discussion over Mr. McKinney's act of disciplining one of the teacher's students. Mr. McKinney admitted that he shouted at the teacher. The teacher again told Mr. McKinney in a loud and angry voice she did not have to follow his instructions.

There was other evidence that the teacher often sat down in gym class rather than actively coaching her students. Further, the teacher failed to comply with the grading standards set down for the entire physical education staff. Several members of the physical education faculty testified that these acts, among others, on the part of the teacher disrupted the teaching staff.

The Board of Education gave the teacher timely and proper notice of the proposed cancellation of her contract. The Board stated that the basis for the proposed cancellation was incompetency and insubordination. The Board listed six specific reasons to ...


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