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PEASE v. MILLCREEK TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT. (10/09/63)

October 9, 1963

PEASE, APPELLANT,
v.
MILLCREEK TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT.



Appeal, No. 52, March T., 1963, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Erie County, May T., 1962, No. 409, in case of George L. Pease, Jr. v. Millcreek Township School District. Order reversed; reargument refused November 27, 1963.

COUNSEL

Robert B. McCullough with him William E. Hirt, Howard N. Plate, and Quinn, Leemhuis, Plate and Dwyer, for appellant.

William W. Knox, with him Conrad A. Pearson, and Knox, Weber, Pearson & McLaughlin, for appellee.

Lewis F. Adler, for Pennsylvania State Education Association, amicus curiae.

Marjorie Hanson Matson, for Pennsylvania Federation of Teachers, amicus curiae.

Before Bell, C.j., Jones, Cohen, Eagen and O'brien, JJ.

Author: Jones

[ 412 Pa. Page 380]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BENJAMIN R. JONES

This appeal challenges the propriety of an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Erie County which

[ 412 Pa. Page 381]

    upheld the dismissal of a high school teacher upon the statutory ground of incompetency.*fn1

On June 26, 1961, George L. Pease, Jr. (Pease), entered into a written contract with the School District of Millcreek Township, Erie County (District) under the terms of which the District employed Pease as a professional employee at a stated salary, and, in accordance with his duties under the contract, he taught in McDowell High School. During the school years 1958-1959 and 1960-1961, Pease had been employed by the District as a teacher of history and problems of democracy and during the school year 1959-1960 he had taught in Alaska. It is conceded that, as a classroom teacher in his qualified subjects, Pease always earned completely satisfactory ratings. Pease entered upon his teaching duties and continued to serve the District in that capacity until December 21, 1961 at which time he was dismissed, effective December 31, 1961, by the Board of school directors of the District (Board) on the grounds of incompetence, persistent negligence and persistent and wilful violation of the school laws. It is conceded that the manner in which Pease was dismissed, i.e., by the presentation of charges in writing, hearings, etc., was in strict accordance with the provisions of the Public School Code.*fn2

From the Board's action Pease appealed to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (Superintendent). The ...


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