Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in case of Albert Frantz v. Baldwin-Whitehall School District, No. 2529 October Term, 1971.
Veto J. Rich, with him Margiotti, Rich & Gravina, for appellant.
Edward R. Lawrence, Jr., with him Edward R. Lawrence and Lawrence, Plum & Lawrence, for appellee.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Mencer. Dissenting Opinion by Judge Kramer.
In this appeal the appellant is Albert Frantz (Frantz) who has been a school teacher for a period of forty-one years. Frantz was employed by the Baldwin School District on September 6, 1955 and subsequently by its successor district, Baldwin-Whitehall School District (Baldwin-Whitehall), until June 25, 1971. A special meeting of the Board of School Directors of Baldwin-Whitehall (Board) was held on that date and action was taken to terminate Frantz's employment. Frantz was 62 years of age on June 25, 1971.
Frantz filed an action in mandamus for reinstatement and back pay. The lower court, sitting without a jury, tried the case and rendered a verdict, upon which judgment was entered, in favor of Baldwin-Whitehall and against Frantz. Exceptions to the verdict were filed by Frantz and after argument the lower court en banc dismissed the exceptions. This appeal followed and we affirm the court below.
Section 1122 of the Public School Code of 1949, Act of March 10, 1949, P.L. 30, as amended, 24 P.S. § 11-1122, reads as follows:
"The only valid causes for termination of a contract heretofore or hereafter entered into with a professional employe shall be immorality, incompetency, intemperance, cruelty, persistent negligence, mental derangement, advocation of or participating in un-American or subversive doctrines, persistent and wilful violation of the school laws of this Commonwealth on the part of the professional employe: Provided, That boards of
school directors may terminate the service of any professional employe who has attained the age of sixty-two except a professional employe who is a member of the old age and survivors insurance system pursuant to the provisions of the act, approved the first day of June, one thousand nine hundred fifty-six (Pamphlet Laws 1973) [65 P.S. §§ 201-209]. In such case the board may terminate the service of any such professional employe at the age of sixty-five or at the age at which the employe becomes eligible to receive full benefits under the Federal Social Security Act [42 U.S.C.A. §§ 401-425].
"Nothing within the foregoing enumeration of causes, shall be interpreted to conflict with the retirement of professional employes upon proper evidence of disability, or the election by professional employes to retire during the period of voluntary retirement, or the authority of the board of school directors to require professional employes to retire during said period of voluntary retirement, or the compulsion on the part of professional employes to retire at the attainment of age seventy."
Frantz admits that he is not a member of the old age and survivors insurance system pursuant to the provisions of the act, approved the first day of June, one thousand nine hundred fifty-six, and acknowledges that he is a member of the old age and survivors insurance system by virtue of the provisions of the Social Security Act of August 14, 1935, as amended, 42 U.S.C.A. § 301, et seq. His Social Security eligibility arises from part-time employment with private employers. He has made no contributions to the Social Security from ...