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BOARD PUBLIC EDUCATION SCHOOL DISTRICT PITTSBURGH v. WILLIAM L. PYLE (09/05/78)

decided: September 5, 1978.

THE BOARD OF PUBLIC EDUCATION OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PITTSBURGH, PETITIONER
v.
WILLIAM L. PYLE, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Secretary of Education in case of William L. Pyle v. The Board of Education of the Pittsburgh School District, Teacher Tenure Appeal, No. 271.

COUNSEL

Persifor S. Oliver, Jr., Assistant Solicitor, with him Justin M. Johnson, Solicitor, for petitioner.

Henry L. Miller, with him Marjorie H. Matson, for respondent.

Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr. and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.

Author: Crumlish

[ 37 Pa. Commw. Page 388]

The Board of Public Education of the School District of Pittsburgh (Appellant/Board) has appealed an order of the Secretary of Education (Secretary) reversing its discharge of William L. Pyle (Appellee) and ordering his reinstatement.

During the course of approximately three years Appellant taught at three schools within the Pittsburgh School District, and received unsatisfactory performance ratings from the principals of each school. The first such rating was issued on May 12, 1972, by the principal of the Oliver Senior High School. Appellee's performance was deemed to be unsatisfactory because of the use of profane language in the classroom, wrestling with a student and constant lateness. The second unsatisfactory rating was issued on May 23, 1974, by the principal of Schenley High School, who found that Appellee embarrassed pupils as a method of discipline; accidently hit another teacher in the face while swinging a broom at a student; boasted of sexual conquests to students; and made derogatory statements about a student's sister in the classroom. The third unsatisfactory rating was issued on May 20, 1975, by the principal of the Alderdice High School, who found that Appellee did not exhibit the temperament necessary for a public school teacher; Appellee was charged with engaging in physical confrontations with three different students, one of which resulted in the suspension of Appellee for one day without pay. This rating was approved on May 27, 1975, by the superintendent of schools who then issued the Final Unsatisfactory Rating and recommended Appellee's dismissal to the Board on the basis of incompetency. Appellee was notified of the pendency of the dismissal action. A hearing was held before the Board on July 14, 1975, and on

[ 37 Pa. Commw. Page 389]

July 22, 1975, by a margin of 11-0, it voted for dismissal.

Appellee sought the Secretary's review of the Board's decision contending that his dismissal was improper for the following reasons:

1. The unsatisfactory ratings forming the basis for the dismissal were invalid;

2. The weight of the competent evidence was in his favor; and

3. The Board failed to give proper consideration to the evidence in ...


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