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NESHAMINY FEDERATION TEACHERS v. NESHAMINY SCHOOL DISTRICT (04/29/81)

decided: April 29, 1981.

NESHAMINY FEDERATION OF TEACHERS, APPELLANT
v.
NESHAMINY SCHOOL DISTRICT, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County in the case of Neshaminy School District v. Neshaminy Federation of Teachers, No. 79-11146-13-6.

COUNSEL

Michael Brodie, Freedman and Lorry, for appellant.

Miriam Reimel, for appellee.

Judges Mencer, Rogers and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer. Judge Wilkinson, Jr., did not participate in the decision in this case.

Author: Mencer

[ 59 Pa. Commw. Page 64]

On March 16, 1978, in a jury trial, Robert P. Hess (Hess), a tenured professional employee of the Neshaminy School District (District), was convicted of simple assault, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, terroristic threats, and felonious restraint and later was sentenced to confinement in jail.*fn1

[ 59 Pa. Commw. Page 65]

Section 1122 of the Public School Code of 1949 (School Code)*fn2 provides that the only valid causes for termination of a professional employee are immorality, incompetency, intemperance, cruelty, persistent negligence, mental derangement, advocation of or participating in un-American or subversive doctrines, and persistent and wilful violation of the school laws of this Commonwealth.*fn3

The school board of the District, being of the view that the School Code clearly entrusted to it the decision as to whether a tenured professional employee should be discharged, strictly followed the School Code's mandated procedure for dismissing a tenured professional employee,*fn4 with the result that, on June 27, 1978, the board of school directors of the District voted to discharge Hess on the ground of immorality.*fn5

[ 59 Pa. Commw. Page 66]

No appeal was taken from this discharge decision,*fn6 but, on August 18, 1978, Hess filed a demand for arbitration, alleging that he had been discharged without just cause and requesting reinstatement.

On September 15, 1979, an arbitrator made the following award: "This matter is arbitrable. Mr. Robert P. Hess was not dismissed for just cause. He shall be reinstated within one week of receipt of this award with no back pay."

The District appealed from the arbitrator's award to the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, and that court, by order dated February 29, 1980, set aside the award of the arbitrator and upheld the ...


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