required to plead specific facts including alleged conduct, improper motive, times and places of activity complained of, and persons responsible.)
Fourteenth Amendment Claims
We find plaintiff's complaint entirely devoid of any allegations which would state a due process claim against these defendants. Plaintiff has not alleged any conduct by the individual defendants remaining in this action which deprived her of any federal right. Plaintiff alleges conduct by Sister Paula DelGrosso, assistant superintendent of education for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, by Sister George Ann Biscan, principal of West End Catholic School, and by the "Diocese." This conduct is alleged to have occurred in 1982. None of these individuals are named in the complaint. Moreover, we have no doubt that their alleged conduct does not represent state action.
Plaintiff does allege that she notified her immediate supervisor, A. J. Pelliccioni, of her difficulties with the above-named private individuals and that these difficulties were interfering with her job performance. Plaintiff states "Pelliccioni advised Plaintiff to conform to the wishes of Sister Paula DelGrosso since the said Sister Paula DelGrosso would make the final decision regarding Plaintiff's teaching assignment and, if, in fact, Plaintiff would have a job." Complaint, para. 11, p. 5. However, A. J. Peliccioni is not a defendant in this action, and a § 1983 action cannot be based on a theory of vicarious liability or respondeat superior. See Monell v. New York City Department of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658, 56 L. Ed. 2d 611, 98 S. Ct. 2018 (1978); Rizzo v. Goode, 423 U.S. 362, 46 L. Ed. 2d 561, 96 S. Ct. 598 (1976).
Plaintiff's complaints against the named defendants indicate that when she made complaints to unspecified Intermediate Unit Officials about the conduct of the private persons with whom she had to associate to perform her job, these officials told her to conform to the wishes of the Diocese because that is the way the program is operated. Furthermore, she was required to submit a weekly schedule to Intermediate Unit which no other counselor was required to do. The only specific factual allegation is that on February 16, 1984, defendant Joseph Tarris, the non-public coordinator of the Intermediate Unit at that time, informed plaintiff that if she continued to question the actions of the Intermediate Unit she would be discharged. Joseph Tarris further presented plaintiff with a copy of the Teacher Handbook for 1983-84, pointing out Paragraph L.2.a. and informing plaintiff that she must conform with the wishes of principals of the Catholic Schools in which she teaches.
Taking the allegations against the named defendants as true for purposes of this action, we fail to see where plaintiff was deprived of any identifiable federally protected property or liberty. See Daniels v. Williams, 474 U.S. 327, 54 U.S.L.W. 4090, 88 L. Ed. 2d 662, 106 S. Ct. 662 (1986); Parratt v. Taylor, 451 U.S. 527, 68 L. Ed. 2d 420, 101 S. Ct. 1908 (1981). Plaintiff further fails to demonstrate or allege that she is a member of a protected class and that she was subjected to unjust and illegal discrimination between persons in similar circumstances. United States v. Torquato, 602 F.2d 564, 568 (3d Cir. 1979); Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356, 30 L. Ed. 220, 6 S. Ct. 1064 (1886).
For these reasons, we find that plaintiff has failed to establish any due process or equal protection claim under the Fourteenth Amendment.
First Amendment Claim
It appears to us that plaintiff's complaint taken as a whole alleges that the defendants, through their conduct and enforcement of the Teachers Handbook provision paragraph L.2.a., have established a policy of the Intermediate Unit, which as applied to plaintiff and her particular situation, constitutes an improper delegation of supervisory authority to parochial school personnel.
When parochial school personnel are given supervisory authority over Intermediate Unit employees who provide auxiliary services to parochial school children, plaintiff complains that this constitutes a violation of the First Amendment prohibition against establishment of religion.
We believe that this is a case where an alternate construction of what is essentially a local administrative provision would make it unnecessary for us to address the constitutional issue raised. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has adopted the policy that it is important that "auxiliary services" be provided to all students in the Commonwealth regardless of whether they attend public or non-public schools. See 24 P.S. § 9-972.1. We believe that a decision on the constitutional issue raised would entail an unwarranted intrusion into this very sensitive area of state policy and local concern. The Commonwealth has charged the State Board of Education with adopting such regulations as are necessary to guide the organization and operation of the Intermediate Unit. See 24 P.S. § 9-955. The issues raised here can more efficiently and appropriately be addressed via an administrative proceeding before the Pennsylvania Department of Education or in State Court. For all of these reasons, we believe that this is a case in which we should abstain from exercising jurisdiction under the Pullman abstention doctrine, and issues of comity. See Railroad Commission of Texas v. Pullman Company, 312 U.S 496, 85 L. Ed. 971, 61 S. Ct. 643 (1941); D'Iorio v. County of Delaware, 592 F.2d 681 (3d Cir. 1981); and Burford v. Sun Oil Company, 319 U.S. 315, 87 L. Ed. 1424, 63 S. Ct. 1098 (1943); Fair Assessment in Real Estate Asso. v. McNary, 454 U.S. 100, 70 L. Ed. 2d 271, 102 S. Ct. 177 (1981). Plaintiff may proceed with her First Amendment claim in state administrative and judicial proceedings and may ultimately seek review of the state decision before the Supreme Court. Fair Assessment, supra, at 116.
Motion to Strike & Seal Record
Defendants have moved to strike paragraph 10 of the complaint as scandalous and impertinent matter. The allegations contained in this paragraph reflect adversely on the moral character of an individual who is not a party to this suit. We view these allegations as unnecessary to a decision on the matters in question, and believe that they were improperly pled. For these reasons, we will grant defendants' motion to strike and seal the record.
An appropriate order will issue.
NOW this 24th day of September, 1986, IT IS ORDERED that the above-named case is DISMISSED and the record shall be sealed in accord with the accompanying