he remains suspended with pay. Dale Kessler was advised of his dismissal, and a hearing scheduled for April 19, 1994, by letter dated April 5, 1994, from the President of the School Board, providing inadequate notice, inadequate preparation time, and citing new grounds for dismissal.
To Dale Kessler's knowledge, no student was reprimanded or disciplined as a result of the incident and improper behavior in Dale Kessler's classroom on January 14, 1994. On several occasions, including the January 14, 1994, incident, students told Dale Kessler that he would not be supported by the administration if he accused the students of misbehavior.
As a result of defendants' retaliation against Dale Kessler's free speech activities, Dale Kessler remains harassed, targeted for dismissal, and in professional limbo. He belatedly learned that he was purportedly suspended pending an investigation by local and state police, and has not been permitted to return to the classroom since January 14, 1994, even though he was never contacted by state or local police, no charges were brought, and according to the District solicitor, there is no pending investigation. Moreover, despite its obligation to Dale Kessler and despite repeated requests from counsel for Dale Kessler, defendant Pennsylvania State Education Association has disavowed the responsibility for representing him, has declined to proceed to represent him, and has conspired to affect adversely his tenured employment.
III. MOTION TO DISMISS FILED BY DEFENDANTS MONSOUR, MENIO, AND LINE MOUNTAIN SCHOOL DISTRICT
As noted, defendants Monsour, Menio, and Line Mountain School District move for dismissal of Counts II, III, and IV, and plaintiffs' claim for punitive damages. Each of these will be discussed in turn.
A. Count II
Count II of the complaint purports to state a claim on the part of Dale Kessler against defendants Monsour, Menio, Line Mountain School District, and Line Mountain Education Association for violations of 42 U.S.C. §§ 1985, 1986. Complaint at 13.
i. Section 1985
The particular subsection of § 1985 upon which Dale Kessler relies in Count II of the complaint is not stated. However, § 1985(1) relates to a conspiracy to prevent an officer of the United States from performing official duties or taking office; § 1985(2) relates to conspiracies to obstruct justice. Neither of these subsections has any conceivable application to the facts alleged by plaintiffs, and they do not argue that they have stated a claim under either of these subsections. See Brief in Opposition to Motion to Dismiss of Defendants Monsour, Menio, and Line Mountain School District at 6.
The only way § 1985 might apply, then, is under the only remaining subsection, § 1985(3). In order to recover under § 1985(3), a plaintiff must allege and prove: (1) a conspiracy; (2) for the purpose of depriving, either directly or indirectly, any person or class of persons of the equal protection of the laws, or of equal privileges and immunities under the laws; and (3) an act in furtherance of the conspiracy; (4) whereby a person is either injured in his person or property or deprived of any right or privilege of a citizen of the United States. United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America v. Scott, 463 U.S. 825, 829-830, 77 L. Ed. 2d 1049, 103 S. Ct. 3352 (1983) (citing Griffin v. Breckenridge, 403 U.S. 88, 102-103, 29 L. Ed. 2d 338, 91 S. Ct. 1790 (1971)). "The conspiracy not only must have as its purpose the deprivation of 'equal protection of the laws,' but also must be motivated by 'some racial, or perhaps otherwise class-based, invidiously discriminatory animus behind the conspirators' action.'" Id. (quoting Griffin, 403 U.S. 102).
It should be noted, however, that the Supreme Court limited its holding in Griffin by declining to reach the question of whether § 1985(3) applies to a conspiracy not motivated by racial animus. 403 U.S. at 102. In Scott, the Court questioned whether § 1985(3) can be construed to reach a conspiracy formed to further a discriminatory motivation other than race, but limited its decision to holding that § 1985(3) does not reach "conspiracies motivated by bias towards others on account of their economic views, status, or activities." 463 U.S. at 837. The Court noted that the primary purpose of § 1985(3) is to combat "the violent and other efforts of the [Ku Klux] Klan and its allies to resist and to frustrate the intended effects of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments." Id. Thus, labor organizations were not liable under § 1985(3) for conduct directed toward non-union laborers and their employer. Scott, 463 U.S. at 838-839.
More recently, the Supreme Court examined a § 1985(3) claim in the context of an alleged conspiracy to prevent access to abortion clinics. Bray v. Alexandria Women's Health Clinic, 122 L. Ed. 2d 34, 113 S. Ct. 753 (1993). The Court reiterated that a § 1985(3) claim may be brought for a conspiracy motivated by racial "or perhaps otherwise class-based, invidiously discriminatory animus . . ." 122 L. Ed. 2d at 45 (quoting Griffin, 403 U.S. at 102). While again declining to define precisely the contours of the definition of "class" for purposes of § 1985(3), the Court stated:
To begin with, we reject the apparent conclusion of the District Court (which respondents make no effort to defend) that opposition to abortion constitutes discrimination against the "class" of "women seeking abortion." Whatever may be the precise meaning of a 'class' for purposes of Griffin's speculative extension of § 1985(3) beyond race, the term unquestionably connotes something more than a group of individuals who share a desire to engage in conduct that the § 1985(3) defendant disfavors. Otherwise, innumerable tort plaintiffs would be able to assert causes of action under § 1985(3) by simply defining the aggrieved class as those seeking to engage in the activity the defendant has interfered with. This definitional ploy would convert the statute into the "general federal tort law" it was the very purpose of the animus requirement to avoid. . . . As Justice Blackmun has cogently put it, the class "cannot be defined simply as the group of victims of the tortious action." Carpenters, supra, at 850, 77 L. Ed. 2d 1049, 103 S. Ct. 3352 (Blackmun, J., dissenting).
Bray, 122 L. Ed. 2d at 46.
In this case, it is not necessary to define precisely the term "class" for purposes of "class-based invidiously discriminatory animus" for purposes of § 1985(3). The foregoing provision quoted from Bray makes clear that plaintiffs are not part of a class which is protected by § 1985(3). "Plaintiffs assert that they are a class of citizen teachers who have been deprived of their rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments by Defendant School District, Defendant Menio, and Defendant Monsour." Plaintiffs' Brief in Opposition to Motion to Dismiss of Defendants Monsour, Menio, and Line Mountain School District at 10. This assertion rather obviously falls within the category of cases described in Bray in which the "class" is defined as the victims of the alleged deprivation.
We hold, then, that the "class of citizen teachers who have been deprived of their rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments" is not a class protected by § 1985(3), and plaintiffs' claims thereunder will be dismissed.
ii. Section 1986
Section 1986 is a companion to § 1985(3) and provides the claimant with a cause of action against any person who, knowing that a violation of § 1985 is about to be committed and possessing power to prevent its occurrence, fails to take action to frustrate its execution. Because transgressions of § 1986 by definition depend on a preexisting violation of § 1985, if the claimant does not set forth a cause of action under the latter, its claim under the former necessarily must fail also.