The opinion of the court was delivered by: CYNTHIA RUFE, District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
This case comes before the Court on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss.
For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' Motion is granted in part
and denied in part.
The following facts are taken from the Amended Complaint and accepted
as true for the Court's consideration of Defendants' Motion. Plaintiff
was a long-term substitute teacher at Kensington High School
("Kensington"), which is a component of Defendant School District of
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ("School District"). Additional defendants are
the School Reform Commission ("Commission"), a division of the School
District; Thomas Hanna, Principal of Kensington; and Joselyn Santiago, a
teacher at Kensington.
Prior to April 2, 2002, Plaintiff reported SW, a student at Kensington,
to school authorities for numerous incidents of behavioral problems and
for assaulting another student. Plaintiff alleges that she knew that
other members of the Kensington faculty and staff had reported SW as
well. Plaintiff alleges that these complaints should have led to SW's
suspension and/or other discipline by Kensington and Principal Hanna.
On April 2, 2002, Plaintiff was conducting a class attended by SW.
During this class, SW told Plaintiff that she "was not doing s___t," and that "she did
not `have to come to your class,'" and also called Plaintiff a "crazy
b__."*fn1 At the conclusion of this class, SW confronted Plaintiff and
said, "I am going to kill you b__," while other students remained in the
room.*fn2 SW then grabbed Plaintiff's shirt and hair, scratched her, and
induced bleeding from her ear and hands. Plaintiff responded by shoving
SW and then pulling SW's body toward her and restraining SW's hands until
security arrived. Ms. Santiago witnessed the encounter.
Following the incident, the School District, the Commission and
Principal Hanna detained Plaintiff until the end of the school day, at
which time they released her. They instructed her to report to the
cluster office at Kensington on April 3, 2002, informed her that she had
the right to union representation, and instructed her not to speak with
any staff or students. Defendants did not report the incident with SW to
Defendants conducted two hearings related to the incident. At these
hearings, Ms. Santiago accused Plaintiff of assaulting SW. Plaintiff
alleges that because she had been prohibited from speaking with staff or
students, she was unable to present testimony on her own behalf at the
hearings. In addition, Defendants did not turn over evidence of
Plaintiff's injuries and SW's lack of injuries until after the hearings.
Following the hearings, Defendants terminated Plaintiff for "violation of
the School Laws of this Commonwealth, intemperance, incompetency, wilful
neglect of duties, and other improper conduct. . . ."*fn3 II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Plaintiff filed this action in the Court of Common Pleas for
Philadelphia County on April 30, 2003. Although Plaintiff did not
explicitly specify any federal causes of action in the Complaint,
Defendants removed this case on May 22, 2003. In their Notice of Removal,
Defendants claimed that the Complaint's repeated allegations of a
"hostile work environment" and "harassment" implicated Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and
allegations of "failure to train" and "deliberate indifference"
implicated 42 U.S.C. § 1983. As a result, asserted Defendants,
federal jurisdiction existed under 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
After a conference with counsel, at which the Court inquired as to
whether Plaintiff had intended to assert federal claims, the Court
granted Plaintiff leave to amend her Complaint to more clearly articulate
her claims. On December 17, 2003, Plaintiff filed her Amended Complaint,
asserting thirteen causes of action: (1) violation of Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. ("Title
VII"); (2) violation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. 18 U.S.C. § 1514;(3)
42 U.S.C. § 1983; (4) wrongful discharge; (5) defamation; (6)
malicious prosecution; (7) interference with contractual relations; (8)
breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing; (9) negligent
hiring, training and retention of unfit supervisor; (10) breach of
contract; (11) intentional infliction of emotional distress; (12)
negligent infliction of emotional distress; and (13) false imprisonment.
On January 15, 2004 Defendants filed the instant Motion to Dismiss the
Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim.
When evaluating a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, the
Court must "accept all well pleaded factual allegations as true and draw
all reasonable inferences from such allegations in favor of the complainant."*fn4 The court should not
grant a motion to dismiss "unless it is certain that no relief could be
granted under any set of facts which could be proved."*fn5