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Lavin v. Board of Education

AUGUST 23, 1974.

D. JILL LAVIN, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

BOARD OF EDUCATION, HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 214, COOK COUNTY, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. F. EMMETT MORRISSEY, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE BARRETT DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Commencing in September, 1971, and continuing throughout the duration of the 1971-1972 school year, plaintiff was employed by defendant school district to teach at John Hersey High School in Arlington Heights. Plaintiff taught full time as an English teacher and was given a second contract for the 1972-1973 school year.

On March 27, 1973, approximately 90 days prior to the expiration of her second-year term, plaintiff was informed by letter that she would not be employed for the 1973-1974 school year. The letter was signed by the secretary of the school board and indicated that defendant had approved a resolution terminating plaintiff's contract as of June 14, 1973. The specific reasons given plaintiff for the Board action were as follows:

"(a) Does not exercise mature and professional judgment in the control and management of students.

(b) Does not follow or support district policy.

(c) Students are not given proper opportunity for educational development.

(d) Early dismissal of classes.

(e) Allowing students to come and go from class during the instruction period as they please."

This notification fully complied with the applicable statutory requirement. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1971, ch. 122, par. 24-11.

Subsequently, plaintiff requested a hearing or other opportunity to challenge the decision of defendant not to rehire her. The request was denied.

Plaintiff then filed her complaint in mandamus seeking to compel defendant Board of Education to rehire her for the 1973-74 school year or to compel the Board to set up reasonable procedures for purposes of providing the plaintiff with a hearing on her dismissal and also praying for compensatory damages to the plaintiff for any salary lost as the result of her alleged unlawful dismissal.

In response, defendants filed a motion for summary judgment. The court granted defendants' motion and dismissed the case. This appeal is taken from that order.

OPINION

The sole issue presented for review is whether due process entitled plaintiff to a pre-termination hearing on the reasons cited for her nonretention by ...


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