psychiatric evaluation. As a result a meeting was held that day between Bottoni and Sweeney, who was represented by the teacher's union president. At that meeting Sweeney reported that he had not undergone the evaluation and would not do so until he was certain that Board (and not simply Bottoni) had ordered the evaluation. Bottoni then suspended Sweeney with pay and told him that he could appeal that suspension to Board at its August 27 meeting. Sweeney declined to go before Board at that time.
Sweeney underwent an evaluation with a psychiatrist of his choice on September 4, 1985, and those results were reviewed by a Board-approved psychiatrist on September 17. Despite the psychiatrist's official determination that he was fit to return to work, Sweeney spent the balance of the school year on sick leave due to stress he attributed to the already-described series of events. When Sweeney indicated that he wished to return to school for the 1986-87 year, Board asked that he obtain another updated psychiatric evaluation before the start of the year.
Following evaluation by a Board-approved psychiatrist, Sweeney was allowed to and in fact did return to work for the 1986-87 school year -- and that entire year passed without incident.
School year 1987-88 again witnessed difficulties between Sweeney and his class and, in turn, Sweeney and the administration. In dealing with discipline problems that arose in December 1987, Sweeney avoided striking the students and instead yelled at them, made them sit in the hallway and forced them to do push-ups in the classroom in lieu of detention after school. Sweeney was having a particularly hard time with student Jeff Wright and told then Principal John Davis that if the boy "takes a swing at me, he better make it good. Otherwise, they will take him out in a garbage bag" (Sweeney Dep. 62). Following those events Bottoni met with Sweeney on January 19, 1988, when Bottoni told Sweeney that he did not condone such behavior and that Sweeney was suspended again.
Formal minutes of the meeting were made available to Sweeney, and the next day Bottoni sent him a letter summarizing the meeting's activity and specifying the grounds of the suspension. Sweeney, with the aid of counsel, appealed the suspension at a February 2, 1988 Board meeting. Again Board sustained Sweeney's suspension and directed him to submit a psychiatric report to Board before his return to the classroom. At the conclusion of that suspension period -- January 25, 1988 -- illness prevented Sweeney from returning to work, and he remained out for the balance of the school year.
After repeated Board requests for an updated psychiatric evaluation, on August 11, 1988 Sweeney's attorney provided a report from a privately retained psychiatrist. That report was forwarded to Board-approved psychiatrist Dr. Utley, who reviewed the file and on August 30 informed Board that Sweeney could return to work. Sweeney resumed his teaching duties on September 1.
On September 13, 1988 Board placed Sweeney on a six-month remediation plan, which it later (on January 24, 1989) extended to cover all of the 1988-89 school year. Due to a reduction in force Sweeney was honorably discharged on March 21, 1989.
Sweeney filed his original Complaint in this action on June 22, 1987 on the basis of the events that had transpired before that date. Factual allegations as to events after that date were added by way of the December 15, 1988 Supplemental Complaint. Each complaint contains four counts
that allege that the repeated suspensions and psychiatric evaluation requirements constituted:
Count 1 : a violation of Sweeney's right to free speech under the First Amendment
(this and Count 2
are brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ("Section 1983"));