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Rebecca Wysocki v. Karen Crump

December 20, 2011

REBECCA WYSOCKI, PLAINTIFF,
v.
KAREN CRUMP, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sue E. Myerscough, U.S. District Judge:

E-FILED

Tuesday, 20 December, 2011 04:50:05 PM

Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

OPINION

This cause is before the Court on Defendant Karen Crump's Motion for Summary Judgment (d/e 16 ). Because this Court finds that Defendant is entitled to qualified immunity on the individual capacity claim and the Eleventh Amendment bars the official capacity claim, Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED.

I. FACTS

On summary judgment, this Court considers the facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Valance v. Wisel, 110 F.3d 1269, 1276 (7th Cir. 1997). In her Response to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment, Plaintiff states that all of Defendant's "Undisputed Material Facts" are material and undisputed except Facts 24, 25, and 36. Plaintiff disputes Facts 24 and 25, in which Defendant states that T.W.'s October 5 suspension was based on discipline initiated on October 4. Plaintiff disputes that T.W.'s behavior caused the October 5 suspension and argues that his suspension was a result of her conversation with Defendant on October 5. In her Response, Plaintiff provides an excerpt from her deposition testimony describing her conversation with Defendant on October 5. Plaintiff asserts that Fact 36, which states that Kathy Crum, Director of Teaching and Learning, stated she would have suspended T.W. had she been the principal, is immaterial. Accordingly, the facts, taken in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, are as follows.

Plaintiff's son, T.W., is a student at Wanless Elementary School in Springfield, Illinois, where Defendant Karen Crump is principal. In the 2010-11 school year, T.W. was a student in a second-grade classroom taught by Sheila Jones. In Plaintiff's words, T.W. was "in bad form" at that time. (Undisputed Material Fact 9). Plaintiff stated that T.W. is bipolar, and there is "a lot to deal with and there's a lot of screaming and a lot of yelling." (Undisputed Material Fact 9). From August 31, 2010 through October 5, 2010, T.W. received seven disciplinary referrals. The seventh disciplinary referral, issued on October 4, 2010, and the subsequent suspension issued on October 5, 2010 are the subject of this case.

T.W.'s first referral was issued by Jones on August 31,2010 for "disruptive behavior occurring throughout the day." (Undisputed Material Fact 12, 13). On that occasion, Defendant spoke with T.W., and Plaintiff and gave T.W. one week of recess detention. On September 10, 2010, T.W.'s art teacher issued the second referral because T.W. was being disruptive, calling his art teacher "stupid," and trying to push his table against other students. (Undisputed Material Fact 14). Defendant spoke with T.W., called Plaintiff to report T.W.'s behavior, and gave T.W. three noon detentions. Jones issued T.W.'s third referral on September 13, 2010 because T.W. was "hitting another student with his book, exploding verbally, and calling students and Jones 'bastards' and Jones a 'freak.'" (Undisputed Material Fact 16). Defendant again called Plaintiff to report T.W.'s behavior and, this time, T.W. was sent home early as punishment at 1:00 p.m. each day from September 14 through September 17, 2010.

T.W.'s first three-day suspension was based on a referral initiated by Jones on September 15, 2010 after T.W. was disruptive throughout the morning. After not receiving a reward because he had not done his homework, T.W. "yelled, kicked furniture, called Jones names, and refused to leave the room after being directed by Jones to do so three times." (Undisputed Material Fact 18). Defendant removed T.W. from the classroom and kept him with her until 1:00 p.m. Defendant telephoned Plaintiff to report T.W.'s behavior and then suspended T.W. from September 20 to September 22, 2010.

On September 27, 2010, Jones again referred T.W. for "becoming very angry, shouting, kicking furniture, dumping over his desk and chair, and using foul language." (Undisputed Material Fact 20). T.W. also called Defendant an "asshole" while in her office for discipline.

(Undisputed Material Fact 20). Defendant spoke with T.W., called Plaintiff, and then assigned T.W. four detentions and sent him home for the day.

T.W.'s next suspension was based on a referral initiated by Defendant on September 28, 2010, because T.W. hit another student in the face with a book bag and pushed Defendant after being told to stand by her. Defendant talked to T.W., called Plaintiff, sent T.W. home, and suspended him from September 29 to October 1, 2010.

On October 4, 2010, Defendant called Plaintiff and told her that T.W. had behavior problems at school that day. Kathy Crum ("Crum"), Director of Teaching and Learning and Defendant's managing principal, was in Defendant's office on October 4, 2010 when Defendant called Plaintiff about T.W.'s behavior. Crum stated that she did not see or hear anything inappropriate during Defendant's call to Plaintiff. Later that day, ...


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