School board can terminate teacher
In spring 2012, the Huntsville City Board of Education terminated a third-grade teacher because she had been accused of mistreating students. The principal alleged that the teacher had created a hostile learning environment.
The teacher alleged that the Students First Act had been violated because she had not received notice by mail of the proposed termination and the opportunity to have a hearing before the school board.
The board had mailed the notice, but it did not reach the teacher because of an incorrect address and because no forwarding address had been provided to the post office.
The board terminated the teacher, who then appealed to an administrative law judge (ALJ). The ALJ found that not only must a teacher be sent notice, but also must receive it.
Upon appeal to the Madison County Circuit Court, Judge Jim Smith found that nothing in the statute requires that the teacher actually receive notice.
J. R. Brooks and other attorneys of the Lanier Ford law firm represented the Huntsville School Board in this matter. See Huntsville City Board of Education v. Taylor, decided November 29, 2012.