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High court sides with former teacher

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Posted: Sunday, July 3, 2011 2:00 am

A former Glacier High School science teacher and Kalispell Public Schools must arbitrate a grievance about the teacher’s alleged wrongful discharge, according to a high court ruling.

The Montana Supreme Court last week unanimously upheld a Flathead District Court decision compelling arbitration of a grievance Bill Hartford and Kalispell’s teacher union first attempted to file more than two years ago.

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          Welcome to the discussion.


          • lester posted at 6:36 pm on Mon, Jul 4, 2011.

            lester Posts: 34


            Get it straight; the supreme court ruled agianst the district. Other posts have it correct, admin wanted to get rid of him which they could have if admin would have done a good job of evaluating, which they did not and then tried to do it under the table. Now the board is stuck with the problem. Schottle will wash her hands of the whole thing. Bad advice to the board from Langhor (Hart), Glasser, Schottle and the lawyer. The district is in a lose lose situation as was stated earlier.

          • krispistofferson posted at 7:36 am on Mon, Jul 4, 2011.

            krispistofferson Posts: 265

            Oh please, give me a break. This is such trivial baloney it's incredible. Why is this even news? Somebody quite apparently had an agenda against this guy. Blame your moronic administration and school board for this nonsense.

          • realist posted at 9:30 pm on Sun, Jul 3, 2011.

            realist Posts: 35

            Let's get this straight. Any licensed/certified professional needs to be responsible enough to make sure that their license/certification is current. Now this professional person, a teacher, fails to do that and then fails to follow the law by not registering the certificate with the school superintendent, at which point he would have realized his certificate had expired. School superintendents notify him of the lapse in certification in early November and yet he waits until December 11th to rectify it. It appears to me, that what this teacher wants to teach his students is that there is no need for personal responsibility and following the law is not something that one needs to do, and if you do not like the consequences of your choices, all you have to do is sue. In this case there was no wrongful discharge as he was not a certified teacher at the time and he failed to register with the county superintendent of schools as required by law. Those two things, together or by themselves would void his contract. The retroactive decision by the Office of Public Instruction was a bad decision on their part (foxes watching the hen house sort of thing) and has no bearing on what happened with the hiring of a certified teacher to replace a substitute.

          • averagejoe posted at 5:15 pm on Sun, Jul 3, 2011.

            averagejoe Posts: 253

            anonymous1, It looks to me like the board has been placed in a very bad position by the administration. The board backed up its administrators, Schottle and Langhohr, even though this was not handled properly by them. Since Hartford has been off the payroll for almost three years this is going to cost Kalispell taxpayers a lot of money to fix. Hartford will also want his old job back with increases in pay for longevity. Schottle also says that it will be up to the board as to how they act, the way I see it the board only has two choices rehire and pay all back pay or arbitrate. Loose loose for the board, I hope they hold someone accountable for this, it will most likely be blamed on their lawyer though.

          • anonymous1 posted at 9:56 am on Sun, Jul 3, 2011.

            anonymous1 Posts: 4

            Stuffy-the more substantial reason is that if Callie Langohr doesn't like you then she will jump at any opportuniity to give the ax. This guy should be paid as a certified teacher for the time he was considered a "substitute" since his certificate was retroactive. We are talking the difference of a week from when he went to reconcile the situation to when the certificate was reinstated. I hope the board does the right thing here...

          • stuffy posted at 8:07 am on Sun, Jul 3, 2011.

            stuffy Posts: 1

            The Kalispell school district is "nitpicking" with this issue.. If the district has something more substantial then an expired certificate, it should be revealed. If not, the entire issue should be dropped and the teacher reinstated...


          AP Montana