A former Bowling Green High School teacher has filed an administrative appeal to get his job back after being fired, and is asking for damages.
Dallas Black filed the paperwork in the Wood County Court of Common Pleas on July 29.
He is asking the court to reverse the Bowling Green City Schools Board of Education’s decision to terminate his employment and reinstate him to his former Spanish teaching position with full back pay and benefits restored.
Black also is asking for compensatory damages for his hardship, humiliation and embarrassment as well as compensatory damage for stress, loss of sleep and his wife’s emotional distress.
He also is asking for reimbursement for the cost of litigation.
In court paperwork, he claims the school board, without comment, accepted on June 21, 2020, a resolution accepting the report of the referee following a hearing request by Black. That report contained so many errors of law and misrepresentations of material facts that it gave him just cause to publicly complain.
The board erred by failing to provide Black with a full and impartial hearing as prescribed in Ohio Revised Code; the referee appointed by the Ohio Department of Education erred by ignoring Black’s request for a continuance on April 19, 2020, proceeding in absentia to call his witnesses to testify under oath, essentially “high-jacking” a fundamental component to Black’s statutorily prescribed due process rights.
Black was not given the opportunity to cross-examine those witnesses, the appeal said.
He listed 11 additional errors allegedly committed by the referee.
The board of education erred in declining to fulfill multiple public relations requests, erred in their “silent complicity and/or collusion” with Superintendent Francis Scruci and the board’s attorney, and erred in violating Black’s constitutional right to due process and most egregiously failure to follow state law before suspending him with and without pay four times since 2016.
The board officially fired Black in June.
Black had been suspended since July 2021, when the board unanimously approved his immediate suspension without pay or benefits, pending termination proceedings.
Black taught Spanish at BGHS for 18 years,
The termination was based on the following, as outlined in the report filed by Lee Belardo, who served as referee during the hearing:
Black left work early after the first period without proper approval (twice); attempted to use personal leave in violation of the terms of the collective bargaining unit or district procedures (four times); sent an email in violation of board policy which states emails should be used to conduct official business and communicating with colleagues, students, parents and community members (six times); sent an email that disparaged district administration and district employees (four times); sent an email in violation of a directive from the superintendent (once); sent an email that included the names of students and their personal information without parental approval in violation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (twice); engaged in acts of insubordination (once); and engaged in acts unbecoming a teacher (three times).
The board has 28 days from the filing date to respond.
The case has been assigned to Judge Joel Kuhlman.