Monday, January 13, 2014
Lawsuit claim: Besendorfer lied to get Royal Heights principal fired
At least that's the claim made by former Royal Heights Principal Larry Masters in a lawsuit filed Thursday in Jasper County Circuit Court.
Masters is one of many Joplin R-8 principals who have lost their jobs since the C. J. Huff-Angie Besendorfer regime took over the Joplin Schools. While the two top officials have stayed the same (until Ms. Besendorfer's resignation to become Western Governors University chancellor takes effect at the end of this month) and six of the seven Board of Education members have remained the same since C. J. Huff became superintendent in 2008 and allowed Ms. Besendorfer to handle the principals and teachers, only three principals remain and as noted earlier on the Turner Report, hundreds of teachers have either left or been shown the door, including more than 200 in the past two years.
According to the lawsuit, Masters, who had been Royal Heights principal since 2004, had already been offered a contract for the 2010-2011 school year when Ms. Besendorfer stepped in.
"Defendant intentionally interfered in Plaintiff's expectancy by making false representations about Plaintiff to the Joplin Schools Board of Education. Said representations included, but were not limited to, accusations that Plaintiff had violated the regulations governing administration of the MAP test."
Because of those "misrepresentations," the petition says, "The Board of Education voted on or about April 15, 2010, to rescind its motion to offer the contract of employment to the plaintiff."
The lawsuit lists no defendant other than Ms. Besendorfer. "There was no justification for (her) actions," the petition says.
"As a result of Defendant's actions, Plaintiff has suffered damages, including lost wages, mental and emotional distress."
Besendorfer's actions are referred to as "willful, wanton, and made with the knowledge that they would cause damage to Plaintiff>"
Masters' attorney, Raymond Lampert of Springfield, is asking that Masters receive "lost wages, mental and emotional damage, punitive damages, the costs of this action, and to grant such other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper."
No Child Left Alive, available in paperback and e-book versions. The book tells the tale of teachers caught between clueless administrators and out-of-control students. If the shooter doesn't get them, the system will.