Saturday, October 03, 2015
Court documents: Joplin principal fired because he intimidated, bullied teachers
That allegation, of course, is the same one that the Turner Report and others have leveled against Huff and Besendorfer.
The accusations are included in Joplin attorney Karl Blanchard's motion for a summary judgment against Masters, who is suing Huff, Besendorfer, and former Assistant Superintendent Steve Doerr.
The documents also carefully distanced Huff and Besendorfer from the decision to remove Masters from his position, placing the responsibility for that decision on Doerr and former Curriculum Director Chris Templeton.
The motion raises more questions than it answers about Masters lost his position only a few days after he had been offered a contract to continue as principal for the 2010-2011 school year.
According to the documents, Doerr and Templeton began an investigation into Masters following "allegations about MAP testing improprieties," yet the documents make no mention of any information being discovered that would indicate this happened.
On the other hand, Masters, who was a tenured teacher, continued to teach in the school district for a few years following his removal as Royal Heights principal, before retiring, an unlikely occurrence if any evidence had been uncovered that would indicate cheating on MAP tests.
During the investigation, Doerr and Templeton discovered that Masters and a teacher were creating a "negative and intimidating" environment. The two interviewed every teacher in the building to reach their conclusions, according to the document.
Doerr indicated that Masters had been cited for problems during his prior evaluations and that Masters was not being singled out, since Doerr had been involved in the removal of two other principals for problems with the "general building environment."
If the judge doesn't buy those arguments, Blanchard says, the defendants are protected from being sued because of "official immunity."
Let Teachers Teach, a collection of Randy Turner's writings on education, is available locally at Always Buying Books, Changing Hands Book Shoppe, and The Book Guy in Joplin, Pat's Books in Carthage, and Cato's Connection in Joplin, and can be purchased in paperback or e-book formats from Amazon.com at the links below.