Saturday, February 17, 2018

Court document indicates Neosho R-5 School District, Decker settled former substitute teacher's lawsuit

A settlement has apparently been reached in a lawsuit filed by a former Neosho R-5 substitute teacher against the school district, Superintendent Dan Decker, Penmac Staffing Services and Nancy Kenney of Penmac.

Dee-Anna Marcoux's lawsuit claimed she was fired after saying in two classes that she did not support the district's bond issue to build a new junior high school. The lawsuit had been scheduled to go to trial September 10.

A document filed Friday in U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri provides a joint stipulation of dismissal with prejudice, meaning the case cannot be refiled. That indicates all sides have reached an agreement.

The document does not mention any amount for the settlement, but says all sides will be responsible for paying their own costs and attorney fees.

In her lawsuit, which was filed in February 2017, Marcoux says she had only answered students who questioned her about whether she supported the bond issue and that she told them she did not, but they would have to make up their own minds.

During that same time period, the petition says, district teachers and staff were wearing yellow t-shirts that said, "Building Neosho's Future- It's Time," and that a student sent an e-mail to all students using the district server saying, "It has been a fun run trying to get yes votes," and thanking students who supported the bond issue.

After that, the petition claims, Decker called her into his office and accused her of insubordination and of telling students "not to vote for the bond issue."

It was not long after that she was removed from Neosho schools' substitute list and her employer, Penmac Staffing Services, removed her from the automated system, AESOP, used by school districts, including Neosho, to staff substitute teachers.

Marcoux claims her First Amendment right to freedom of speech was violated, that she suffered lost wages and emotional distress.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad she won the suit, although the tax payers are the ones who paid it. Maybe they should hire better Administrative Personnel so they don't make this same mistake in the future. But they probably won't.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of what one's beliefs are, I think we can all agree Neosho administration is failing the PR game right now. Controversy is never a good look for school districts.

Anonymous said...

Someone stood up and won against Decker! That is news! I don't know that he is used to be challenged. I also don't think he ever expected anyone to begin to look in the closets at his district. All these skeletons he's hidden and Mr. Turner keeps opening the doors, exposing them.