|School Board members, School Superintendents, and Assistant
Superintendents, just like Presidents of the United States, must
respond in good faith to petitions for redress of grievances from
employees and other citizens.
The use of above-board legal channels is a more honorable way of
behaving than trying to prevail with false and secret accusations.
FACTUAL FINDING 83:
The COMMISSION cites as evidence of unfitness the fact that I filed
Filing a lawsuit is a right protected by the constitution, in the right
to petition for redress of grievances. Petitioner’s reputation was
destroyed and she was unable to work. It is a bizarre contradiction
saying she is to be dismissed because she did not report to work,
and to say she is unfit for duty at the same time.
FACTUAL FINDING 103:
"The District offered numerous opportunities for Mrs. Larkins to
meet with Assistant Superintendent Mr. Werlin and with
Superintendent Gil to discuss her transfer from Castle Park
Elementary School to a more suitable campus. Mrs. Larkins refused
to attend those conferences. In doing so, she waived any right to
them. The District and Superintendent substantially complied with
Undisputed evidence shows that Mrs. Larkins
attended every meeting with the Superintendent
which she was offered.
She was never offered a conference with
Superintendent Gil until after she wrote to Dr.Gil on
September 27, 2001 suggesting that they meet.
Dr. Gil claimed she was not available in September.
When Gil finally offered to meet with Mrs. Larkins
on October 5, 2001, Mrs. Larkins and her attorney
attended the meeting. At the meeting, Dr. Gil, in
violation of the contract, refused to discuss the
This Factual finding is not only invalid, it is a ruling
on a grievance (Exhibit 40) which was not even
accepted into evidence. Petitioner asks the
reviewing court to invalidate this finding.
On page 875 of the Court Reporter’s Transcript Petitioner’s right to
sue is argued. The lawsuit was reason she was dismissed, but as
counsel argues on page 890, the law allows Mrs. Larkins to sue.
The COMMISSION misconstrues the law
regarding “unfitness for service.”
The COMMISSION has clearly based its conclusion that Petitioner
has a “temperamental defect,” a “fixed character trait,” on the
findings that Petitioner filed grievances, wrote letters, and filed a
The COMMISSION and District violate the contract by dismissing
Petitioner because she filed grievances. The
COMMISSION is amazing in its boldness to actually state that its
decision is based on this. The original dismissal
threat had been sent one day after Plaintiff
filed three grievances, but the district has tried to claim
that this was not the reason for the dismissal threat.
The “fixed character trait” is inferred from the fact that Mrs. Larkins
did not return to work under the conditions in effect, which were
extremely unusual conditions which very few teachers have been
forced to face. It is one decision, one action. She was asked once,
illegally, to report to an assignment. The contract clearly requires a
conference with the Superintendent, not merely a directive. The
Superintendent refused this with the excuse that Petitoner had filed
a tort claim. There is nothing in the contract that says it may be
disregarded in the event an employee files a tort claim. The tort
claim law was created so that government entities would have time
to remediate wrongs before becoming subject to a civil lawsuit. The
District chose to do nothing to remediate the wrong.
It was patently unreasonable to ask that in September 2001 Mrs.
Larkins place herself in the private and personal charge of Mr.
Werlin, an administrator who had made serious, uncorroborated
accusations against her, and had taken the actions which the district
claimed to want to reverse. It was grievously unreasonable of the
district to put a teacher at such risk, and to make no effort to find
out if the supervisor’s behavior was dishonest and abusive. The
district failed to supervise the supervisor.
PETITIONER had reasonable cause to refuse to return to work, and
to meet with Mr. Werlin, due to the extreme hostility and danger of
THE COMMISSION MISCONSTRUED THE
MORRISON CRITERIA AND IGNORED
EVIDENCE REGARDING MORRISON
The Morrison criteria ask the COMMISSION to look at the motives of
the teacher that caused her behavior. Grievances were filed in
effort to get district to obey the law. To honor rights, to honor the
values of the American justice system, The flag is a clear symbol of
what she was trying to say, No reason to think acts would be
repeated if charges retracted before going back. Mrs. Mrs. Larkins
taught for twenty-seven years in the district, and never had any
problem like this. She was forced into this by the district. It was
the district’s obvious goal, and Mr. Werlin was the perfect person to
carry it out, to make it impossible for MRS. LARKINS to work in the
LEGAL CONCLUSIONS 8, 11 AND 16 (related to unfitness for
The COMMISSION states: “Termination of Mrs. Larkins will not have
an adverse impact or chilling effect on Mrs. Larkins’ constitutional
rights or the constitutional rights of others.”
This will certainly have a chilling and adverse impact on other
teachers because the COMMISSION dismissed MRS. LARKINS
because she attempted to bring the district into compliance with the
law. Petitioner’s constitutional right to petition for redress of
grievances is violated by the COMMISSION’s decision.
This decision dismisses Petitioner from employment on the basis of
“evident unfitness for service” because she petitioned for redress of
grievances. The findings on which the conclusion regarding her
“evident unfitness for service” was based include:
Factual finding 74: “…Mrs. Larkins filed additional grievances with
the District, specifically naming Assistant Superintendent Werlin
and Superintendent Gil in those grievances.”
Factual finding 82: Mrs. Larkins filed several more grievances
against the District in the months that followed.
Factual finding 83: On March 11, 2001, Mrs. Larkins filed a lawsuit
against the District.
To protect constitutional rights and for the public good, government
entities must not assure accusers, as did the District, that they will
not have to face those they have accused.
Having courage doesn’t mean a person lacks compassion.
Both evidence and testimony contradicts this. Concern for M. S.,
S. O., L. W., and, on January 26, 2001, for all who had harassed
Where is the evidence about character?
Evidence shows Petitioner gave a home to a homeless seventeen-
year-old girl in 2001 (Exhibit 51). This is a person without
compassion? There is no evidence that Petitioner is unable or
unwilling to recognize other people’s feelings and needs. It is a
baseless slander by the COMMISSION. Plaintiff hopes to be
vindicated. That does not mean she is vindictive.
The district gave no testimony about what these “interpersonal
conflicts” were about. No dates, no names, no description of words
or actions. on the basis of these factual findings:
Exhibit 14 page 30 in evidence--compassion for Sandra
Mrs. Larkins stated on page 312 of the Court Reporter’s transcript:
“I just didn’t want to complain about these people to the Assistant
Superintendent. It just seemed to be making too big a deal out of it,
and that’s why I told Dr. Donndelinger (the principal), you know, I
didn’t want to make that big a deal out of it. ‘I just wanted to talk to
Page 313 Mrs. Larkins: “…the Comer process is a—it’s based on a
philosophy whereby everyone is important, every voice is heard,
every child, every teacher, every parent, and it was perfect for my
situation because I literally was not being heard.”
This case has almost no resemblance to Woodland. Mrs. Larkins is
clearly different from Mr. Zuber. The only fixed character traits
apparent in Mrs. Larkins are courage, and faith in the justice
system. Al Smith actually accuses Mrs. Larkins of saying, “We need
to be positive.”
|The OAH violated Maura
Larkins’ right to defend herself.
|The Office of Administrative Hearings and CVESD
violated the law by dismissing a teacher because
she filed grievances and a lawsuit!
|The COMMISSION is amazing in its boldness to actually state that
its decision is based on this. The original dismissal threat was sent
one day after Plaintiff filed three grievances.
"Watchfulness in the
citizen is the
salvation of the
-- Inscription on the
walls of San Diego’s
Hall of Justice.