New hearing officer will review Coleman case

May 04, 2011 at 09:30 pm by Observer-Review


New hearing officer will review Coleman case

DUNDEE—Yates County Acting Supreme Court Justice W. Patrick Falvey vacated Hearing Officer Dennis Campagna's decision on Dundee Central School District teacher Douglas Coleman, April 29.
The Dundee School Board explained Falvey ruled that Coleman's penalty lacked a rational basis.  Coleman was found guilty of conduct unbecoming a teacher on three charges, but Campagna authorized no dismissal.  The board said Falvey's decision was based on the hearing officer's order Coleman be suspended for six months without pay, which ended Feb. 1.  Coleman returned to work at the school, but the district did not let him teach.

The case was remanded to a new hearing officer to determine the appropriate penalty.  The board said it believes Coleman should be terminated.  In a press release, Wednesday, May 4, the Dundee School Board said it was pleased with Falvey's decision and is optimistic that a new hearing officer reviewing the case will result in an appropriate measure of discipline.  Dundee school appealed Campagna's ruling from Jan. 7, 2011.  Campagna's three charges against Coleman were:
• Administering a test to his 12th grade government class that contained misspellings, was the same test used two years previously, tested at lower academic levels than should have been utilized for 12th grade students and contained inappropriate and suggestive vocabulary terms.
• Coleman made inappropriate references to a student with disabilities in a poor and/or failed attempt at humor on the 12th grade government examination.
• Attempted to bypass the established District procedure with respect to the utilization of movies within his class.


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