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Archive for Saturday, July 13, 2002

Court reinstates teacher of deaf

July 13, 2002

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— A teacher fired from the state School for the Deaf after a student died on a field trip two years ago will get his job back after a Kansas Supreme Court ruling Friday.

The court ordered the State Board of Education to reinstate Charles E. Marsh Jr. The board oversees the operation of the school in Olathe.

In March 2000, a train struck Justin Barnett while he and another student were moving old railroad ties to Marsh's property near Hume, Mo. Marsh planned to create a haven for his students, and the field trip had been described as a community-service project.

The board fired Marsh a month after Barnett's death, but a three-member administrative hearing panel ordered Marsh reinstated. Last year, Shawnee County District Judge Eric Rosen overturned the hearing panel, and Marsh took the case to the Supreme Court.

Marsh, an Olathe resident, spent the last year as a long-term substitute teacher at Lawrence High School. His son, Kester, is the sign-language instructor at Lawrence Free State High School and lives in Eudora.

In their unanimous ruling, the justices said Rosen was wrong to overturn the hearing panel. The Supreme Court said it and the district court were to consider only whether evidence supported the hearing panel's decision.

The case is Kansas State Board of Education v. Charles E. Marsh Jr., No. 87,553.

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