Archive for Saturday, March 4, 2006

Hearing officer upholds teacher’s dismissal

March 4, 2006

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A 22-month-old dispute over a decision not to renew a Lawrence special education teacher's contract has been resolved.

Earlier this week, Lawrence school board members learned that a hearing officer had upheld their decision not to retain Bill Ricketts.

Ricketts had been accused of insubordination, inappropriate interaction with students and failure to follow students' Individual Education Plans.

The decision not to renew Ricketts' contract was made April 27, 2004. A due-process hearing was held in September 2004.

A ruling was due in February 2005, but hearing officer Loretta Moore, a former Washburn University law professor, cut off contact with both Ricketts and the school board, prompting complaints from Supt. Randy Weseman.

Moore's ruling did not include an explanation of her tardiness.

"I guess she didn't feel compelled to do so," Weseman said. "She ruled in our favor; that's all I care about."

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