Monroe district, officials reject Todd lawsuit claims

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

OXFORD – The Amory School District and two officials say a fired principal’s federal lawsuit isn’t valid.
Leigh Todd is bringing the suit based on when she was West Amory Elementary School’s principal.
On March 7, 2011, she disciplined a second-grade special education student by forcing him to stick out his tongue virtually all day. She reportedly struck him with a paddle and ruler whenever his tongue went back in his mouth and ridiculed him in front of teachers and other students. She also reportedly lied when she told his parents he was provided lunch that day, when he was not.
Ten days later, Todd was fired by Dr. Gearl Loden, the superintendent. The school board upheld his decision 4-1 after a three-day hearing requested by Todd.
The legal document filed this week by the district, Loden and special education director Dr. Candace Moore insists Todd’s issues already were decided by the board’s “quasi judicial” hearing and binding upon Todd.
They note she never appealed their decision to a state court, which she should have done.
Judicial rules bar one party from re-litigating an issue already determined against her, as well as barring action on administrative actions already settled by a judicial decision.
Todd sued in federal court June 16, saying her termination deprived her of her civil rights.
Trial is set Nov. 5, 2012, before Chief Judge Michael P. Mills.
patsy.brumfield@journalinc.com