HPK Attorneys Successfully Defend Charles County Board Of Education

In December, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled against a Charles County teacher who had sued the school system for discrimination, alleging the school’s failure to accomodate her disability. The case began in 2006 when the teacher underwent surgery to have her esophagus removed. After the surgery she had difficulty bending, lifting and walking. Before the surgery, she had wored for about ten years as an elementary and middle school art and computer technology teacher. After her surgery, she was advised by doctors to not work with small children. She was placed at North Point High School. She was unhappy with the position because it was not in a fixed classroom. Les Stellman, HPK Principal, who lead the defense of the case stated, “she was trying to cherry pick a specific position . . .We have no legal obligation to give her the assignment of her choice. Fixed classrooms are given to teachers based upon seniority, and Ms. Fink had not worked at North Point long enough to receive one.” While the Fourth Circuit judges agreed that Fink is disabled, they decided that the school board had not violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. Additionally,they did not believe that Fink had demonstrated that the school system had acted in retaliation against her. Full Case