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Judicial review upholds teacher's termination

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

(Photo)
Anita Miller
A civil lawsuit filed by a former schoolteacher in an attempt to get her job back is over.

On March 12, Clay County Civil Court Judge Joseph Trout filed a judicial review in the matter of Anita M. Miller Vs. Clay Community School Corporation.

According to officials, the judicial review process was not to determine Miller's guilt of criminal activity or evaluate the evidence. It was only to review and justify the procedures used to terminate her teaching contract per state statue (Indiana Code 20-28-7-2 and IC 20-28-7-3 through 5) and to determine if her conduct (the reason/incident for her dismissal) offended "the morals of the community and is a bad example to the youth whose ideals a teacher is supposed to foster and to elevate."

On April 3, 2008, Miller filed the case after the school board canceled her permanent teaching contract due to allegations stemming from an altercation with members of the Clay County Sheriff's Department. Taking place at the intersection of County Road 700 North (Staunton Road) and CR 200 W. (Waterworks Road), the incident culminated in her arrest the evening of Jan. 13, 2008.

According to court documents, Miller, a teacher/coach at Northview High School at the time of the incident, was formally charged with class B misdemeanor public intoxication and class C misdemeanor public nudity charges in Clay Superior Court.

On Jan. 28, 2008, Miller was served with legal notice for the consideration by the school board to cancel her contract at a meeting on March 5, 2008. The letter contained state statues and the descriptive reasons for her dismissal.

Miller's attorney, Darrell Felling, notified Superintendent Dan Schroeder of her request for a hearing. At the hearing, which took place during an executive session, witnesses, including Miller, provided testimony.

Afterward, the members of the school board met in a public session and voted unanimously to cancel Miller's teaching contract.

Trout's formal judicial review upheld the school board's termination process of Miller's contract, thus ending the civil case.

"There are no winners in this situation," Clay Community School Board President Brian Atkinson said in an e-mail provided to The Brazil Times. "I am pleased that the judicial review has agreed with the decision of the Clay Community School Board and the administration in this case."

Although Miller could file an appeal in the case within 30 days of the filed judicial review, no appeal was apparently filed in the matter as of April 15. The Brazil Times was unable to contact Clay Community School Corporation Attorney Wayne Uhl for comment.

In Miller's ongoing criminal case, a continuance was recently granted and the matter was reset for jury trial at 1:30 p.m., Sept. 28. However, Clay Superior Court will not grant any more continuances without good cause.

Times Staff Reporter Kimberly Gleason contributed to this report.


Comments
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Does she not realize that if she were to get her job back, she's going to be a joke to the students. They aren't going to listen to her or respect her, she'll have no control over these kids. I for one agree 100% with the decision to terminate her contract.

-- Posted by asil on Wed, Apr 15, 2009, at 9:27 PM

Job well done.

-- Posted by indygirl.com on Thu, Apr 16, 2009, at 8:35 AM

Let's see, if I had been foolish enough to be drinking and driving, got stopped by the police, pulled down my pants in public because I was intoxicated to the point that I would do that with police officers standing there, had these incidents splashed all over the local paper, had the negative publicity of being terminated by the school corporation....etc., etc., etc., I wouldn't be fighting for my old job back as I would realize that my effectiveness as a teacher in this community is now less than zero. As a matter of fact, I'd be planning to move to somewhere they have never heard of me as soon as possible, swearing to myself to never again drink to the point that I no longer cared where I was or what I was doing if not swearing just never to drink alcohol again,getting on with my life, and learning from my mistake.

This incident is not the end of Ms. Miller's life, but it is a definite low point. I can understand why she has went through the legal process, we all need money, but surely she recognizes that no one can recommend that she be re-hired in our school corporation. She has lost "trust" and that can be very hard to earn considering what transpired.

I wish her well, elsewhere.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Thu, Apr 16, 2009, at 10:36 AM

When something like this happens to a person like NuNu (a winner in her youth), they sometimes believe they paid their dues (in fines, jailtime and penalties) and should not be held further responsible by losing their jobs. Unfortunately, in this case and being a teacher/coach and a role model, I believe the decision of the School Board was justified and applaude Judge Trout for believe so as well.

NuNu, you were a true role model in your youth, I know I looked up to you .. being a competitor from Van Buren. I hope you get your life back together and begin making better decisions for your future and that of your family, friends and your son. He deserves better than this. He's a great kid.

-- Posted by Emmes on Thu, Apr 16, 2009, at 10:40 AM

i think that she should get her job back . i respect her and i will never not respect her. everyone makes mistakes.

so everyone grow up

-- Posted by nhs_babe_2011 on Thu, Apr 16, 2009, at 1:26 PM

""i think that she should get her job back . i respect her and i will never not respect her. everyone makes mistakes.

so everyone grow up

-- Posted by nhs_babe_2011""

But not everyone gets drunk, gets arrested, and pulls down their pants in front of the police. You need a reality check.

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Thu, Apr 16, 2009, at 3:58 PM

Not a good example for our kids, to tell them to

not drink, and behave well, then a teacher wants

to behave this way, and it be public knowledge.

It is ashamed that all of her education, and this

is just senseless!

-- Posted by busymomandstudent on Thu, Apr 16, 2009, at 4:54 PM

It is true that everyone makes mistakes, but that is no excuse for what she did. Ms. Miller should have been "grown up" enough to know you do not drink & drive and you definately do not drop you pants in front of a cop!!

My grand daughter will soon be at that school & I personally don't want someone like that around her!

-- Posted by th1953 on Thu, Apr 16, 2009, at 6:48 PM

It's all about ethics, morals, and integrity of the position being held. This position especially. Off work or on you should be a positive role model.

-- Posted by Criminology08 on Fri, Apr 17, 2009, at 2:33 AM

Also, Good job Judge Trout!

-- Posted by Criminology08 on Fri, Apr 17, 2009, at 2:35 AM

Good decision...Children Learn what they Live....

Every action has repercussion!

-- Posted by deedee on Fri, Apr 17, 2009, at 7:29 AM

nhs_babe_2011: I feel that you just need to quit posting comments on here. You have proven to take the sides of all of the drunks and druggies in Brazil. Ms. Miller lost her job for a good reason, she got drunk and drove and then pulled her pants down in front of a police officer. That in my book is not acceptable. She is a teacher and when she took the job she knew that her private life unless behind closed doors was no longer private. People make mistakes I will be the frist to admit that but I will also be the first to admit that you also need to be punished for the mistakes that you make. She did the crime now she has to deal with the punishment. Today's kids have enough to worry about they don't need her leading them. I have a son that is going to be in Northview next year and I would not want her anywhere near him.

-- Posted by time2growup on Fri, Apr 17, 2009, at 8:19 AM

Some mistakes are big one's and this one...well it's a whopper! She knew when she took the position that her life would be her work. As a daughter of a retired teacher, I know my father has lived his life being an example of how to live productively by his actions. With teaching, that comes with the territory.

I know we are all allowed to have a private life, but you still have to balance these things. She made a HUGE mistake and now, she is paying the price. I totally support Judge Trout in his decision and I do sincerely hope this teacher can now begin picking up the pieces of her life and live properly with abundance.

(Oh, and if drinking makes you remove your clothing in public...maybe it's time for a different hobby)

-- Posted by karenmeister on Fri, Apr 17, 2009, at 10:54 AM

I know someone who got arrested for drinking & driving and he lost his job as a mechanic. It was because the insurance company that insures the repair shop would no longer cover him. He offered to never test drive the vehicles but that was not enough. So I guess everyone should be aware that you CAN lose your job if caught drinking and driving.

-- Posted by indianamama on Thu, Apr 23, 2009, at 2:33 PM


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