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I am a junior high basketball coach. A school board member…

Customer Question
I am a junior...

I am a junior high basketball coach. A school board member improperly and against the law (I believe) made a statement in an open session of a school board meeting against me. He attempted to influence me to give his grandson "favorite status". I refused. At the end of the school year I was not offered a contract for next year. I am sure that the board member used pressure on other members of the board to vote negatively against me. I was recommended with the highest terms by the administrators of the school district. Do I have a case for employment retaliation or wrongful termination?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because education law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Missouri

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

Not yet. I have requested the minutes of the closed session where my contract offer would have been discussed.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I don't think so.

Submitted: 1 year ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 7 minutes by:
5/12/2017
Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 1 year ago
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 126,853
Experience: JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
Verified
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
What type of statement did he make? Against what law do you believe the statement was a violation?
Were you tenured and guaranteed a renewed contract?
Closed meetings do not have minutes that are open to the public, so it would take a lawsuit and subpoena to get them.
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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
He called for an investigation into the junior high program in open session when all employee style questions are supposed to be done in closed session. I have been an employee for 6 years. Minutes from closed meetings may be made available to the individual concerned under Missouri's Sunshine Law. I believe that my contract not being renewed was due to retaliation by the board member for not succumbing to pressure by him to give more playing time to his grandson.
Customer reply replied 1 year ago
No reason was given for the negative vote by the school board. The recommendation by the school district's administration is almost always accepted by the board, and in this case was the only one of 20-some positions that was denied. The vote was 3-4 against.
Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 1 year ago

Thank you for your reply.

Before you can do anything, you need to get the minutes, because proving what type of things he said or what influence he exerted is nearly impossible without some proof. As far as comments he made about you in public, you can pursue that if the comments were false or disparaging directly about you for defamation/libel and you can seek damages for any disparaging comments directed at you.

If he was calling for an investigation into the program itself without accusing you directly, this can pose an issue for you suing for defamation/libel or violation of any of the rules regarding closed session because calling for a program investigation is not the same as calling for personnel investigation.

You have to get more evidence and the records regarding the contract renewal discussion to determine what specifically was said to know if you have a defamation claim or a claim for retaliation for non-renewal of your contract, because generally unless your contract was not renewed based only on your age/race/sex/disability/national origin or in retaliation for exercise of your legal rights, you have no claim. You are alleging retaliation and need to get some more proof of it to have a winning case for the non-renewal.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page , as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback.

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