Saturday, January 25, 2003

Lawyer says teacher wasn't acting immoral



The Associated Press

LEXINGTON - Attorneys for a Fayette County teacher who was fired after she was jailed for trespassing during a protest in 2001 said her conduct was neither immoral nor harmful to students.

Janice Sevre-Duszynska, who taught English as a second language for 12 years at Henry Clay High School, was fired last month.

She served a 90-day sentence at the Federal Medical Center prison camp in Lexington. She was arrested in November 2001 for trespassing at Fort Benning, Ga., during a protest against the former School of the Americas.

Just after her prison release, she received a letter from interim Superintendent Duane Tennant saying she had been fired for insubordination - being absent without leave - and for conduct unbecoming a teacher. At a hearing Thursday, attorneys said Ms. Sevre-Duszynska had no choice but to report to prison.

Much of Thursday's testimony concerned a leave of absence, which Ms. Sevre-Duszynska had asked for but was not granted. Because she was absent without leave, she violated her contract, school system attorney Bob Chenoweth said.

Mr. Chenoweth also implied that Ms. Sevre-Duszynska had not done everything she could to keep her job. Neither she nor Mr. Tennant asked the school board, the final arbiter on such decisions, for its opinion on a leave of absence.

Mr. Tennant said he acted unilaterally because he could not find anything in school board policy authorizing a leave for incarceration.

Ms. Sevre-Duszynska said she could not have appealed to the school board because Mr. Tennant banned her from school property, where board meetings are held.

The hearing is being held before assistant state attorney general Michael Head. A three-person tribunal is the jury.

Closing arguments were scheduled for Friday, and a decision is expected next week.




TOP STORIES
Taft urges 6 increase in fuel tax
Middletown gets its second wind
Schools struggle to meet Bush's reforms
To cope in cold, go north

IN THE TRISTATE
Brent Spence study begins as funding questions arise
Spike Lee backs out of Feb. appearance at UC
Man shot in apparent break-in
Demolition begins to make way for new Midway Elementary
Deerfield Twp. marks 200 years
Study could result in scholarship funds
Obituary: James Parker helped shape labor relations

ENQUIRER COLUMNISTS
RADEL: Gambling Addict?
GUTIERREZ: No language war
FAITH MATTERS: Churches link charity, Super Bowl
McNUTT: Need a friend?

BUTLER, WARREN, CLERMONT
Lawmakers: Growth will continue in suburbs
1974 murder suspect pursued
Attack blamed on insanity; new bond asked
State buying development rights
Pair arrested as paintball vandals

OHIO
Inmate ruled trial-ready in guard's death
Doctor keeps busy at Cleveland's zoo
New Senate president doesn't stray from rural roots
Ohio Moments

KENTUCKY
Touchdown puts love on the board
Slain pilot's estate object of legal fight in family
Woman says doctor carved 'UK' during surgery
Candidates for governor shy from raising Ky. taxes
Erlanger-Elsmere district adopts utility tax
Lawyer says teacher wasn't acting immoral
Police investigate whether overdoses caused 2 deaths