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Former Teacher with Learning Disability Files Lawsuit Under ADA

A former middle school teacher who taught fifth-grade students multi-media and study skills has filed a lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Act against the school district she formerly worked for. The lawsuit claims that the school district did not properly accommodate the teacher's learning disability as she worked towards gaining her teaching certification. The former teacher is also the daughter of a school district board member.

The lawsuit also claims that the teacher was singled out to punish her father because he is thought to be a controversial member of the school board. The lawsuit asks for the teacher to be reassigned to her position and asks for lost wages and benefits. The school district's superintendent, human resources director and the district itself are named in the lawsuit.

In August 2008, the teacher was hired as a part of a practicum program that combined the internship and student teaching portions of her degree. According to the lawsuit, the school district advised the teacher that she would have up to three years to obtain her teaching certificate. The teacher claims that she made the school district aware of her learning disability and that her learning disability meets the standards under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

One year after she was hired, the school district informed her that if she did not obtain her teacher's certification by the end of the current school year that she would be fired. According to the lawsuit, the teacher asked the school district for accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The teacher explained that she needed a longer amount of time to complete certificate testing because of learning disability. According to the lawsuit, the school district denied the teacher's request.

Source: The Express-Times, "Michele Vulcano Hall, daughter of Easton Area School Board member Pat Vulcano, Files Lawsuit Against the District," Michael Buck, 1/3/11

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