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Mary Dickinson’s Appeal

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The commissioner’s decision, regarding Mary Dickinson’s appeal, was adequate and consistent with the law. It is understandable that Mary Dickinson felt that she had been unjustly dismissed by the Board of Education of the Deer ParkUnionFreeSchool District. It is also reasonable that she believed that her rights had been violated when she was denied tenure. However, after having reviewed the commissioner’s decision it becomes clear that Mary Dickinson was, in fact, not entitled to tenure, so her appeal had no basis.

The case’s facts are quite clear. Mary Dickinson was, originally, hired as a remedial reading teacher in 200?. Later that year (April 24), she was granted tenure by the Board of Education (effective August 31), and on June 30 her position was abolished and her name was placed on the district’s preferred eligibility list so that when a position opened up in reading she would be recalled to work. (Plagiarism) In 2008, a reading position was created and Dickinson was not recalled for the job; the position was given to someone else. Dickinson went to court and it was ordered on September 2008 that she has been reinstated with back pay, seniority and benefits. The Board of Education acquiesced and on June 23, 2009, she was recalled for a reading position. This recall, however, did not grant tenure, given that the initial tenure grant was supposed to become effective on August 31, 2007. Tenure never materialized because her probationary position was abolished on June 30, 2007.

When Mary Dickinson was reinstated, she could only be appointed under a probationary status, which meant she had not tenure and was not entitled to procedural protection of Education Laws. One month after being reinstated, the Board of Education decided to let Mary Dickinson go. The Board of Education had every right to terminate Dickinson without granting any tenure privileges, simply because, she did not have any (what didn’t she have?). The facts of the case make this clear and the commissioner’s decision was, therefore, consisted with the law and with the case’s facts.

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