Estimated read time: Less than a minute
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
WIND GAP, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania appeals court says a special education teacher shouldn't have been fired for hanging an "I abuse animals" sign around the neck of an autistic, mentally challenged 14-year-old who hit a goat during a petting zoo field trip.
The Commonwealth Court's ruling Monday upholds an arbitrator's decision to convert Bruce Millheim's firing from the Bethlehem-area Colonial Intermediate Unit to a 53-day unpaid suspension.
Arbitrator Rochelle Kaplan reversed Millheim's December 2011 firing despite finding fault with the sign and other discipline measures, including calling students sissy and crybaby, twisting arms and pushing heads.
In her 2012 ruling she said the intermediate unit owed him 14 months of back wages. She said he must follow an improvement plan.
The intermediate unit's solicitor says school districts, not arbitrators, should make personnel decisions.
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.