Tenure Commission Upholds Discharge of Insubordinate Teacher

In Sawicki v Bangor Twp Sch Dist (21-8), the State Tenure Commission (STC) upheld the school district’s discharge of an insubordinate teacher. Thrun Law Firm successfully represented the school district in bringing tenure charges.

During his 29-year employment with the District, Sawicki was placed on several different individual development plans (IDPs) for performance issues. During remote instruction in the 2020-2021 school year, Sawicki failed to create and follow lesson plans based on district-adopted curriculum, did not provide adequate resources or instruction to students, and neglected his duty to accurately complete accom-modation logs for special education students.

In August 2021, the Board discharged Sawicki on charges that he: (1) falsified student records; (2) engaged in unprofessional conduct; (3) violated board policies, administrative guidelines, and the employee handbook; (4) was derelict in his professional duties; and (5) engaged in insubordination. Sawicki challenged the decision by filing a claim of appeal with the State Tenure Commission.

In the preliminary decision and order (PDO), the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) upheld the district’s decision to discharge Sawicki, noting that the district had proven the majority of the charges by a preponderance of the evidence and that the district’s reasons for the discharge were neither arbitrary nor capricious. On appeal, the State Tenure Commission (STC) agreed, unanimously adopting the ALJ’s PDO. Sawicki has appealed the STC’s decision to the Michigan Court of Appeals.

Thrun Law Firm has handled tenure cases for our clients for more than 75 years. Should you have questions regarding the process of filing tenure charges, please contact a Thrun labor attorney.