Judge hears dismissal motion for teacher’s lawsuit

Ryan Ross
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A former vice-principal is seeking damages from the Eastern School District after it allegedly refused her application for a job at the vice-principal level or as a guidance counsellor.

The case of a woman who is suing the Eastern School District was in P.E.I. Supreme Court Tuesday as lawyers for the district tried to have it dismissed.

E. Jo-Anne Lanigan is seeking damages from the district after it allegedly refused her application for a job at the vice-principal level or as a guidance counsellor.

During a motion hearing in Charlottetown, Lynn Murray, one of the district’s lawyers, argued Lanigan’s claims were subject to the P.E.I. Teachers’ Federation’s collective bargaining agreement and should be dealt with through it.

Lanigan, who was a vice-principal at Dundas Consolidated School until it closed, filed her initial statement of claim in December 2011in which she sought reinstatement as an administrator at the vice-principal level, along with other damages.

She filed an amended claim in February 2012.

Lanigan started working at Donagh Regional School in 2009 as a vice-principal and teacher.

Among her allegations were claims a special needs student’s parents challenged her integrity and competence in numerous incidents at the school, the district office and within the community, all without any intervention from the district.

Lanigan claimed an investigation led to her unjust removal as vice-principal.

The district denied Lanigan’s allegations and none of them have been proven in court.

Murray argued a grievance review board should have jurisdiction over Lanigan’s claims.

She also said provincial legislation binds teachers and the school board to their collective bargaining agreement.

James MacNutt, one of Lanigan’s lawyers, said she has a right to take her claims to court and nothing in provincial legislation nullifies that right.

Justice Wayne Cheverie adjourned to take the matter under advisement and said he will issue his decision at a later date.

rross@theguardian.pe.ca

twitter.com/ryanrross

Organizations: P.E.I. Teachers, Dundas Consolidated School, Donagh Regional School

Geographic location: Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • Where is the PEITF
    January 16, 2013 - 20:02

    Another teacher left alone to defend herself. It is sad to see that PEI teachers do not have a real union and are "protected" by puppets of the School Boards.

    • Joe MacAulay
      January 16, 2013 - 21:10

      Once again the District does what it wants, regardless of the people who work under them. They change the rules to suit their needs and desires at the time. A scary scenario with may other teachers looking at this ad saying where is the PEITF federation on this. You look for support and guidance, but as stated earlier, they are in the same boat with the District. So much with being protected by your federation that you pay good money to. Absolutely disheartening.... Where has our democracy gone.....

  • Beth Graham
    January 16, 2013 - 19:52

    Finally a teacher standing up for themself. Long overdo! The whole educational system is in a sad state of affairs, and it starts from the so called "leaders" of school "effectiveness" down. Not too effective from where Islanders stand. Maybe we need to form another "committee" to see how we can improve things in our education system....Oh right, they did that....

  • Nor easter
    January 16, 2013 - 18:46

    Did Jo-anne Lanigan ever think that with all the school closures that she wasn't needed in the system anymore because there was already more qualified persons to fill those jobs. Its not always the fault of the school district.

    • Island Boy
      January 16, 2013 - 21:34

      Nor Easter: You are so incorrect. Read the comments from teachers concerning the "arrangement" between District and Federation. In fact, there is a shortage of teacher's and counsellors with Lanigan's background. Wait and wtach where this case leads you to and who really is "padding' their nests.

  • Island Boy
    January 16, 2013 - 18:03

    Bill Kays you are " out to lunch" !. The situation is due to lack of a workable and real School Act sections of which were repealed and not replaced. The PEI Teachers' Federation has some "homework" to do and, in its present entity, is NOT the organization that should teachers should have to depend upon to correct situations. PEI must develop and legislate a sound and workable School Act that meets the needs of students, parents, educators and administrators.

  • Bill Kays
    January 16, 2013 - 16:46

    There will be many more lawsuits to follow this one, this is just the first of many. This may or may not be a justified dismissal but the real news here is this. The collective agreements are falling apart and are unsustainable and always were. The same goes for the unfunded pension scam. Government is trying to pay for the inflated salaries, pensions, etc. of the government bureaucracy on the backs of the very poor, the working poor and the middle class. The middle class of yesteryear is on the way out. All policies of these governments are designed to have the effect of destroying the middle class. The worst is yet to come. Stop building roundabouts and start building homeless shelters. Stop protecting the rich and start protecting your poor.

    • LA
      January 16, 2013 - 17:22

      You know Bill, not every subject can be answered with "build homeless shelters instead."

    • Garth Staples
      January 16, 2013 - 18:27

      Bill- the Federation is the greatest impediment to education progress in PEI. The 'family compact' in many sectors of society is alive and well on PEI.