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home : most recent : government-federal September 23, 2017

8/30/2017 7:37:00 PM
First Amendment lawsuits vs. Muncie Community Schools settled

Seth Slabaugh, Star Press

MUNCIE — Lawsuits claiming Muncie Community Schools violated the Constitutional rights of two former educators who criticized the school district are being settled out of court.

Retired teacher Kay Rankin and retired principal Mike Ryan sued after being banned in February from school property for "disruptive conduct." A month later, the ban was modified to allow them to continue to attend school board meetings — after the school district heard from their lawyer.

The primary target of the criticism was Superintendent Steve Baule, who spearheaded unpopular cost-cutting measures at the deficit-ridden school district.

While the lawsuit was filed in state court in Delaware County, the defendants had it removed to U.S. District Court in Indianapolis, where Magistrate Judge Tim A. Baker this week "has been advised by counsel that a settlement has been reached in this matter."

Jason Delk, attorney for Rankin and Ryan, is declining comment until the settlement is approved by the school board.

School board President Debbie Feick told The Star Press: "Our insurance carrier, Argo Group, has negotiated an agreed resolution that will be subject to board approval at our Sept. 12 meeting."

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Editor, John C. DePrez Jr.; Executive Editor, Carol Rogers; Publishers: IBRC and IAR

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