Board rejects transferred teachers' appeals

September 11, 1997


Staff Writer

The Washington County Board of Education has denied the appeals of two North Hagerstown High School teachers who were involved in a controversial job transfer this year, an official said.

Teacher Austin Gisriel and instructional assistant Kurt Britner already have filed suit over their transfers in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, alleging the school board and superintendent of schools violated their constitutional rights when they transferred them to other schools against their will.

Gisriel and Britner alleged in the suit that the transfers were made to stifle their criticism of the school administration and to punish them for a controversial newsletter they were publishing.


Gisriel and Britner also had appealed the transfers to the school board, which turned down the appeals last Wednesday, said attorney Brett Wilson, who represents the teachers in the federal case.

The teachers can appeal the decision to the state Board of Education. Gisriel said Wednesday it is "highly likely" it will be appealed.

The board's decision will not affect the federal suit, which asks the court to protect the teachers' jobs at North High, Wilson said.

No trial date has been set in the case.

Gisriel has been transferred to Smithsburg High School and Britner to the Alternative School.

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