Matter of Watt v East Greenbush Cent. School Dist., 2011 NY Slip Op 04795,
- Courts must review Education Law §3020-a disciplinary determinations by a Hearing Officer in accordance with the provision set out in §7511 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules, which section permits vacatur of an award on grounds of misconduct, abuse of power or procedural defects.*
- Where the parties are required to submit the matter to arbitration, in contrast to submitting the matter to “voluntary arbitration,” courts must ensure that the award comports with due process and is supported by adequate evidence
- A court, when conducting its review of an arbitration award, must accept the Hearing Officer's credibility determinations.
- The free speech rights of school employees are not violated when a school district
imposes discipline on teachers for directing ethnic slurs or disparaging comments towards students in class.
- Ethnic comments deemed offensive or embarrassing by students is a proper basis for initiating disciplinary action against a teacher.
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