Former MCS Staff Member Found To Be Wrongfully Terminated

  • 12/3/2018 4:52:14 PM
  • Jesse Smith
  • Local News

MANSFIELD, OH - On Thursday, January 25th, Mansfield Senior High School Principal Jose Hernandez and Assistant Principal Fuzzie Davis were placed on paid administrative leave after a personnel matter occurred within the school system. The Mansfield Board of Education then elected to terminate Davis in April, after a 30-year career in public education.

On Monday, Referee R. Lee Shepherd has submitted his opinion on Davis' termination in the school system. According to the referee's report, the issue stemmed from Davis not reporting misconduct between another staff member and a student.

"It is the position of the Mansfield Board of Education as set forth in its 'intention to terminate' letter of April 23, 2018, that the good and just cause for the termination of the employment of employee Davis is her failure to act in accordance with the provisions of Ohio Revised Code §2151.421. This position was the focus of the evidence (both testimony and exhibits) as presented by the board throughout the hearing. Consequently, it must be determined whether employee Davis failed to act in accordance with Ohio Revised Code §2151.421 and, if so, whether her failure to do so establishes good and just cause for termination."

According to the Ohio Revised Code, "No person who is acting in an official or professional capacity and knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect based on facts that would cause a reasonable person in a similar position to suspect, that a child under eighteen years of age, or a person, under twenty-one years of age with a developmental disability or physical impairment, has suffered or faces a threat of suffering any physical or mental wound, injury, disability, or condition of a nature that reasonably indicates abuse or neglect of the child shall fail to immediately report that knowledge or reasonable cause to suspect to the entity or persons specified in this division."

Shepherd's report then stated:
"The mandatory duty to report, as set forth in Ohio Revised Code §2151.421 is only applicable in circumstances involving a child under eighteen years of age, or a person under twenty-one years of age with a developmental disability or physical impairment. Herein, no evidence established the involvement of a person under twenty-one years of age with a developmental disability or physical impairment. Therefore, applicable circumstances involving a child under eighteen years of age must be the focus... 
...In conclusion, I find by a preponderance of the evidence presented that the specification of grounds as contained within the April 23, 2018 letter of the Mansfield City Schools Board of Education does not establish a sufficient basis for the termination of the employment contract of Fuzzie Davis."
Davis' legal representative, Beverly Farlow of Farlow & Associates, stated that Davis was "extremely pleased" with the referee's report, and found the results "very gratifying."

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