FORT WORTH -- The Fort Worth school district has settled a lawsuit by a former teacher who said administrators retaliated against her after she reported concerns about her school.
Sandra Brody was a teacher at Clifford Davis Elementary School in the 2008-09 school year when she reported that physical education classes were being used to drill students for state math tests, she said.
She complained that students were not receiving as much physical activity as the state requires, reporting those concerns and others to district and state officials, she said.
"If something is not right at the school, then parents need to be informed," Brody said.
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Brody's suit alleged that as a result of her reports, her teaching contract was not renewed.
In the settlement, approved by the school board in January, the district agreed to pay Brody $41,500.
District spokesman Clint Bond declined to comment on specifics of the case, saying it was settled with a "no-fault" agreement. He said district officials do not think retaliation is an issue in the district.
"We have not found any evidence to that to make us believe that it's true," Bond said. "We look at each case on its merits. We always encourage anyone that if they see something wrong or that they perceived is wrong to tell a supervisor or to report those things."
Brody's lawsuit had been among at least three that are pending against the district claiming retaliation. Another is by an employee who says she was fired for reporting payroll problems, and the third is by a former assistant principal who said officials sought to terminate him after he reported problems at Arlington Heights High School.
Brody began work in the district as a teacher's aide in 2006. She became certified in the summer of 2007.
In 2008-09, Brody said, she became concerned that students at her school weren't having recess and that P.E. classes were being used to drill for the state-required Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills tests.
State law requires 30 minutes of daily "moderate or vigorous" structured physical activity or 135 minutes a week for elementary students. The activity doesn't have to be in a P.E. class, and such classes can be offered in various ways, according to the Texas Education Agency.
Brody said a central administrator who has since retired reinstated the P.E. lessons after concerns were reported. Brody said she continued to report other concerns and then began to receive threats from supervisors to the effect that she should look for another job. She also said she received write-ups of concern about her job performance and received reprimand letters.
The settlement stipulates that neither party in the suit admits any illegal activity and that the board will rescind its termination proposal and accept her resignation.
Eva-Marie Ayala, 817-390-7700