375 F.Supp. 1043 (N.D.Tex. 1974), Civ. A. CA-5-74-15, Warren v. National Ass'n of Secondary School Principals

Docket Nº:Civ. A. CA-5-74-15
Citation:375 F.Supp. 1043
Party Name:Warren v. National Ass'n of Secondary School Principals
Case Date:May 21, 1974
Court:United States District Courts, 5th Circuit, Northern District of Texas

Page 1043

375 F.Supp. 1043 (N.D.Tex. 1974)

Weldon Robert WARREN et al., Plaintiffs,



Civ. A. No. CA-5-74-15.

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Lubbock Division.

May 21, 1974

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Thomas J. Purdom, Robert E. Garner, Jack O. Nelson, Jr., Garner, Boulter, Jesko & Purdom, Lubbock, Tex., for plaintiffs.

James H. Milam, Crenshaw, Dupree & Milam, Lubbock, Tex., Ivan B. Gluckman, Nat'l Assoc. of Secondary School Principals, Reston, Va., for defendants.


WOODWARD, District Judge.

Plaintiffs allege a cause of action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and claim jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1343. Plaintiffs are Robert Weldon Warren, a student in Tahoka High School, and his parents. Defendants are the four teachers who compose the faculty council of the National Honor Society at Tahoka High School and the national association which sponors the National Honor Society. Plaintiffs assert that defendants have deprived young Warren of certain rights in violation of the fourteenth amendment. This memorandum opinion will serve as the court's findings of fact and conclusions of law.

This case was tried before the court without a jury on May 9, 1974 and all parties were present with their counsel in open court. At the termination of the trial, the court orally entered a temporary restraining order prohibiting the defendants from taking any further action with respect to the dismissal of Weldon Robert Warren from the National Honor Society or the Tahoka chapter of the National Honor Society.

Weldon is presently a senior at Tahoka High School and will graduate within a few weeks. His school record is quite impressive and includes election to the National Honor Society in his sophomore year, quarterbacking a successful football team and being named salutatorian of his senior class. He has been generally recognized as a leader in all student activities and his scholastic ability, character and service to the school have been acknowledged by all parties as exceptional.

The National Honor Society is sponsored in many high schools throughout the country by the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the Tahoka chapter has had a charter from the national association since 1946. The Tahoka chapter has its own constitution (Pltf's Ex. 1), which governs the admission of students to and the conduct of the business of the chapter. Certain conflicts appear in the constitution which have a bearing on the case before the court. Section 1 of Article III provides that a council, consisting of the principal and four or more teachers selected by the principal are to conduct the election of the members to the chapter. There is no other provision in the constitution concerning the number to serve on this council, but in all actions in this suit the council was comprised of only three faculty members and the principal. Section 6 of Article II provides that dismissal 'is the province of the faculty or the faculty council and principal.' This follows the paragraph providing for dismissal of a member who deliberately violates a school or civil law or acts in a manner unbecoming as a member of the National Honor Society. The following section, Section 7, states that any member of the National Honor Society who falls below the standards which were the basis of his election for membership shall be dismissed from the chapter by the majority vote of the faculty upon the recommendation of the council.

As the disciplinary actions taken against Weldon were all initiated by the faculty council with no intervention by the entire faculty, it is obvious that the provisions of Section 7 were not followed. The decisions...

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