692 F.2d 529 (8th Cir. 1982), 82-1040, Gillespie v. Board of Educ. of North Little Rock School Dist., No. One of Pulaski County

Docket Nº:82-1040.
Citation:692 F.2d 529
Party Name:Barbara GILLESPIE, Appellant, v. The BOARD OF EDUCATION OF the NORTH LITTLE ROCK SCHOOL DISTRICT, NUMBER ONE OF PULASKI COUNTY, Mary A. Gosser As President and Representative said Board; and George Miller, Superintendent of Schools of said School District, Appellees.
Case Date:November 08, 1982
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
 
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692 F.2d 529 (8th Cir. 1982)

Barbara GILLESPIE, Appellant,

v.

The BOARD OF EDUCATION OF the NORTH LITTLE ROCK SCHOOL

DISTRICT, NUMBER ONE OF PULASKI COUNTY, Mary A. Gosser As

President and Representative said Board; and George Miller,

Superintendent of Schools of said School District, Appellees.

No. 82-1040.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

November 8, 1982

Submitted Sept. 28, 1982.

Robert V. Light, Little Rock, Ark., for appellees.

John W. Walker, Little Rock, Ark., for appellant.

Before HEANEY, Circuit Judge, and STEPHENSON and HENLEY, Senior Circuit Judges.

STEPHENSON, Senior Circuit Judge.

Plaintiff-appellant Barbara Gillespie appeals from the district court's 1 conclusion that appellee North Little Rock School District (School District) substantially complied with the notice provisions of Ark.Stat.Ann. Sec. 80-1304(b) (1980). We affirm the district court, 528 F.Supp. 433.

I. BACKGROUND

Gillespie, a certified guidance counselor, applied for and received a position as one of

Page 530

the two guidance counselors at Ridgeroad Junior High School for the 1979-80 school year, commencing her employment October 3, 1979. After starting work, she notified her principal, John Mears, that she was pregnant and would require maternity leave. The School District granted Gillespie maternity leave and she was on leave from January 11, 1980 to March 5, 1980.

Approximately one month after she returned from her maternity leave, Gillespie was informed by Mears that declining enrollment had forced the School District to abolish her position as guidance counselor for the 1980-81 school year. One week later, on April 10, 1980, Gillespie and her husband met with John Brooks, director of secondary education. Brooks also told Gillespie that one counselor position at her school would have to be eliminated because of the decline in student enrollment. However, Brooks assured Gillespie that she would be reassigned as a classroom teacher for the 1980-81 school year. In a letter to Brooks dated April 21, 1980, Gillespie confirmed her conversations with Brooks and Mears. She stated that she understood that Ridgeroad did not need her as a counselor but that she would have an assignment for the 1980-81 year. She further emphasized that she would like a counseling position when one became available in any school in the district.

Because of a computer programming error, Gillespie received a counseling position contract for the 1980-81 school year dated May 23, 1980. Although she was surprised to receive the counseling contract, Gillespie immediately executed the contract and returned it to the School District. When she told Mears about the...

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