Horosko v. Mount Pleasant Township School District, 256

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
Writing for the CourtMR. LINN, JUSTICE.
Citation6 A.2d 866,335 Pa. 369
PartiesHorosko v. Mount Pleasant Township School District et al., Appellants
Decision Date19 June 1939
Docket Number256

6 A.2d 866

335 Pa. 369

Horosko
v.
Mount Pleasant Township School District et al., Appellants

No. 256

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

June 19, 1939


Argued May 9, 1939.

Appeal, No. 256, Jan. T., 1939, from order of Superior Court, Feb. T., 1939, No. 34, reversing order of C.P. Wayne Co., Oct. T., 1937, No. 107, in case of Evelyn A. Horosko v. The School District of the Township of Mount Pleasant et al. Order reversed.

Appeal to common pleas from dismissal of teacher by school board. Before SWOYER, P.J.

The facts are stated in the opinion of the Supreme Court and also in the opinion of the Superior Court, reported in 135 Pa.Super. 102.

Order entered affirming action of school board in dismissing teacher. Teacher appealed to Superior Court, which reversed the order of the court below. Appeal by defendants allowed to Supreme Court.

Error assigned, among others, was order of Superior Court.

The order of the Superior Court is reversed and that of the Common Pleas is reinstated; each party to bear its own costs.

Leigh B. Maxwell, for appellants.

Milford J. Meyer, with him Louis A. Fine and David J. Reedy, for appellee.

Before KEPHART, C.J., SCHAFFER, MAXEY, DREW, LINN, STERN and BARNES, JJ.

OPINION [6 A.2d 867]

[335 Pa. 370] MR. LINN, JUSTICE.

This appeal is from an order of the Superior Court [1] reversing an order of the Common Pleas which had affirmed the action of a school board in discharging a teacher.

On her appeal to the Common Pleas the teacher requested and obtained a hearing de novo [2] as permitted by section 1205 (j) of the Act of April 6, 1937, P.L. 213, 24 PS section 1126 (j), amending the School Code. Paragraph (j) contains the following: "Upon the hearing of said petition, the court shall make whatever order it considers just, either affirming or reversing the action of the board of school directors, and stating plainly whether the professional employe is to be discharged, refused reelection or is to be retained."

The difference of view between the two learned courts which have considered the case, arises from a different construction of the following provision in section [335 Pa. 371] 1205 (a), 24 PS section 1126 (a): "(a) The only valid causes for termination of a contract in accordance with the provisions of this section shall be -- Immorality, incompetency, intemperance, cruelty, wilful and persistent [6 A.2d 868] negligence, mental derangement, persistent and wilful violation of the school laws of this Commonwealth on the part of the professional employe, . . ."

All the members of this court agree that the Superior Court's construction is much narrower than was apparently intended by the legislature; we also think the case calls for the application of the rule that findings of fact supported by competent evidence must be accepted on appeal. In the opinion of the Superior Court it is said -- "It may be true, as counsel for appellee [the school board] argues, that appellant [teacher] now commands neither the respect nor the good will of the community, but these are not matters which the statute now recognizes as causes for dismissal." If the fact be that she "now commands neither the respect nor the good will of the community" and if the record shows that effect to be the result of her conduct within the clause quoted, it will be conclusive evidence of incompetency. It has always been the recognized duty of the teacher to conduct himself in such way as to command the respect and good will of the community, though one result of the choice of a teacher's vocation may be to deprive him of the same freedom of action enjoyed by persons in other vocations. Educators have always regarded the example set by the teacher as of great importance, particularly in the education of the children in the lower grades such as those attending the school in which this teacher had been employed; it was a country school with eighteen pupils classifying into eight grades.

Difficulties between this teacher and the board had been existing some time and grew out of her conduct with respect to a restaurant maintained by a man whom she married in August, 1936, during the course of the [335 Pa. 372] period involved. In this restaurant beer was sold and a pin-ball and a slot machine were maintained and dice were played. The restaurant was across the road and about one hundred and twenty five feet from the school. In the opinion filed by the learned trial judge, he said: "The evidence in the case is that: (1) While Miss Horosko used and was known by the name of Evelyn Horosko she was in fact married to one William Connors [3] and lived with him as his...

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67 practice notes
  • Teti v. Huron Ins. Co., Civil Action No. 95-1315.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • 29 Enero 1996
    ...supposed to foster and to elevate." Keating, 99 Pa.Cmwlth. at 342, 513 A.2d at 549 (citing Horosko v. Mount Pleasant Township Sch. Dist., 335 Pa. 369, 372, 6 A.2d 866, 868, cert. denied, 308 U.S. 553, 60 S.Ct. 101, 84 L.Ed. 465 11 As the Third Circuit has suggested, "the average person purc......
  • Board of Trustees of Weston County School Dist. No. 1, Weston County v. Holso, Nos. 4807
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • 28 Agosto 1978
    ...of the United States approved the utterances of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in Horosko v. Mt. Pleasant Twp. School District, 1939, 335 Pa. 369, 6 A.2d 866, stated when speaking of immorality as inconsistent with moral " 'If the fact be that she "now commands neither the respect nor th......
  • Beilan v. Board of Public Education, School District of Philadelphia, No. 63
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • 30 Junio 1958
    ...the Pennsylvania courts have given 'incompetency' a broad interpretation. This was made clear in Horosko v. Mt. Pleasant School District, 335 Pa. 369, 371, 374 375, 6 A.2d 866, 868, 869—870: 'If the fact be that she 'now commands neither the respect nor the good will of the community' and i......
  • Grossman, In re
    • United States
    • New Jersey Superior Court – Appellate Division
    • 20 Febrero 1974
    ...students in the classroom. 'Incompetency,' a term closely allied to 'incapacity,' was defined in Horosko v. Mt. Pleasant School District, 335 Pa. 369, 6 A.2d 866 (Sup.Ct.1939), cert. den. 308 U.S. 553, 60 S.Ct. 101, 84 L.Ed. 465 The term 'incompetency' has a 'common and approved usage.' The......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
67 cases
  • Teti v. Huron Ins. Co., Civil Action No. 95-1315.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • 29 Enero 1996
    ...to foster and to elevate." Keating, 99 Pa.Cmwlth. at 342, 513 A.2d at 549 (citing Horosko v. Mount Pleasant Township Sch. Dist., 335 Pa. 369, 372, 6 A.2d 866, 868, cert. denied, 308 U.S. 553, 60 S.Ct. 101, 84 L.Ed. 465 11 As the Third Circuit has suggested, "the average person pur......
  • Board of Trustees of Weston County School Dist. No. 1, Weston County v. Holso, Nos. 4807
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • 28 Agosto 1978
    ...of the United States approved the utterances of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in Horosko v. Mt. Pleasant Twp. School District, 1939, 335 Pa. 369, 6 A.2d 866, stated when speaking of immorality as inconsistent with moral " 'If the fact be that she "now commands neither the resp......
  • Beilan v. Board of Public Education, School District of Philadelphia, No. 63
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • 30 Junio 1958
    ...the Pennsylvania courts have given 'incompetency' a broad interpretation. This was made clear in Horosko v. Mt. Pleasant School District, 335 Pa. 369, 371, 374 375, 6 A.2d 866, 868, 869—870: 'If the fact be that she 'now commands neither the respect nor the good will of the community' and i......
  • Grossman, In re
    • United States
    • New Jersey Superior Court – Appellate Division
    • 20 Febrero 1974
    ...students in the classroom. 'Incompetency,' a term closely allied to 'incapacity,' was defined in Horosko v. Mt. Pleasant School District, 335 Pa. 369, 6 A.2d 866 (Sup.Ct.1939), cert. den. 308 U.S. 553, 60 S.Ct. 101, 84 L.Ed. 465 The term 'incompetency' has a 'common and approved usage.' The......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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