Laws v. Richland County School Dist. No. 1, No. 1

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtRHODES; LEWIS
Citation270 S.C. 492,243 S.E.2d 192
PartiesGeorge E. LAWS, Jr., Respondent, v. RICHLAND COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 1, a body politic and corporate, Dr. Brandon B. Sparkman, Superintendent of Education; and members of the Board of Trustees of Districtr. Joe E. Bales, Dr. Edward E. Kimbrough, Dr. William H. Lindler, Mr. Sam E. McGregor, Mrs. Rosalind Sargent, Mrs. Barbara Scott, and Mr. Donald N. Upton, all such Individuals named as Defendants being sued in their official capacities only, Appellants. *
Decision Date20 March 1978
Docket NumberNo. 1,M,No. 20649

Page 192

243 S.E.2d 192
270 S.C. 492
George E. LAWS, Jr., Respondent,
v.
RICHLAND COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 1, a body politic and
corporate, Dr. Brandon B. Sparkman, Superintendent of
Education; and members of the Board of Trustees of District
No. 1, Mr. Joe E. Bales, Dr. Edward E. Kimbrough, Dr.
William H. Lindler, Mr. Sam E. McGregor, Mrs. Rosalind
Sargent, Mrs. Barbara Scott, and Mr. Donald N. Upton, all
such Individuals named as Defendants being sued in their
official capacities only, Appellants. *
No. 20649.
Supreme Court of South Carolina.
March 20, 1978.

[270 S.C. 493] Francis P. Mood, of Boyd, Knowlton, Tate & Finlay, Columbia, for appellants.

John R. Harper, II, Columbia, for respondent.

[270 S.C. 494] RHODES, Justice:

This is an appeal from an order of the lower court reversing the decision of the Board of School Commissioners for Richland County School District No. 1 to non-renew the respondent's teaching contract. The lower court found that the grounds upon which the Board's decision was predicated were not supported by substantial evidence. We disagree and reverse.

The respondent in this action was employed as a music teacher at Hand Middle School for the 1974-75 school year. On April 2, 1975, he was advised by letter from the Director of Personnel for the school district that he was not being recommended for employment for the following school year because of the following grounds:

Page 193

(a) Lack of sufficient class room control to insure a good program of instruction;

(b) Unwise use of disciplinary action;

(c) Lack of response to suggestions from the principal in better methods of class room management.

After a hearing held at the respondent's request, the Board issued its decision confirming the recommendation to nonrenew the respondent's contract.

The only issue raised by this appeal is whether the grounds given for nonrenewal of the respondent's contract are sufficiently supported by the evidence presented at the hearing before the Board. The respondent has not challenged the legal adequacy of his hearing before the Board. He does not contend that the procedural requirements of the Teachers Employment and Dismissal Act of 1974 1 have not been complied with. Neither does he except to the adequacy of the grounds stated in the notice mailed him on April 2, 1975.

[270 S.C. 495] The threshold determination in deciding whether the evidence relied upon by the Board is sufficient to support the allegations against the respondent is that of the scope and standard of review to be employed in a judicial review of the Board's decision. The lower court found the scope of review to be a limited one with the standard by which the Board's decision is to be gauged being whether the grounds given for termination of the respondent's employment are supported by "substantial evidence". We feel the lower court was correct in this determination with the result that much of the following discussion on the applicable scope and standard of review is taken from the lower court's order.

The 1974 Teachers Employment and Dismissal Act does not delineate the scope and standard applicable to judicial review of school board decisions encompassed by the Act. The Act merely states that an "appeal" may be had from the decision of the school board to the circuit court and from the circuit court to the Supreme Court. S.C.Code § 59-25-480 (1976). Consistency with relevant precedent requires that the scope of judicial review be a limited one. In view of the powers, functions, and discretion which must necessarily be vested in...

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55 practice notes
  • Coastal Conservation v. Dept. of Health, No. 4450.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 23 d4 Outubro d4 2008
    ...335; Miller by Miller v. State Roofing Co., 312 S.C. 452, 454, 441 S.E.2d 323, 324-325 (1994); Laws v. Richland County Sch. Dist. No. 1, 270 S.C. 492, 495-496, 243 S.E.2d 192, 193 (1978); Kimmer v. Murata of America, Inc., 372 S.C. 39, 44, 640 S.E.2d 507, 509 (Ct.App.2006). "`Quantitatively......
  • Kiawah Dev. Partners, II v. S.C. Dep't of Health & Envtl. Control, No. 27065.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 10 d3 Dezembro d3 2014
    ...justify its action. Lark v. Bi–Lo, Inc., 276 S.C. 130, 135, 276 S.E.2d 304, 306 (1981) (quoting Law v. Richland Cnty. School Dist. No. 1, 270 S.C. 492, 243 S.E.2d 192 (1978) ).In my view, reasonable minds could reach the same conclusion as the ALC—that even if DHEC considered possible 411 S......
  • Brown v. James, No. 4674.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 12 d1 Abril d1 2010
    ...district from terminating her under the Employment and Dismissal Act. The Court stated:In Law v. Richland County School District No. 1, 270 S.C. 492, 243 S.E.2d 192 (1978), we held that if any of the charges against a teacher are supported by substantial evidence, the school board's decisio......
  • Futch v. McAllister Towing of Georgetown, Inc., No. 2697
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 5 d3 Março d3 1997
    ...upon breach of the duty of loyalty. See, e.g., Schuermann v. American KA-RO Corp., 295 S.C. 64, 66, 367 S.E.2d 159, 160 (1988); Berry, 270 S.C. at 492, 242 S.E.2d at 553 (decided under former V. DISCUSSION The issue this court must consider is whether, under the Wage Payment Act, an employe......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
55 cases
  • Coastal Conservation v. Dept. of Health, No. 4450.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 23 d4 Outubro d4 2008
    ...335; Miller by Miller v. State Roofing Co., 312 S.C. 452, 454, 441 S.E.2d 323, 324-325 (1994); Laws v. Richland County Sch. Dist. No. 1, 270 S.C. 492, 495-496, 243 S.E.2d 192, 193 (1978); Kimmer v. Murata of America, Inc., 372 S.C. 39, 44, 640 S.E.2d 507, 509 (Ct.App.2006). "`Quantitatively......
  • Kiawah Dev. Partners, II v. S.C. Dep't of Health & Envtl. Control, No. 27065.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 10 d3 Dezembro d3 2014
    ...justify its action. Lark v. Bi–Lo, Inc., 276 S.C. 130, 135, 276 S.E.2d 304, 306 (1981) (quoting Law v. Richland Cnty. School Dist. No. 1, 270 S.C. 492, 243 S.E.2d 192 (1978) ).In my view, reasonable minds could reach the same conclusion as the ALC—that even if DHEC considered possible 411 S......
  • Brown v. James, No. 4674.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 12 d1 Abril d1 2010
    ...district from terminating her under the Employment and Dismissal Act. The Court stated:In Law v. Richland County School District No. 1, 270 S.C. 492, 243 S.E.2d 192 (1978), we held that if any of the charges against a teacher are supported by substantial evidence, the school board's decisio......
  • Futch v. McAllister Towing of Georgetown, Inc., No. 2697
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 5 d3 Março d3 1997
    ...upon breach of the duty of loyalty. See, e.g., Schuermann v. American KA-RO Corp., 295 S.C. 64, 66, 367 S.E.2d 159, 160 (1988); Berry, 270 S.C. at 492, 242 S.E.2d at 553 (decided under former V. DISCUSSION The issue this court must consider is whether, under the Wage Payment Act, an employe......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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