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Case Case 1:14-cv-00747-WWC 3:02-at-06000 Document Document 423-2 1-2Filed Filed 04/17/14 04/17/14Page Page 1 of 1 of 3 3 907 No.

SUSQUEHANNA TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT

SECTION: TITLE: ADOPTED: REVISED:

COMMUNITY SCHOOL VISITORS October 28, 2013

907. SCHOOL VISITORS 1. Authority SC 510 The Board welcomes and encourages interest in district educational programs and other school-related activities. The Board recognizes that such interest may result in visits to school by parents/guardians, adult residents, educators and other officials. To ensure order in the schools and to protect students and employees, it is necessary for the Board to establish policy governing school visits. The Superintendent or designee and building principal have the authority to prohibit the entry of any individual to a district school, in accordance with Board guidelines and state and federal law and regulations. The Superintendent or designee shall develop administrative regulations to implement this policy and control access to school buildings and school classrooms. 3. Guidelines Persons wishing to visit a school should make arrangements in advance with the school office in that building. Upon arrival at the school, all visitors must report to the school office and register their presence in the building. A visitors badge will be issued to guests to be worn throughout the visit. Prior to leaving the building, the visitor should return to the office and indicate his/her departure. Notice of this requirement shall be posted on entrances to the building. All staff members shall be responsible for requiring a visitor demonstrate that s/he has registered at the school office and received authorization to be present for the purpose of conducting business. No visitor may confer with a student in school without the approval of the principal. Should an emergency require that a student be called to the school office to meet a visitor, the principal or designee shall be present during the meeting.

2. Delegation of Responsibility

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907. SCHOOL VISITORS - Pg. 2

Failure to comply with this policy shall result in more limited access to the school as determined by the building principal, consistent with Board policies, administrative regulations, school rules and federal and state law and regulations. A person who enters or remains on school property without authorization may be charged with trespassing. Pol. 709 All schools shall be monitored by video surveillance equipment for the purpose of maintaining security. Classroom Visitations SC 510 Title 22 Sec. 14.108 Parents/Guardians may request to visit their childs classroom, but the request must be made prior to the visit, in accordance with established administrative regulations. The building principal or program supervisor must grant prior approval for the visit, and shall notify the classroom teacher prior to the visit. Parents/Guardians shall be limited to one (1) class period per month, per child in the school for classroom visitations, in order to minimize disruption of the classroom schedule and the educational program. Parental participation in classroom activities or programs such as room parents, back-to-school events, and chaperones for field trips shall not constitute a classroom visit for purposes of this policy. The building principal or program supervisor and classroom teacher have the authority to ask a visitor to leave if the visitor disrupts the classroom routine, educational program or daily schedule, or if a visitor violates Board policy. Failure to leave when asked or repeated, documented disruptions may result in loss of classroom visitation privileges. Under exceptional circumstances and upon request of the building principal, program supervisor, classroom teacher or parent/guardian, the Superintendent or designee may authorize additional or longer classroom visits by a parent/guardian. Military Personnel 24 P.S. Sec. 2402 Pol. 250 Members of the active and retired Armed Forces, including the National Guard and Reserves, shall be permitted to: 1. Visit and meet with district employees and students when such visit is in compliance with Board policy and district procedures. 2. Wear official military uniforms while on district property.

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907. SCHOOL VISITORS - Pg. 3

Pol. 002

School Board Members And Other Officials 1. Persons wishing to visit a school shall make arrangements in advance with the Superintendent. 2. The Superintendent or designee shall be notified of the building and the purpose of the visit. 3. The Superintendent or designee shall accompany the visitor to the building on the agreed upon day and time.

References: School Code 24 P.S. Sec. 510 State Board of Education Regulations 22 PA Code Sec. 14.108 Military Visitors 24 P.S. Sec. 2402 Board Policy 000, 002, 250, 709

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA JESSE RAWLS, SR. and MARK Y. SUSSMAN Plaintiffs, v. THE SUSQUEHANNA TOWNSHIP SCHOOL BOARD OF DIRECTORS, THE SUSQUEHANNA TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT and DR. SUSAN KEGERISE, SUPERINTENDENT OF THE SUSQUEHANNA TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT IN HER OFFICIAL AND INDIVIDUAL CAPACITIES Defendants : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :

CIVIL ACTION

NO.

CIVIL ACTION COMPLAINT Plaintiffs JESSE RAWLS, SR. and MARK Y. SUSSMAN (collectively Plaintiffs) hereby bring the following action against the SUSQUEHANNA TOWNSHIP SCHOOL BOARD OF DIRECTORS (Board), the SUSQUEHANNA TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT (STSD), and DR. SUSAN KEGERISE, its superintendent (collectively Defendants) to enjoin Defendants from violating Plaintiffs Constitutional rights and to nullify an Employment Contract (Contract) between the Board and Dr. Kegerise. Plaintiffs contend that the terms, interpretation, implementation, and enforcement of the Contract violates their rights under the First Amendment to the United States

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Constitution, and also violates federal and state law and in support thereof, aver the following: INTRODUCTION 1. Plaintiffs file this action because Defendants Board and Dr.

Kegerise have entered into an employment contract (Contract) and that its terms, interpretation, implementation, and enforcement violate Plaintiffs rights under the Constitutions of the United States and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and violates the Public School Code of 1949, as amended, 24 P.S. 1-101 (Act). A true and correct copy of the Contract is appended hereto as Exhibit A. 2. The Contract, by its terms, interpretation, implementation, and

enforcement, violates: a. Plaintiffs rights to free speech under the First

Amendment of the United States Constitution; b. Plaintiffs rights to perform their constitutional and

statutory duties as elected officials under the Constitutions and laws of the United States and Pennsylvania. 3. Express terms of the Contract violate the plain language of the

Act and the Contract expressly cedes to Dr. Kegerise powers, duties, and responsibilities conferred upon the Board under state law, in violation of the Act, Plaintiffs constitutional rights, and the Delegation Doctrine.
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4.

Plaintiffs ask this Court to nullify and declare invalid the

Contract, permanently enjoin Defendants from enforcing the Contract, uphold Plaintiffs rights under the United States Constitution and enjoin Defendants from committing acts or omissions that violate Plaintiffs constitutional or statutory rights. THE PARTIES 5. Plaintiff Jesse Rawls, Sr. is an elected member of the Board,

resides in and is registered to vote in Susquehanna Township, and pays taxes to STSD. 6. Plaintiff Mark Y. Sussman is an elected member of the Board,

resides in and is registered to vote in Susquehanna Township, pays taxes to STSD, and is the parent of a student enrolled in STSD. 7. Defendant Board is comprised of nine members elected by the

voters of Susquehanna Township. 8. Defendant STSD is the public school system for Susquehanna

Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. 9. Defendant Dr. Susan Kegerise is employed by the Board as

superintendent of STSD. Dr. Kegerise is being sued in her official and individual capacities.

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JURISDICTION AND VENUE 10. Jurisdiction is proper under 28 U.S.C. 1331 which conveys

subject matter jurisdiction to district courts over all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, and treaties of the United States. 11. Additionally, this Court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant

to 28 U.S.C. 1343 (a). 12. This Court has supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiffs state

law claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1367. 13. Venue is proper in this District pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1391 (b)

because all parties are residents within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the events giving rise to the claims occurred in this District. THE FACTS 14. The Board has employed Dr. Kegerise since 2005 as assistant

superintendent and since 2009 as Superintendent of STSD. The Board is empowered to employ Dr. Kegerise by Sections 508, 1071, and 1073 of the Act. 15. On or about May 7, 2013, the Board entered into a new

Contract with Dr. Kegerise to extend her term as Superintendent four and one-half years, through June 30, 2017 (Contract). A true and correct copy of the Contract is appended hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit A.
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16.

Article VI of the Contract states that the board retains all

power, rights, authority, duties and responsibilities conferred upon and invested in each respective party by the laws and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania save for any power or rights limited by the express terms of this AGREEMENT. (Emphasis added.) 17. Section 4.02(d) of the Contract states: Criticisms, complaints,

and suggestions called to the attention of the school District shall be referred to the District Superintendent for study, disposition, or recommendation to the Board of School Directors as appropriate. 18. It is believed and therefore averred that the plain language of

Section 4.02 has been interpreted and enforced to prevent and interfere with lawful direct communication between elected Directors and parents, students, teachers, residents, and taxpayers. 19. At all times relevant hereto, Jason Kutulakis, Esquire, has been

employed by Dr. Kegerise as her personal attorney, and has acted on her behalf and with her knowledge and approval. 20. It is believed and therefore averred that between February 2013

and September 2013, Kutulakis attended most, if not all, of the regularly scheduled monthly meetings of the Board. Discovery will show the exact number of meetings Kutulakis attended on Kegerises behalf.
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21.

At each of the meetings Kutulakis attended, he would sit in the

front row, usually directly across from Plaintiff and Board member Rawls, Sr., and always in direct view of both Plaintiffs. 22. Although public meetings of the School Board are normally

held in the STSD administrative building, the venue for the monthly Board meeting on September 23, 2013, was changed to the Susquehanna Township High School auditorium due to public interest in a number of issues, including those related to this litigation. 23. The meeting was attended by a standing-room-only crowd of

STSD stakeholders and other interested people. Nonetheless, Kutulakis sat in the front row directly across from Rawls, Sr. in an apparent attempt to single him out for intimidation. 24. It is believed and therefore averred that Kutulakis attended

board meetings in order to intimidate and/or attempt to intimidate Plaintiffs and other Board members from performing their lawful duties as elected officials and did so on Dr. Kegerises behalf and with her knowledge and approval. 25. Following certain Board meetings, Kutulakis sent

correspondence to Plaintiffs Rawls, Sr. and Sussman, and/or Board President Michael Ferguson, in which Kutulakis attempted to interfere with and/or influence the lawful duties of the elected Board members including Plaintiffs.
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26.

At a public meeting of the Board on January 28, 2013, Plaintiff

Rawls, Sr. questioned the circumstances related to the hiring of a relative of Dr. Kegerise by STSD. 27. In response, the Board decided to retain a special investigator to

look into the questions raised by Rawls, Sr. 28. In correspondence dated February 22, 2013, Kutulakis, acting

on behalf of and with the knowledge of Dr. Kegerise in his role of personal attorney, insisted of the Board President that you retract your appointment of any special counsel, make a determination that this investigation is fruitless and demand a public apology from Jesse Rawls at the next School Board meeting. A true and correct copy of the Kutulakis correspondence to Ferguson dated February 22, 2013 is appended hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit B. 29. Further, Kutulakis stated [p]lease accept this correspondence

as a formal demand to take all actions necessary to support Dr. Kegerise both privately and publicly against the relentless attacks and accusations made by Mr. Rawls. 30. Board President Ferguson emailed Board members, Dr.

Kegerise, and STSD Solicitor Paul Blunt, and informed them that in response to an inquiry from a reporter for the Harrisburg Patriot-News reporter about whether the board was taking any action regarding Dr. Kegerise and Mr. Rawls' allegations,
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Ferguson stated that it would inappropriate for me to say anything. I would implore you to do the same. Paul-[Blunt,] please confirm my assessment. 31. Blunt replied via email stating [y]es I agree. Also should you

choose to ignore my advice you will be subjecting yourself to personal liability. 32. On February 27, 2013, Plaintiff Sussman sent an email to Dr.

Kegerise stating I heard that cheerleaders were not at the basketball games. Is this correct? 33. Several additional emails followed, including one where

Sussman offered to correspond with Michael Knill, the Susquehanna Township High School athletic director. 34. In correspondence dated March 4, 2013, and directed to the

school board president, Kutulakis wrote complaining that the Sussman emails violated Dr. Kegerises contract and that Mr. Sussman and Mr. Rawls continually interfere with the contractual obligations between the School District and Dr. Kegerise and this must cease immediately. A true and correct copy of the Kutulakis correspondence to Sussman dated March 4, 2013 is appended hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit C. 35. In every instance where Kutulakis attempted to interfere with

and/or influence Board members or matters, he acted on behalf of Dr. Kegerise and with her knowledge and approval.
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36.

Discovery will show whether other Board members or other

individuals received correspondence from Kutulakis and whether such correspondence included threats of litigation. 37. In an email dated May 18, 2013, Kutulakis wrote Sussman and

claimed that Sussman violated the Contract in part because Sussman stated in private conversations that teachers are afraid and students are out of control[.]A true and correct copy of the Kutulakis email to Sussman dated May 18, 2013 is appended hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit D. 38. Kutulakis further demanded that Sussman immediately identify

the names of every teacher with whom Sussman spoke. 39. Kutulakis further stated that if Sussman failed to comply by

midnight on Saturday, May 19, 2013 1, litigation would be initiated the following Monday due to Kutulakis view that Sussman was tortuously [sic] interfering with Dr. Kegerises Contract. 40. In written correspondence dated May 17, 2013, Kutulakis

repeated the demands and threats made in the email dated May 18, 2013. A true

May 19, 2013 fell on a Sunday, not a Saturday as stated in the correspondence.
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and correct copy of the Kutulakis correspondence to Sussman dated May 17, 2013 is appended hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit E. 2 41. In both the email dated May 18, 2013, and the written

correspondence dated May 17, 2013, Kutulakis insisted that Sussman immediately retract in writing the comments made by Sussman and that Kutulakis be copied on the written correspondence. 42. Kutulakis also demanded that Sussman provide Dr. Kegerise

with a formal written acknowledgment of the very positive role she has played as the Districts Superintendent must also occur. Your retraction must occur by midnight, Saturday, May 19, 2013. 43. In correspondence dated March 1, 2013, Kutulakis wrote

Rawls, Sr. and complained that Rawls, Sr. indicated he desired to have his personal email made public so residents of the district may communicate directly with him about their concerns. All complaints or concerns are required to be provided to the administration, specifically Dr. Kegerise. Again, this is a material breach of her contract and must cease immediately. A true and correct copy of the

The email dated May 18, 2013, stated that formal correspondence would follow.

It is unclear why the written correspondence was dated one day before the email when it clearly was written after.
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Kutulakis correspondence to Rawls, Sr. dated March 4, 2013 is appended hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit F. 44. On March 1, 2013, Kutulakis wrote Sussman essentially the

same letter, complaining again that Rawls, Sr. wanted his personal email made public so he could communicate directly with residents. Kutulakis again asserted that [a]ll complaints or concerns are required to be provided to the administration, specifically Dr. Kegerise. Again, this is a material breach of her contract and must cease immediately. A true and correct copy of the Kutulakis correspondence to Sussman dated March 1, 2013 is appended hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit G. 45. Rawls, Sr. understood the correspondence of March 1, 2013, to

threaten legal action if he continued to attempt to correspond with STSD parents, students, teachers, taxpayers, and residents, notwithstanding the fact that Rawls, Sr. wanted to communicate with them and they wanted to communicate with him. 46. Sussman did not know why Kutulakis was writing him about

Rawls conduct, but he believed that Kutulakis was warning him that he better not use his personal email address for communicating with STSD parents, students, teachers, taxpayers, and residents. 47. As personal attorney for Dr. Kegerise, Kutulakis wrote the

relevant correspondence on her behalf and with her knowledge and approval.
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48.

In late 2012 and early 2013, the Board considered taking a

community survey of STSD stakeholders to assess views on issues related to STSD. 49. In the March 1, 2013, correspondence, Kutulakis characterized

the community survey by stating: Some members are attempting to end run the contractual prohibition against complaints going to Dr. Kegerise in the first instance . . . while a survey permitting input from residents may make sense to allow community outreach, it may not be utilized to obtain anonymous allegations into the administrations roles. It may not become an additional tool to conduct a witch hunt. See Exhibits E and F appended hereto. 50. 51. The community survey was never undertaken. It is believed and therefore averred that Discovery will show

additional correspondence written by Kutulakis on behalf of and with the knowledge and approval of Kegerise that serve to violate or attempt to violate the recipients constitutional and statutory rights. 52. Plaintiffs do not believe Discovery will show any instance

where STSD Solicitor Blunt responded to Kutulakis in any way about inappropriate threats of litigation or Kutulakis attempts to interfere with Board business or Board members activities on behalf of Dr. Kegerise, an employee of the Board.

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53.

At no time during his representation of STSD has Mr. Blunt

explained to Plaintiffs what activities Board members could engage in that would be constitutionally protected or otherwise protected under the immunity of their elected positions. 54. Blunt never informed Plaintiffs that as elected Board members

they may communicate with STSD stakeholders if it is clear they are not acting or speaking on behalf of the entire Board or other Board members. 55. In email correspondence dated March 20, 2013, and sent to

Board members and Dr. Kegerise, Blunt wrote: I realize that Board members have concerns over the fact that Sues attorney has sent them letters. Those concerns are wellfounded. Board members only enjoy the extensive immunity to liability the law provides when they are acting within their role as Board members. When they are acting as individuals and not as members of the Board, they are subject to the same risk of liability as anyone else. One of the critical issues in determining whether a Board member is acting as a Board member is whether their actions are in accordance with the advice of the Solicitor. . . . To put the matter plainly, I can only protect individual Board members if and when their actions are authorized by the Board as a whole and if they are willing to disavow the unauthorized actions of other Board members . . . . Worse still, I cannot protect innocent Board members or the District unless I am allowed to disavow those actions [of certain board members] on behalf of the District and Board. 56. In email correspondence dated July 31, 2013, and addressed to

Board members and Dr. Kegerise, Paul Blunt wrote:

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It has come to my attention that some of you attended a community meeting sponsored and organized by Peter Speaks in which the chief topic of discussion was the re-register effort . . . . While all of you, obviously, have the right to attend any meeting you choose, I must again advise that it is illadvised to attend such meetings precisely because it engenders the appearance and invites the assumption that you are representing the Board and District. 57. If a parent, student, teacher, resident or elector wants to

communicate by email with school directors, there is a single email address -schoolboardstsd@hannasd.org -- for email correspondence to be sent to Board members. 58. The official STSD website explains that [w]hen using this

email address, mail is sent to the District's Superintendent, who then forwards the message to all members of the school board. A member of District Administration may reply to the sender for additional information or feedback prior to forwarding to the School Board. 59. Under the single email address scheme, the superintendent has

the absolute discretion to determine when an email will be distributed to directors or even if an email will be disseminated. 60. Plaintiffs have never been shown how to directly access emails

sent to the official school board email address, nor have they been shown how to send emails from the official address. Plaintiffs are not privy to the account information or passwords necessary to access the official account.
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61.

Plaintiffs are without knowledge as to whether or not other

Board members have been shown how to directly access this account or send emails from it. 62. On or about October 1, 2013, Susquehanna Township resident

Adam Wiener, an elector, taxpayer, and parent of two children enrolled in STSD, sent an email to schoolboardstsd@hannasd.org to ask a question related to a criminal investigation by the Dauphin County District Attorney into STSDs handling of allegations of an illegal sexual relationship between an assistant principal at Susquehanna Township High School and an enrolled student (the Sharkey Matter). A true and correct transcription of the Wiener emails referenced here and in the following Paragraphs is appended hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit H. 63. members. 64. On or about October 5, 2013, having received no response or The email was addressed to Dr. Kegerise and School Board

even an acknowledgement of his email dated October 1, 2013, Wiener called two Board members whom he knew personally, Kathy DelGrande and Plaintiff Mark Sussman. 65. Both Board members told Wiener that the email he sent one

week prior had not been disseminated to the Board.


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66.

At no time subsequent to the October 1, 2013, email did any

member of the District administration contact Wiener for additional information or feedback prior to sending the email to the Board. 67. Sussman told Wiener several times that Sussman was not

allowed to discuss the substance of the email. 68. Sussman believed he could face legal repercussions pursuant to

threatening letters he had received from the Superintendents personal attorney, Kutulakis, as well as legal guidance from Blunt, the STSD solicitor. 69. Notably, although Mrs. DelGrande said that she couldnt

discuss confidential information, she was able to discuss generally Wieners concerns and she did not appear to be under the same threat of personal litigation as Sussman, even though she and Sussman are both elected Board directors. 70. Sussman did promise Wiener that he would attempt to have

Wieners email disseminated to the Board. 71. Sussman emailed Dr. Kegerise requesting that Wieners email,

which was directed to and intended for the Board, be distributed to the Board. 72. Sussman also verbally requested that Dr. Kegerise distribute

Wieners email to the Board. 73. On October 8, 2013, Wiener again sent an email to the Board at

schoolboardstsd@hannasd.org, stating in part I was informed that the e-mail had


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not been sent to the [members] of the board, and I am still unsure if [it] has been as of today. I have the right to have my question answered. See Exhibit H appended hereto. 74. Despite Sussmans email and verbal request to Dr. Kegerise

that she distribute Wieners October 1, 2013, email correspondence to Board members as it had been intended, Kegerise failed to do so until after Wiener sent the second email. 75. On October 21, 2013, having not received any reply or

acknowledgement to his two previous emails, Wiener again emailed Dr. Kegerise and School Board Members, stating: I still have not received a reply from you or any other school board member to my email that was sent on October 1st. I believe that it is very unprofessional to not even dignify my question with a response. Is there another avenue I should explore to get a reply[?] (Emphasis added.) See Exhibit H appended hereto. 76. Finally, on October 25, 2013, STSD Solicitor Blunt replied to

Wiener by email, referring to Wieners repeated missives demanding information. 77. In his reply email, Blunt stated in part: Contrary to reports by

the newspaper, the District handled the Sharkey matter exactly as the law requires; and there were no reports or allegations by anyone to District employees of
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any inappropriate relationship between Mr. Sharkey and the alleged victim. (Emphasis added.) See Exhibit H appended hereto. 78. Blunt made this false assertion despite the fact that he had

previously acknowledged in the media that four teachers had reported the issue to District employees some six months before Wiener sent his email. 79. At no time, up to and including the date of filing of this

Complaint, has any elected Board member acknowledged receipt of Wieners emails and it is unknown whether Wieners second and third emails were ever disseminated to all Board members, despite the facts that they were addressed to the Board and sent to the official Board email address. 80. Mrs. DelGrande is recognized by many to be a staunch

supporter of the superintendent and her administration. 81. Sussman has been unfairly and inaccurately characterized as

adversarial to the superintendent and her administration. 82. Board members who are perceived as favorable to the

Superintendent and her administration do not face the same prohibitions on communicating with parents, teachers, students, electors and taxpayers as do those Board members who are perceived as unfavorable to Dr. Kegerise.

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83.

It is believed and therefore averred that Discovery will produce

numerous emails written by parents, students, teachers, taxpayers, and residents that were directed to Board members but never forwarded to them by Dr. Kegerise. 84. 85. The Contract was approved by a 6-3 vote of the School Board. Plaintiffs first received a copy of the Contract at an executive

session of the board immediately prior to the public meeting where it was adopted. 86. Plaintiffs had approximately 37 minutes to review the proposed

Contract prior to the start of the meeting during which it would be voted on. 87. Plaintiffs voted against entering into the proposed Contract, as

did Board member John Dietrich. 88. Plaintiffs do not know which other Board members may have

received the proposed Contract before Plaintiffs did. 89. Although Kutulakis handled Contract negotiations on behalf of

Dr. Kegerise, Blunt was quoted in local media defining his own role as limited to reviewing the draft document to insure that it had the changes mandated by the new law. 90. In an email to the Board dated March 20, 2013, Blunt stated

that to date, my involvement has been limited to reviewing one draft contract presented to me by Mike Ferguson prior to his presentation of it to Sue and [Kutulakis].
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91.

Notwithstanding Blunts review of the draft document, the

Contract contains numerous provisions that conflict with the express language of the Act. 92. Section 5-508 of the Act states in part: The affirmative vote of a majority of all the members of the board of school directors in every school district, duly recorded, showing how each member voted, shall be required in order to take action on the following subjects: . . . Appointing or dismissing district superintendents, assistant district superintendents, associate superintendents, principals, and teachers. 24 P.S. 5-508. (Emphasis added.) 93. Section 10-1080(a) of the Act states: District superintendents

and assistant district superintendents may be removed from office and have their contracts terminated, after hearing, by a majority vote of the board of school directors of the district, for neglect of duty, incompetency, intemperance, or immorality 24 P.S. 10-1080. 94. Section 8.00(a) of the Contract states [r]emoval shall only be

proper after a hearing followed by a two thirds (6 members of a 9 member board) vote of the Board of School Directors for removal. (Emphasis added.) 95. Section 5-514 of the Act states: The board of school directors in any school district, except as herein otherwise provided, shall after due notice, giving the reasons therefor, and after hearing if demanded, have the right at any time to remove any of its officers, employes, or
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appointees for incompetency, intemperance, neglect of duty, violation of any of the school laws of this Commonwealth, or other improper conduct. 24 P.S. 5-514. 96. Section 8.00(b)(1) of the Contract states: The only valid causes for termination of a contract heretofore or hereafter entered into with a professional employee shall be immorality, incompetency, intemperance, cruelty, persistent negligence, mental derangement, advocation of or participating in un-American or subversive doctrines, persistent and willful violation of the school laws of this Commonwealth on the part of the professional employee[.] (Emphasis added.) 97. The language contained in Section 8.00(b)(1) expressly

references 11-1122 of the Act as grounds for termination, even though 11-1122 applies only to professional employees. 98. Dr. Kegerise, as a superintendent, is not considered a

professional employee for purposes of 11-1122. See 24 P.S. 11-1101. 99. Section 10-1073.1 (b.1) of the Act states: [t]he board of school

directors shall post the mutually agreed to objective performance standards contained in the contract on the school district's publicly accessible Internet website. 24 P.S. 10-1073.1(b.1). 100. Plaintiffs have requested that the objective performance standards be posted on the official STSD website; however, as of the date of this

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filing Dr. Kegerise, who controls what information is posted on the website, has refused to comply. 101. Section 10-1073.1(b) of the Act states: The board of school directors shall conduct a formal written performance assessment of the district superintendent and assistant district superintendent annually. A time frame for the assessment shall be included in the contract. 24 P.S. 10-1073.1. 102. Section 7.01 of the Contract calls for an annual performance assessment of the Superintendent, however the only rating categories allowed under the Contract are exemplary, good and satisfactory. 103. An exemplary rating entitles Dr. Kegerise to a 5% stipend, a good rating entitles Dr. Kegerise to a 3% stipend and a satisfactory rating entitles Dr. Kegerise to a 2% stipend. 104. It is believed and therefore averred that the performance bonus is classified as a stipend in order to avoid calculating the bonus as income which would subject the bonus to contributions by Dr. Kegerise and STSD to the Pennsylvania State Employees Retirement System. 105. Section 7.01 of the Contract states that in the event no annual performance review is conducted, Dr. Kegerise is entitled to the 5% bonus for exemplary performance.

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106. Since becoming superintendent in 2009, Dr. Kegerise has never received an annual performance review, notwithstanding the fact that the annual performance review is mandated by the Act. 107. Section 10-1073(e)(2)(iii) provides that the Contract between a school district and its superintendent shall [i]ncorporate all provisions relating to compensation and benefits to be paid to or on behalf of the district superintendent . . . . 24 P.S. 10-1073(e)(2)(iii). 108. STSD policy provides that a non-resident who attends STSD shall pay tuition in the amount of $941 monthly for an elementary student. 109. Since 2009, Dr. Kegerises grandchild has been enrolled in STSD. 110. It is believed and therefore averred that the grandchild does not and has never resided in the Susquehanna Township School District. 111. It is believed and therefore averred that no one has paid out-ofdistrict tuition for the non-resident grandchild since she began attending STSD in 2009. 112. In October 2013, Dr. Kegerise informed the Board that her grandchild attended STSD tuition-free based on a verbal authorization from a prior school board, some of whose members no longer serve on the Board.

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113. Authorization for Dr. Kegerises grandchild to attend STSD tuition-free does not appear in Board minutes dating back to 2009. 114. The benefit conferred on Dr. Kegerise to send her grandchild to STSD tuition-free is not reflected in the Contract. COUNT I Violation of Rights to Free Speech 42 U.S.C. 1983; First Amendment to the United States Constitution Plaintiffs v. Dr. Susan Kegerise, in her individual and official capacities 115. The previous paragraphs of the Complaint are incorporated by reference as if fully set forth herein. 116. Plaintiffs are guaranteed the right to free speech by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. 117. At all times relevant hereto, Plaintiffs have served as elected members of the Susquehanna Township School Board of Directors. 118. As an employee of STSD, Dr. Kegerise has acted at all times relevant hereto under color of state law. 119. At all times relevant hereto, Plaintiffs have desired to exercise their First Amendment rights of free speech in order to communicate with STSD parents, students, teachers, taxpayers and residents.

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120. At all times relevant hereto, assorted STSD parents, students, teachers, taxpayers, and residents have desired to communicate with their elected School Board members, including Plaintiffs. 121. In addition to examples provided above, Discovery will show numerous instances where constitutionally protected free speech has been interfered with by Dr. Kegerise directly, on her behalf and/or with her approval. 122. Under authority vested in Dr. Kegerise by state law and her contract, she had the ability at all times relevant hereto to order constitutional violations be stopped. 123. Instead, Dr. Kegerise allowed or directed that constitutional violations continue. 124. Dr. Kegerise is liable for her actions and omissions and the actions and omissions of those acting on her behalf, both in her individual and official capacities. 125. As direct and proximate result of Dr. Kegerises actions or inactions, Plaintiffs have suffered repeated and continuing violations to the First Amendment rights of free speech. 126. As direct and proximate result of Dr. Kegerises actions or inactions, Plaintiffs have incurred attorneys fees and other costs.

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COUNT II Declaratory Judgment Action to Declare the Employment Contract Void as Violative of The Public School Code of 1949, as amended, 24 P.S. 1-101 Plaintiffs v. All Defendants 127. The previous paragraphs of the Complaint are incorporated by reference as if fully set forth herein. 128. The Contract, by its terms, interpretation, implementation, and enforcement, is the vehicle through which Plaintiffs and others constitutional rights have been repeatedly violated. 129. As stated more fully above, sections of the Contract violate express language of the Act as follows: a. 10-1080(a); and b. 24 P.S. 5-514. 130. The Contract, by its terms, interpretation, implementation, and enforcement violates 24 P.S. 10-1073(e)(2)(iii) which requires that the Contract state the salary conferred upon a superintendent such as Dr. Kegerise. 131. Notwithstanding a Severability Clause included in the Contract at Section 15.00, the Contract cannot be modified because in addition to the express terms of the Contract which violate applicable law, the interpretation,
26

Section 8.00(a) violates 24 P.S. 5-508 and

Section 8.00 (b)(1) of the Contract violates

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implementation and enforcement of the Contracts provisions have been the vehicle through which Plaintiffs constitutional rights have been violated. 132. As a direct and proximate result of the illegal terms, interpretation, implementation, and enforcement of the Contract, Plaintiffs have incurred attorneys fees and other costs. COUNT III Punitive Damages Plaintiffs v. Dr. Susan Kegerise, in her individual capacity 133. The previous paragraphs of the Complaint are incorporated by reference as if fully set forth herein. 134. At all times material hereto, Kegerise knew or should have known that her conduct, as stated above and as will be further shown in discovery, constituted a violation of Plaintiffs First Amendment rights. 135. Despite this, Kegerise acted willfully, recklessly, and/or wantonly, either herself or through Kutulakis and others, to deprive the public at large and Plaintiffs in particular of their First Amendment rights generally and more specifically as follows: a. the Board; b. By withholding correspondence sent to the Board;
27

By monitoring correspondence sent to and from

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c. d.

By delaying correspondence sent to the Board; By repeatedly threatening legal action against

several individuals, including but not limited to Plaintiffs, for exercising their First Amendment rights; e. By acting to intimidate individuals, including but

not limited to Plaintiffs, in an attempt to prevent them from exercising their First Amendment rights; and f. By punishing or threatening to punish Board

members including but not limited to Plaintiffs, and other STSD stakeholders, for exercising their First Amendment rights. 136. Kegerises continued and persistent violations of Plaintiffs First Amendment rights constitute reckless, wanton, intentional, and/or malicious actions. 137. Plaintiffs therefore demand punitive damages be awarded against Kegerise, in her individual capacity.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF WHEREFORE the Plaintiffs, Jesse Rawls, Sr. and Mark Y. Sussman, demand judgment be entered in their favor against all Defendants, as follows: A. Declaratory Relief against all Defendants;
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B. C.

Nominal Relief against all Defendants; Compensatory Relief against Defendant Dr. Susan L. Kegerise

in her individual and official capacities; D. Punitive damages against Defendant Dr. Susan L. Kegerise in

her individual capacity; E. F. Attorney fees and costs as authorized by law; and, Such other relief as the Court deems necessary and appropriate. The Keisling Law Offices, P.C.

/s/ Bret Keisling Bret Keisling, Esquire Attorney ID #201352 17 S. Second Street, Suite 301 Harrisburg, PA 17101 (717) 303-3446 (Phone) (717) 801-1786 (fax) Email: Bret@KeislingLaw.com Date: November 25, 2013

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA JESSE RAWLS, SR. and MARK Y. SUSSMAN Plaintiffs, v. DR. SUSAN KEGERISE, Defendant : : : : : : : : 1:13-CV-02867-JEJ

(Judge John E. Jones, III.)

AMENDED COMPLAINT Plaintiffs JESSE RAWLS, SR. and MARK Y. SUSSMAN (collectively Plaintiffs) hereby bring the following action against DR. SUSAN KEGERISE, its superintendent (collectively Defendants) to enjoin Defendant from violating Plaintiffs rights under the First Amendment to the United States Constitutional rights, and in support thereof, aver the following: INTRODUCTION 1. Plaintiffs file this action because Defendant has systematically

violated their rights under the Constitutions of the United States and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. 2. Defendant has violated Plaintiffs rights to free speech under

the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

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3.

Defendant has violated Plaintiffs rights to perform their

constitutional and statutory duties as elected officials under the Constitutions and laws of the United States and Pennsylvania. 4. Plaintiffs ask this Court to uphold Plaintiffs rights under the

United States Constitution and enjoin Defendant from committing acts or omissions that violate Plaintiffs constitutional or statutory rights. THE PARTIES 5. Plaintiff Jesse Rawls, Sr. is an elected member of the

Susquehanna Township School Board of Directors (Board), resides in and is registered to vote in Susquehanna Township, and pays taxes to the Susquehanna Township School District (STSD). 6. Plaintiff Mark Y. Sussman is an elected member of the Board,

resides in and is registered to vote in Susquehanna Township, pays taxes to STSD, and is the parent of a student enrolled in STSD. 7. Defendant Dr. Susan Kegerise is employed by the Board as

superintendent of STSD. JURISDICTION AND VENUE 8. Jurisdiction is proper under 28 U.S.C. 1331 which conveys

subject matter jurisdiction to district courts over all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, and treaties of the United States.
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9.

Additionally, this Court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant

to 28 U.S.C. 1343 (a). 10. Venue is proper in this District pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1391 (b)

because all parties are residents within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the events giving rise to the claims occurred in this District. THE FACTS 11. The Board has employed Dr. Kegerise since 2005 as assistant

superintendent and since 2009 as Superintendent of STSD. The Board is empowered to employ Dr. Kegerise by Sections 508, 1071, and 1073 of the Act. 12. On or about May 7, 2013, the Board entered into a new

Contract with Dr. Kegerise to extend her term as Superintendent four and one-half years, through June 30, 2017 (Contract). A true and correct copy of the Contract is appended hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit A. 13. Article VI of the Contract states that the board retains all

power, rights, authority, duties and responsibilities conferred upon and invested in each respective party by the laws and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania save for any power or rights limited by the express terms of this AGREEMENT. (Emphasis added.) 14. Section 4.02(d) of the Contract states: Criticisms, complaints,

and suggestions called to the attention of the school District shall be referred to the
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District Superintendent for study, disposition, or recommendation to the Board of School Directors as appropriate. 15. It is believed and therefore averred that the plain language of

Section 4.02 has been interpreted and enforced to prevent and interfere with lawful direct communication between elected Directors and parents, students, teachers, residents, and taxpayers. 16. At all times relevant hereto, Jason Kutulakis, Esquire, has been

employed by Dr. Kegerise as her personal attorney, and has acted on her behalf and with her knowledge and approval. 17. It is believed and therefore averred that between February 2013

and September 2013, Kutulakis attended most, if not all, of the regularly scheduled monthly meetings of the Board. Discovery will show the exact number of meetings Kutulakis attended on Kegerises behalf. 18. At each of the meetings Kutulakis attended, he would sit in the

front row, usually directly across from Plaintiff and Board member Rawls, Sr., and always in direct view of both Plaintiffs. 19. Although public meetings of the School Board are normally

held in the STSD administrative building, the venue for the monthly Board meeting on September 23, 2013, was changed to the Susquehanna Township High

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School auditorium due to public interest in a number of issues, including those related to this litigation. 20. The meeting was attended by a standing-room-only crowd of

STSD stakeholders and other interested people. Nonetheless, Kutulakis sat in the front row directly across from Rawls, Sr. in an apparent attempt to single him out for intimidation. 21. It is believed and therefore averred that Kutulakis attended

board meetings in order to intimidate and/or attempt to intimidate Plaintiffs and other Board members from performing their lawful duties as elected officials and did so on Dr. Kegerises behalf and with her knowledge and approval. 22. Following certain Board meetings, Kutulakis sent

correspondence to Plaintiffs Rawls, Sr. and Sussman, and/or Board President Michael Ferguson, in which Kutulakis attempted to interfere with and/or influence the lawful duties of the elected Board members including Plaintiffs. 23. At a public meeting of the Board on January 28, 2013, Plaintiff

Rawls, Sr. questioned the circumstances related to the hiring of a relative of Dr. Kegerise by STSD. 24. In response, the Board decided to retain a special investigator to

look into the questions raised by Rawls, Sr.

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25.

In correspondence dated February 22, 2013, Kutulakis, acting

on behalf of and with the knowledge of Dr. Kegerise in his role of personal attorney, insisted of the Board President that you retract your appointment of any special counsel, make a determination that this investigation is fruitless and demand a public apology from Jesse Rawls at the next School Board meeting. A true and correct copy of the Kutulakis correspondence to Ferguson dated February 22, 2013 is appended hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit B. 26. Further, Kutulakis stated [p]lease accept this correspondence

as a formal demand to take all actions necessary to support Dr. Kegerise both privately and publicly against the relentless attacks and accusations made by Mr. Rawls. 27. Board President Ferguson emailed Board members, Dr.

Kegerise, and Blunt, and informed them that in response to an inquiry from a reporter for the Harrisburg Patriot-News reporter about whether the board was taking any action regarding Dr. Kegerise and Mr. Rawls' allegations, Ferguson stated that it would inappropriate for me to say anything. I would implore you to do the same. Paul-[Blunt,] please confirm my assessment. 28. Blunt replied via email stating [y]es I agree. Also should you

choose to ignore my advice you will be subjecting yourself to personal liability.

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29.

On February 27, 2013, Plaintiff Sussman sent an email to Dr.

Kegerise stating I heard that cheerleaders were not at the basketball games. Is this correct? 30. Several additional emails followed, including one where

Sussman offered to correspond with Michael Knill, the Susquehanna Township High School athletic director. 31. In correspondence dated March 4, 2013, and directed to the

school board president, Kutulakis wrote complaining that the Sussman emails violated Dr. Kegerises contract and that Mr. Sussman and Mr. Rawls continually interfere with the contractual obligations between the School District and Dr. Kegerise and this must cease immediately. A true and correct copy of the Kutulakis correspondence to Sussman dated March 4, 2013 is appended hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit C. 32. In every instance where Kutulakis attempted to interfere with

and/or influence Board members or matters, he acted on behalf of Dr. Kegerise and with her knowledge and approval. 33. Discovery will show whether other Board members or other

individuals received correspondence from Kutulakis and whether such correspondence included threats of litigation.

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34.

In an email dated May 18, 2013, Kutulakis wrote Sussman and

claimed that Sussman violated the Contract in part because Sussman stated in private conversations that teachers are afraid and students are out of control[.]A true and correct copy of the Kutulakis email to Sussman dated May 18, 2013 is appended hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit D. 35. Kutulakis further demanded that Sussman immediately identify

the names of every teacher with whom Sussman spoke. 36. Kutulakis further stated that if Sussman failed to comply by

midnight on Saturday, May 19, 2013 1, litigation would be initiated the following Monday due to Kutulakis view that Sussman was tortiously interfering with Dr. Kegerises Contract. 37. In written correspondence dated May 17, 2013, Kutulakis

repeated the demands and threats made in the email dated May 18, 2013. A true and correct copy of the Kutulakis correspondence to Sussman dated May 17, 2013 is appended hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit E. 2

May 19, 2013 fell on a Sunday, not a Saturday as stated in the correspondence. The email dated May 18, 2013, stated that formal correspondence would follow.

It is unclear why the written correspondence was dated one day before the email when it clearly was written after.
8

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38.

In both the email dated May 18, 2013, and the written

correspondence dated May 17, 2013, Kutulakis insisted that Sussman immediately retract in writing the comments made by Sussman and that Kutulakis be copied on the written correspondence. 39. Kutulakis also demanded that Sussman provide Dr. Kegerise

with a formal written acknowledgment of the very positive role she has played as the Districts Superintendent must also occur. Your retraction must occur by midnight, Saturday, May 19, 2013. 40. In correspondence dated March 1, 2013, Kutulakis wrote

Rawls, Sr. and complained that Rawls, Sr. indicated he desired to have his personal email made public so residents of the district may communicate directly with him about their concerns. All complaints or concerns are required to be provided to the administration, specifically Dr. Kegerise. Again, this is a material breach of her contract and must cease immediately. A true and correct copy of the Kutulakis correspondence to Rawls, Sr. dated March 4, 2013 is appended hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit F. 41. On March 1, 2013, Kutulakis wrote Sussman essentially the

same letter, complaining again that Rawls, Sr. wanted his personal email made public so he could communicate directly with residents. Kutulakis again asserted that [a]ll complaints or concerns are required to be provided to the administration,
9

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specifically Dr. Kegerise. Again, this is a material breach of her contract and must cease immediately. A true and correct copy of the Kutulakis correspondence to Sussman dated March 1, 2013 is appended hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit G. 42. Rawls, Sr. understood the correspondence of March 1, 2013, to

threaten legal action if he continued to attempt to correspond with STSD parents, students, teachers, taxpayers, and residents, notwithstanding the fact that Rawls, Sr. wanted to communicate with them and they wanted to communicate with him. 43. Sussman did not know why Kutulakis was writing him about

Rawls conduct, but he believed that Kutulakis was warning him that he better not use his personal email address for communicating with STSD parents, students, teachers, taxpayers, and residents. 44. As personal attorney for Dr. Kegerise, Kutulakis wrote the

relevant correspondence on her behalf and with her knowledge and approval. 45. In late 2012 and early 2013, the Board considered taking a

community survey of STSD stakeholders to assess views on issues related to STSD. 46. In the March 1, 2013, correspondence, Kutulakis characterized

the community survey by stating: Some members are attempting to end run the contractual prohibition against complaints going to Dr. Kegerise in the first
10

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instance . . . while a survey permitting input from residents may make sense to allow community outreach, it may not be utilized to obtain anonymous allegations into the administrations roles. It may not become an additional tool to conduct a witch hunt. See Exhibits E and F appended hereto. 47. 48. The community survey was never undertaken. It is believed and therefore averred that Discovery will show

additional correspondence written by Kutulakis on behalf of and with the knowledge and approval of Kegerise that serve to violate or attempt to violate the recipients constitutional and statutory rights. 49. Plaintiffs do not believe Discovery will show any instance

where STSD Solicitor Blunt responded to Kutulakis in any way about inappropriate threats of litigation or Kutulakis attempts to interfere with Board business or Board members activities on behalf of Dr. Kegerise, an employee of the Board. 50. At no time during his representation of STSD has Mr. Blunt

explained to Plaintiffs what activities Board members could engage in that would be constitutionally protected or otherwise protected under the immunity of their elected positions. 51. Blunt never informed Plaintiffs that as elected Board members

they may communicate with STSD stakeholders if it is clear they are not acting or speaking on behalf of the entire Board or other Board members.
11

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52.

In email correspondence dated March 20, 2013, and sent to

Board members and Dr. Kegerise, Blunt wrote: I realize that Board members have concerns over the fact that Sues attorney has sent them letters. Those concerns are wellfounded. Board members only enjoy the extensive immunity to liability the law provides when they are acting within their role as Board members. When they are acting as individuals and not as members of the Board, they are subject to the same risk of liability as anyone else. One of the critical issues in determining whether a Board member is acting as a Board member is whether their actions are in accordance with the advice of the Solicitor. . . . To put the matter plainly, I can only protect individual Board members if and when their actions are authorized by the Board as a whole and if they are willing to disavow the unauthorized actions of other Board members . . . . Worse still, I cannot protect innocent Board members or the District unless I am allowed to disavow those actions [of certain board members] on behalf of the District and Board. 53. In email correspondence dated July 31, 2013, and addressed to

Board members and Dr. Kegerise, Paul Blunt wrote: It has come to my attention that some of you attended a community meeting sponsored and organized by Peter Speaks in which the chief topic of discussion was the re-register effort . . . . While all of you, obviously, have the right to attend any meeting you choose, I must again advise that it is illadvised to attend such meetings precisely because it engenders the appearance and invites the assumption that you are representing the Board and District. 54. If a parent, student, teacher, resident or elector wants to

communicate by email with school directors, there is a single email address -schoolboardstsd@hannasd.org -- for email correspondence to be sent to Board members.
12

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55.

The official STSD website explains that [w]hen using this

email address, mail is sent to the District's Superintendent, who then forwards the message to all members of the school board. A member of District Administration may reply to the sender for additional information or feedback prior to forwarding to the School Board. 56. Under the single email address scheme, the superintendent has

the absolute discretion to determine when an email will be distributed to directors or even if an email will be disseminated. 57. Plaintiffs have never been shown how to directly access emails

sent to the official school board email address, nor have they been shown how to send emails from the official address. Plaintiffs are not privy to the account information or passwords necessary to access the official account. 58. Plaintiffs are without knowledge as to whether or not other

Board members have been shown how to directly access this account or send emails from it. 59. On or about October 1, 2013, Susquehanna Township resident

Adam Wiener, an elector, taxpayer, and parent of two children enrolled in STSD, sent an email to schoolboardstsd@hannasd.org to ask a question related to a criminal investigation by the Dauphin County District Attorney into STSDs handling of allegations of an illegal sexual relationship between an assistant
13

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principal at Susquehanna Township High School and an enrolled student (the Sharkey Matter). A true and correct transcription of the Wiener emails referenced here and in the following Paragraphs is appended hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit H. 60. members. 61. On or about October 5, 2013, having received no response or The email was addressed to Dr. Kegerise and School Board

even an acknowledgement of his email dated October 1, 2013, Wiener called two Board members whom he knew personally, Kathy DelGrande and Plaintiff Mark Sussman. 62. Both Board members told Wiener that the email he sent one

week prior had not been disseminated to the Board. 63. At no time subsequent to the October 1, 2013, email did any

member of the District administration contact Wiener for additional information or feedback prior to sending the email to the Board. 64. Sussman told Wiener several times that Sussman was not

allowed to discuss the substance of the email. 65. Sussman believed he could face legal repercussions pursuant to

threatening letters he had received from the Superintendents personal attorney, Kutulakis, as well as legal guidance from Blunt, the STSD solicitor.
14

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66.

Notably, although Mrs. DelGrande said that she couldnt

discuss confidential information, she was able to discuss generally Wieners concerns and she did not appear to be under the same threat of personal litigation as Sussman, even though she and Sussman are both elected Board directors. 67. Sussman did promise Wiener that he would attempt to have

Wieners email disseminated to the Board. 68. Sussman emailed Dr. Kegerise requesting that Wieners email,

which was directed to and intended for the Board, be distributed to the Board. 69. Sussman also verbally requested that Dr. Kegerise distribute

Wieners email to the Board. 70. On October 8, 2013, Wiener again sent an email to the Board at

schoolboardstsd@hannasd.org, stating in part I was informed that the e-mail had not been sent to the [members] of the board, and I am still unsure if [it] has been as of today. I have the right to have my question answered. See Exhibit H appended hereto. 71. Despite Sussmans email and verbal request to Dr. Kegerise

that she distribute Wieners October 1, 2013, email correspondence to Board members as it had been intended, Kegerise failed to do so until after Wiener sent the second email.

15

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72.

On October 21, 2013, having not received any reply or

acknowledgement to his two previous emails, Wiener again emailed Dr. Kegerise and School Board Members, stating: I still have not received a reply from you or any other school board member to my email that was sent on October 1st. I believe that it is very unprofessional to not even dignify my question with a response. Is there another avenue I should explore to get a reply[?] (Emphasis added.) See Exhibit H appended hereto. 73. Finally, on October 25, 2013, STSD Solicitor Blunt replied to

Wiener by email, referring to Wieners repeated missives demanding information. 74. In his reply email, Blunt stated in part: Contrary to reports by

the newspaper, the District handled the Sharkey matter exactly as the law requires; and there were no reports or allegations by anyone to District employees of any inappropriate relationship between Mr. Sharkey and the alleged victim. (Emphasis added.) See Exhibit H appended hereto. 75. Blunt made this false assertion despite the fact that he had

previously acknowledged in the media that four teachers had reported the issue to District employees some six months before Wiener sent his email. 76. At no time, up to and including the date of filing of this

Complaint, has any elected Board member acknowledged receipt of Wieners


16

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emails and it is unknown whether Wieners second and third emails were ever disseminated to all Board members, despite the facts that they were addressed to the Board and sent to the official Board email address. 77. Mrs. DelGrande is recognized by many to be a staunch

supporter of the superintendent and her administration. 78. Sussman has been unfairly and inaccurately characterized as

adversarial to the superintendent and her administration. 79. Board members who are perceived as favorable to the

Superintendent and her administration do not face the same prohibitions on communicating with parents, teachers, students, electors and taxpayers as do those Board members who are perceived as unfavorable to Dr. Kegerise. 80. In correspondence dated December 17, 2013, Kutulakis wrote

undersigned counsel, complaining that Plaintiff Rawls had placed a telephone call to Kegerise, and that Kegerise would not accept any further calls from Rawls, notwithstanding that a school district superintendent works for the school board. A true and correct copy of the December 17, 2013 correspondence is incorporated herein and appended hereto as Exhibit I. 81. Notwithstanding the assertion in the December 17, 2013

correspondence, Rawls had not placed any call to Kegerise for at least 6 weeks prior to the correspondence.
17

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82.

Oddly, the December 17, 2013 asserted without citation to

supporting authority that the contents of the letter may not be used in litigation except to enforce the directive contained herein. See Exhibit I. 83. On January 10, 2014, Kegerise filed a lawsuit in the Court of

Common Pleas for Dauphin County against Plaintiffs Rawls and Sussman requesting emergency injunctive relief. 84. On January 15, 2014, Plaintiffs removed that lawsuit to federal

court (docketed in this Honorable Court at 1:14-CV-00067-JEJ). 85. In the state court complaint, Kegerise alleged: Sussman attempted to make service of the Complaint [filed in the instant matter] on an assistant district solicitor during a recess of the December 17, 2013 meeting of the School Board. Sussman dropped the papers on the floor of the men's restroom while the assistant solicitor was making use of the facilities and requested the papers be picked up. A true and correct copy of the Complaint seeking injunctive relief is incorporated herein and appended hereto as Exhibit J. 86. On January 16, 2014, undersigned counsel spoke in person with

Brian Taylor, Esq., the assistant district solicitor referenced above. 87. When asked about the averment that Sussman dropped papers

on the floor and told Taylor to pick them up, Taylor told undersigned counsel I told Jason twice that it never happened, I dont know why he put that in the complaint.
18

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88.

It is believed and therefore averred that Kutulakis knowingly

included false information in that complaint in dereliction of his professional responsibilities and rules of court. 89. Kegerise signed a verification of the state court complaint

verifying that the statements contained therein were true and correct subject to the penalties for unsworn falsification. 90. It is believed and therefore averred that Discovery will produce

numerous emails written by parents, students, teachers, taxpayers, and residents that were directed to Board members but never forwarded to them by Dr. Kegerise. COUNT I Violation of Rights to Free Speech 42 U.S.C. 1983; First Amendment to the United States Constitution 91. The previous paragraphs of the Complaint are incorporated by

reference as if fully set forth herein. 92. Plaintiffs are guaranteed the right to free speech by the First

Amendment to the United States Constitution. 93. At all times relevant hereto, Plaintiffs have served as elected

members of the Susquehanna Township School Board of Directors. 94. As an employee of STSD, Dr. Kegerise has acted at all times

relevant hereto under color of state law.

19

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95.

At all times relevant hereto, Plaintiffs have desired to exercise

their First Amendment rights of free speech in order to communicate with STSD parents, students, teachers, taxpayers and residents. 96. At all times relevant hereto, assorted STSD parents, students,

teachers, taxpayers, and residents have desired to communicate with their elected School Board members, including Plaintiffs. 97. In addition to examples provided above, discovery will show

numerous instances where constitutionally protected free speech has been interfered with by Dr. Kegerise directly, on her behalf and/or with her approval. 98. Under authority invested in Dr. Kegerise by state law and her

contract, she had the ability at all times relevant hereto to order constitutional violations be stopped. 99. Instead, Dr. Kegerise allowed or directed that constitutional

violations continue. 100. Dr. Kegerise is liable for her actions and omissions and the actions and omissions of those acting on her behalf, both in her individual and official capacities. 101. As direct and proximate result of Dr. Kegerises actions or inactions, Plaintiffs have suffered repeated and continuing violations to the First Amendment rights of free speech.
20

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102. As direct and proximate result of Dr. Kegerises actions or inactions, Plaintiffs have incurred attorneys fees and other costs.

COUNT II Punitive Damages Plaintiffs v. Dr. Susan Kegerise, in her individual capacity 103. The previous paragraphs of the Complaint are incorporated by reference as if fully set forth herein. 104. At all times material hereto, Kegerise knew or should have known that her conduct, as stated above and as will be further shown in discovery, constituted a violation of Plaintiffs First Amendment rights. 105. Despite this, Kegerise acted willfully, recklessly, and/or wantonly, either herself or through Kutulakis and others, to deprive the public at large and Plaintiffs in particular of their First Amendment rights generally and more specifically as follows: a. the Board; b. c. By withholding correspondence sent to the Board; By delaying correspondence sent to the Board; By monitoring correspondence sent to and from

21

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d.

By repeatedly threatening legal action against

several individuals, including but not limited to Plaintiffs, for exercising their First Amendment rights; e. By acting to intimidate individuals, including but

not limited to Plaintiffs, in an attempt to prevent them from exercising their First Amendment rights; and f. By punishing or threatening to punish Board

members including but not limited to Plaintiffs, and other STSD stakeholders, for exercising their First Amendment rights. 106. Kegerises continued and persistent violations of Plaintiffs First Amendment rights constitute reckless, wanton, intentional, and/or malicious actions. 107. Plaintiffs therefore demand punitive be awarded against Kegerise, in her individual capacity.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF WHEREFORE the Plaintiffs, Jesse Rawls, Sr. and Mark Y. Sussman, demand judgment be entered in their favor against Defendant Kegerise, as follows: A. B. Declaratory Relief against the Defendant; Nominal Relief against the Defendant;
22

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C. D. E. F.

Compensatory Relief against the Defendant; Punitive damages against the Defendant; Attorney fees and costs as authorized by law; and, Such other relief as the Court deems necessary and appropriate. The Keisling Law Offices, P.C.

/s/ Bret Keisling Bret Keisling, Esquire Attorney ID #201352 17 S. Second Street, Suite 301 Harrisburg, PA 17101 (717) 303-3446 (Phone) (717) 801-1786 (fax) Email: Bret@KeislingLaw.com Date: January 21, 2014

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Certificate of Service

I, Bret Keisling, Esq. certify that on January 21, 2014, the foregoing Amended Complaint was served on the following parties by electronic means at the addresses listed below:

jef@kingspry.com jpk@abomkutulakis.com cek@abomkutulakis.com

_______________/s/_________________ Bret Keisling, Esq.

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SUSQUEHANNA TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17109

POLICY PUBLIC COMPLAINTS

District residents, taxpayers and community groups have the right to present a request, suggestion or complaint concerning District personnel, the program or the operations of the District. At the same time, the Board has a duty to protect its staff from harassment. It is the intent of this policy to provide a fair and impartial manner for seeking appropriate remedies.

Any misunderstandings between the public and the School District shall be resolved by direct discussions of an informal type among the interested parties. It is only when such informal meetings fail to resolve the differences that more formal procedures will be employed.

Any requests, suggestions or complaints reaching Board members and the Board shall be referred to the Superintendent for consideration and action. In the event that further action is warranted, based on the initial investigation, such action shall be in accordance with the following procedures.

A.

Matters Regarding a Teaching Staff Member

First Level A matter specifically directed toward a teaching staff member shall be addressed initially to the concerned staff member who may discuss it with the complainant and make every effort to provide a reasoned explanation or take appropriate action within his/her authority. As appropriate, the staff member shall report the matter and whatever action may have been taken to the Building Principal.

Second Level If the matter cannot be satisfactorily resolved at the First Level, it shall be discussed by the complainant with the Building Principal.

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Third Level If a satisfactory solution is not achieved by discussion with the Building Principal, the Principal shall attempt to schedule a conference with the appropriate Assistant Superintendent or Assistant to the Superintendent. The Principal will furnish to the appropriate Assistant Superintendent or Assistant to the Superintendent a report which will include:

1.

The specific nature of the complaint and a brief statement of the facts giving rise to it;

2.

The respect in which it is alleged that the complainant (or child of the complainant) has been affected adversely; and

3.

The action which the complainant wishes taken and the reasons why it is felt that such action should be taken.

Fourth Level If the matter is not resolved by the Assistant Superintendent or Assistant to the Superintendent, it shall be referred to the Superintendent. If it is beyond the Superintendents authority and requires Board action, the Superintendent shall furnish the Board with a complete report.

The Board, after reviewing all material relating to the case, shall:

1.

Provide the complainant with its written decision; or

2.

Grant a hearing before the Board or a committee of the Board.

The complainant shall be advised, in writing, of the Boards decision, no more than ten (10) days following the hearing.

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B.

Matters Regarding an Administrative Staff Member

In the case of a complaint directed toward an administrative staff member, the general procedure specified in Part A shall be followed.

The complaint shall be discussed initially with the person toward whom it is directed and, if a satisfactory resolution is not achieved at this level, the matter shall be brought as required to higher levels in accordance with the Organizational Chart of the District, terminating with the Board.

C.

Matters Regarding a Classified Staff Member

In the case of a complaint directed toward a non-instructional staff member, the same procedure is to be followed as in Part A; except the Second Level discussion shall be with the Building Principal or the head of the non-professional department in which the staff member is employed.

D.

Matters Regarding a Program, Operational Materials or Instruction

A request, suggestion or complaint relating to a matter of District or school policy, procedure, program, operation or instructional materials should be addressed initially to the Building Principal or the head of the non-professional department who is mostly directed concerned and then referred to higher levels of authority in the manner prescribed in Part A.

E.

Matters Regarding Student Progress and Well-Being

The general procedures specified in Part A shall be followed for complaints relating to student progress and well-being.

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Approved by the School Board October 23, 1967 Amended by the School Board June 8, 1987 Amended by the School Board November 23, 1998 Amended by the School Board May 19, 2008

Case Case 1:14-cv-00747-WWC 3:02-at-06000 Document Document 423-13 1-13Filed Filed 04/17/14 04/17/14Page Page 1 of 1 of 4 4 304 No.

SUSQUEHANNA TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT

SECTION: TITLE:

EMPLOYEES EMPLOYMENT OF DISTRICT STAFF July 22, 2013

ADOPTED: REVISED:

304. EMPLOYMENT OF DISTRICT STAFF 1. Authority The Board places substantial responsibility for the effective management and operation of district schools and the quality of the educational program with its administrative, professional and support employees. The Board shall, by a majority vote of all members, approve the employment; set the compensation; and establish the term of employment for each administrative, professional and support employee employed by the district.

SC 406, 508, 1089, 1106, 1107, 11421152 Title 22 Sec. 4.4 Pol. 328

Approval shall normally be given to the candidates for employment recommended by the Superintendent. SC 1111 No teacher shall be employed who is related to any member of the Board, as defined in law, unless such teacher receives the affirmative vote of a majority of all members of the Board other than the member related to the applicant, who shall not vote. The Board authorizes the use of professional and support employees prior to Board approval when necessary to maintain continuity of the educational program and services. Retroactive employment shall be recommended to the Board at the next regular Board meeting. An employee's misstatement of fact material to qualifications for employment or determination of salary shall constitute grounds for dismissal by the Board. SC 1109, 1201 Title 22 Sec. 49.1 et seq A candidate for employment in the district shall not receive a recommendation for employment without evidence of his/her certification when such certification is required.

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304. EMPLOYMENT OF DISTRICT STAFF - Pg. 2

SC 111 Title 22 Sec. 8.1 et seq 23 Pa. C.S.A. Sec. 6301 et seq SC 111

A candidate shall not be employed until s/he has complied with the mandatory background check requirements for criminal history and child abuse and the district has evaluated the results of that screening process.

Each candidate shall report, on the designated form, arrests and convictions as required by law. Failure to accurately report such arrests and convictions may, depending on the nature of the offense, subject the individual to criminal prosecution. The district shall use the Standard Application for Teaching Positions but may also establish and implement additional application requirements for professional employees. The Superintendent or designee shall develop administrative regulations for employment of staff, in accordance with Board policy and state and federal laws and regulations. Staff vacancies that represent opportunities for professional advancement or diversification shall be made known to district employees so they may apply for such positions.

SC 1204.1

2. Delegation of Responsibility Pol. 104

42 U.S.C. Sec. 12112

The Superintendent or designee may apply necessary screening procedures to determine a candidate's ability to perform the job functions of the position for which a candidate is being considered. The Superintendent or designee shall seek recommendations from former employers and others in assessing the candidate's qualifications. Recommendations and references shall be retained confidentially and for official use only.

SC 1109, 1201 Title 22 Sec. 49.1 et seq

Each certificated administrative and professional employee employed by the district shall be responsible for maintaining a valid certificate when such certificate is required by law. Title I Requirements

Title 22 Sec. 403.2, 403.4 20 U.S.C. Sec. 6319, 7801

All elementary, middle and secondary teachers employed by the district who teach core academic subjects shall be highly qualified, as defined by federal law and state regulations.

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304. EMPLOYMENT OF DISTRICT STAFF - Pg. 3

Title 22 Sec. 403.4, 403.5 20 U.S.C. Sec. 6319, 7801

The principal of a school providing Title I programs to students shall annually attest that professional staff teaching in such programs are highly qualified and paraprofessionals providing instructional support in such programs meet required qualification, in accordance with federal law and state regulations. The written certifications shall be maintained in the district office and the school office and shall be available to the public, upon request. All paraprofessionals providing instructional support in a program supported by Title I funds shall have a secondary school diploma or a recognized equivalent and one (1) of the following: 1. At least two (2) years of study at an institution of higher learning. 2. Associates or higher degree. 3. Evidence of meeting a rigorous standard of quality through a state or local assessment. Title I paraprofessionals who solely coordinate parental involvement activities or act as translators are exempt from the above qualifications. Special Education Paraprofessionals

Title 22 Sec. 403.2, 403.5 20 U.S.C. Sec. 6319

Title 22 Sec. 14.105 Pol. 113

All instructional paraprofessionals hired on or after July 1, 2010, who work under the direction of a certificated staff member to support and assist in providing instructional programs and services to students with disabilities or eligible students shall have a secondary school diploma and one (1) of the following: 1. At least two (2) years of postsecondary study. 2. Associates or higher degree. 3. Evidence of meeting a rigorous standard of quality through a state or local assessment.

Title 22 Sec. 14.105

Instructional paraprofessionals shall provide evidence of twenty (20) hours of staff development activities related to their assignment each school year. Personal Care Assistants

Title 22 Sec. 14.105

A personal care assistant provides one-to-one support and assistance to a student, including support and assistance in the use of medical equipment.

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304. EMPLOYMENT OF DISTRICT STAFF - Pg. 4

Personal care assistants shall provide evidence of twenty (20) hours of staff development activities related to their assignment each school year. The twenty (20) hours of training may include training required by the school-based access program. Educational Interpreters Title 22 Sec. 14.105 An educational interpreter is an individual who provides students who are deaf or hard of hearing with interpreting or transliterating services in an educational setting. To serve as an educational interpreter, an individual shall meet the qualifications set forth in law and regulations.

References: School Code 24 P.S. Sec. 108, 111, 406, 508, 1089, 1106, 1107, 1109, 1109.2, 1111, 1142-1152, 1201, 1204.1 State Board of Education Regulations 22 PA Code Sec. 4.4, 8.1 et seq., 14.105, 49.1 et seq., 403.2, 403.4, 403.5 Criminal History Record Information Act 18 Pa. C.S.A. Sec. 9125 Child Protective Services Law 23 Pa. C.S.A. Sec. 6301 et seq. No Child Left Behind Act 20 U.S.C. Sec. 6319, 7801 Americans With Disabilities Act 42 U.S.C. Sec. 12101 et seq. Board Policy 000, 104, 113, 328

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Case Case 1:14-cv-00747-WWC 3:02-at-06000 Document Document 423-14 1-14Filed Filed 04/17/14 04/17/14Page Page 1 of 1 of 3 3 903 No.

SUSQUEHANNA TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT

SECTION: TITLE:

COMMUNITY PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN BOARD MEETINGS

ADOPTED: REVISED:

903. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN BOARD MEETINGS 1. Purpose The Board recognizes the value to school governance of public comment on educational issues and the importance of involving members of the public in Board meetings. The Board also recognizes its responsibility for proper governance of the district and the need to conduct its business in an orderly and efficient manner. The Board shall adopt policy to govern public participation in Board meetings necessary to conduct its meeting and to maintain order.

2. Authority 65 Pa. C.S.A. Sec. 710 65 Pa. C.S.A. Sec. 710.1

In order to permit fair and orderly expression of public comment, the Board shall provide an opportunity at each open meeting of the Board for residents and taxpayers to comment on matters of concern, official action or deliberation before the Board prior to official action by the Board. The Board shall allow public comment on agenda items or other matters of concern at the beginning of each meeting. Before taking official action on a matter which is not on the agenda, an opportunity shall be provided for public comment on that matter. Attendees at the Board meeting shall be requested to sign in prior to the public meeting and may indicate their request to address the Board on the sign-in sheet.

65 Pa. C.S.A. Sec. 710.1

If the Board determines there is not sufficient time at a meeting for public comments, the comment period may be deferred to the next regular meeting or to a special meeting occurring before the next regular meeting. The presiding officer at each public Board meeting shall follow Board policy for the conduct of public meetings. Where his/her ruling is disputed, it may be overruled by a majority of those Board members present and voting.

3. Delegation of Responsibility SC 407 Pol. 006

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903. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN BOARD MEETINGS - Pg. 2

Pol. 906

Complaints about individual students or staff members, or criticism or remarks about problems involving such individuals, must first be brought to the attention of the Superintendent or other appropriate staff member in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Board policy on public complaints. First-time discussion of such matters is not permitted during the public comment period. This is necessary to allow the administration an opportunity to investigate, verify the facts and resolve such matters in a way that safeguards confidential information and the privacy of those concerned. If the required administrative complaint procedures have been exhausted without resolving the problem, the Board may allow comment at an appropriate Board meeting, in accordance with Board policy. Whenever issues identified by the participant are subject to remediation under policies and procedures of the Board, they shall be dealt with in accordance with those policies and procedures and the organizational structure of the district. The Board requires that public participants be residents or taxpayers of this district or any representative of a firm eligible to bid on materials or services solicited by the Board. Participants must be recognized by the presiding officer and must preface their comments by an announcement of their name, address, and group affiliation if applicable. Each statement made by a participant during the public comment period shall be limited to three (3) minutes duration, unless otherwise approved by the presiding officer. No participant may speak more than once on the same topic, unless all others who wish to speak on that topic have been heard, and only with permission from the presiding officer. All statements shall be directed to the presiding officer; no participant may address or question Board members individually. The presiding officer shall be responsible for maintaining proper decorum and adhering to established time limits. Questions of fact asked by the public may, when appropriate, be answered by the Superintendent or other administrator. Questions requiring investigation shall be referred to the appropriate administrator for later reporting to the Board.

4. Guidelines

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903. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN BOARD MEETINGS - Pg. 3

The presiding officer may: 1. Interrupt or terminate a participant's statement when the statement is too lengthy, personally directed, abusive, obscene, or irrelevant. 2. Request any individual to leave the meeting when that person does not observe reasonable decorum. 3. Request the assistance of law enforcement officers to remove a disorderly person when his/her conduct interferes with the orderly progress of the meeting. 4. Call a recess or adjourn to another time when the lack of public decorum interferes with the orderly conduct of the meeting. Electronic recording devices and cameras, in addition to those used as official recording devices, shall be permitted at public meetings under guidelines established by the Board. No placards or banners will be permitted within the meeting room. The meeting agenda and all pertinent documents shall be available to the press and public at the meetings and posted on the district web site two (2) days prior to a regularly scheduled Board meeting.

References: School Code 24 P.S. Sec. 407 Sunshine Act 65 Pa. C.S.A. Sec. 701 et seq. Board Policy 006, 906

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