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Page 1 of 3

No. 907


SECTION: COMMUNITY

TITLE: SCHOOL VISITORS

ADOPTED: October 28, 2013

REVISED:
SUSQUEHANNA
TOWNSHIP
SCHOOL DISTRICT


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.

2. Delegation of
Responsibility

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 visitor’s 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.


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907. SCHOOL VISITORS - Pg. 2
Page 2 of 3


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 child’s 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
Page 3 of 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

J ESSE RAWLS, SR. and :
MARK Y. SUSSMAN :
Plaintiffs, :
: CIVIL ACTION
v. :
:
THE SUSQUEHANNA TOWNSHIP : NO.
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 COMPLAINT


Plaintiffs J ESSE 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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2

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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3

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 J esse 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. J urisdiction 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 J une 30, 2017 (“Contract”). A true and correct copy of the Contract
is appended hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit A.
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5

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, J ason 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 Kegerise’s behalf.
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6

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. Kegerise’s 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 J anuary 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 J esse 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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8

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. Kegerise’s 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. Kegerise’s 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

1
May 19, 2013 fell on a Sunday, not a Saturday as stated in the correspondence.

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10

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 District’s 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

2
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. The community survey was never undertaken.
51. 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
Sue’s attorney has sent them letters. Those concerns are well-
founded. 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 J uly 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 ill-
advised 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 STSD’s
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. The email was addressed to Dr. Kegerise and School Board
members.
64. On or about October 5, 2013, having received no response or
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 Superintendent’s personal attorney,
Kutulakis, as well as legal “guidance” from Blunt, the STSD solicitor.
69. Notably, although Mrs. DelGrande said that she couldn’t
discuss confidential information, she was able to discuss generally Wiener’s
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
Wiener’s email disseminated to the Board.
71. Sussman emailed Dr. Kegerise requesting that Wiener’s email,
which was directed to and intended for the Board, be distributed to the Board.
72. Sussman also verbally requested that Dr. Kegerise distribute
Wiener’s 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 Sussman’s email and verbal request to Dr. Kegerise
that she distribute Wiener’s 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 Wiener’s “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 Wiener’s
emails and it is unknown whether Wiener’s 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. The Contract was approved by a 6-3 vote of the School Board.
85. 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 J ohn 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 Blunt’s 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. Kegerise’s 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-of-
district 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. Kegerise’s 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. Kegerise’s 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. Kegerise’s 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. Section 8.00(a) violates 24 P.S. §§ 5-508 and
10-1080(a); and
b. Section 8.00 (b)(1) of the Contract violates
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,
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implementation and enforcement of the Contract’s 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. By monitoring correspondence sent to and from
the Board;
b. By withholding correspondence sent to the Board;
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c. By delaying correspondence sent to the Board;
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.
136. Kegerise’s 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, J esse 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. Nominal Relief against all Defendants;
C. 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. Attorney fees and costs as authorized by law; and,
F. 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

J ESSE RAWLS, SR. and : 1:13-CV-02867-J EJ
MARK Y. SUSSMAN :
Plaintiffs, :
: (J udge J ohn E. J ones, III.)
v. :
:
DR. SUSAN KEGERISE, :
Defendant :


AMENDED COMPLAINT


Plaintiffs J ESSE 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 J esse 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. J urisdiction 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 J une 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, J ason 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 Kegerise’s 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. Kegerise’s 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 J anuary 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 J esse 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. Kegerise’s 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.
Kegerise’s 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


1
May 19, 2013 fell on a Sunday, not a Saturday as stated in the correspondence.

2
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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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 District’s 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,
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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
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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. The community survey was never undertaken.
48. 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.
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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
Sue’s attorney has sent them letters. Those concerns are well-
founded. 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 J uly 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 ill-
advised 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.
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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 STSD’s
handling of allegations of an illegal sexual relationship between an assistant
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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. The email was addressed to Dr. Kegerise and School Board
members.
61. On or about October 5, 2013, having received no response or
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 Superintendent’s personal attorney,
Kutulakis, as well as legal “guidance” from Blunt, the STSD solicitor.
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66. Notably, although Mrs. DelGrande said that she couldn’t
discuss confidential information, she was able to discuss generally Wiener’s
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
Wiener’s email disseminated to the Board.
68. Sussman emailed Dr. Kegerise requesting that Wiener’s email,
which was directed to and intended for the Board, be distributed to the Board.
69. Sussman also verbally requested that Dr. Kegerise distribute
Wiener’s 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 Sussman’s email and verbal request to Dr. Kegerise
that she distribute Wiener’s 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.
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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 Wiener’s “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 Wiener’s
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emails and it is unknown whether Wiener’s 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.
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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 J anuary 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 J anuary 15, 2014, Plaintiffs removed that lawsuit to federal
court (docketed in this Honorable Court at 1:14-CV-00067-J EJ ).
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 J anuary 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 J ason twice that it never happened, I don’t know why he put that in the
complaint.”
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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.
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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. Kegerise’s actions or
inactions, Plaintiffs have suffered repeated and continuing violations to the First
Amendment rights of free speech.
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102. As direct and proximate result of Dr. Kegerise’s 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. By monitoring correspondence sent to and from
the Board;
b. By withholding correspondence sent to the Board;
c. By delaying correspondence sent to the Board;
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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. Kegerise’s 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, J esse Rawls, Sr. and Mark Y.
Sussman, demand judgment be entered in their favor against Defendant Kegerise,
as follows:
A. Declaratory Relief against the Defendant;
B. Nominal Relief against the Defendant;
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C. Compensatory Relief against the Defendant;
D. Punitive damages against the Defendant;
E. Attorney fees and costs as authorized by law; and,
F. 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: J anuary 21, 2014

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Certificate of Service

I, Bret Keisling, Esq. certify that on J anuary 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 Superintendent’s 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 Board’s 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





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Page 1 of 4
No. 304


SECTION: EMPLOYEES

TITLE: EMPLOYMENT OF DISTRICT
STAFF

ADOPTED: July 22, 2013

REVISED:
SUSQUEHANNA
TOWNSHIP
SCHOOL DISTRICT


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.

SC 406, 508,
1089, 1106,
1107, 1142-
1152
Title 22
Sec. 4.4
Pol. 328
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.
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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SC 111
Title 22
Sec. 8.1 et seq
23 Pa. C.S.A.
Sec. 6301 et seq

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.

SC 111 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.

SC 1204.1 The district shall use the Standard Application for Teaching Positions but may also
establish and implement additional application requirements for professional
employees.

2. Delegation of
Responsibility
Pol. 104
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.

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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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.

Title 22
Sec. 403.2, 403.5
20 U.S.C.
Sec. 6319
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. Associate’s 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. 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. Associate’s 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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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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No. 903


SECTION: COMMUNITY

TITLE: PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN
BOARD MEETINGS

ADOPTED:

REVISED:
SUSQUEHANNA
TOWNSHIP
SCHOOL DISTRICT

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.

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

The Board shall adopt policy to govern public participation in Board meetings
necessary to conduct its meeting and to maintain order.

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.

3. Delegation of
Responsibility
SC 407
Pol. 006

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.





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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.

4. Guidelines

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.




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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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