Fall River teacher fired over social media comments secured reinstatement with full salary arrears, lawsuit pending – Fall River Reporter

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A 22-year-old veteran teacher from the Fall River School District has reportedly won an arbitration case to get her job back after being fired for social media posts.

According to attorney for Taryn Camara, a former Kuss Middle School teacher who was fired for Facebook posts, she will be back to work soon after winning an arbitration case last week.

Mark Gagliardi states that “the arbitrator’s decision provides for reinstatement with full arrears within 14 days (October 1, 2021)”.

During the arbitration, Gagliardi said former Superintendent Matt Malone testified under oath that he considered ALL of her Facebook comments (around 8) to be racist and that she was fired for ALL, which is a violation. of its First Amendment rights.

Part of the Facebook conversation in question obtained by Fall River Reporter

“For example, one of his comments referred to a crime statistic that blacks commit more crimes against other blacks than they do against whites, which is true. It is clearly protected speech. In addition, a complainant need only prove that the employer’s decision to fire her was “motivated, in part” because of the protected speech. “

According to Gagliardi, some of Camara’s messages were in fact against racism.

“My client posted 5 anti-racist posts on FB in the days leading up to the controversial post that led to her dismissal by supporting BLM and exposing racial profiling, but the City was not aware of these posts prior to the city’s decision. fire. The City should have asked my client to change her FB settings in public so that the City could see ALL of her FB messages. If they had, it would have given proper context to the one controversial comment. The union should have done the same.

Gagliardi believes that the 5 anti-racist messages that could not be seen by officials prove that there was no real investigation.

“(They) did not investigate the incident and simply sent my client’s representatives to two hearings. If the FREA board of directors had been presented with the 5 anti-racist posts, they would probably have voted in favor of its arbitration. Instead, my client had to bear the full cost of the arbitration, approximately $ 77,000 for attorney fees, the cost of the arbitrator, and court reporter fees. We requested payment from the union.

Gagliardi says he is filing a complaint on Camara’s behalf and wants the union and school district to be held accountable.

“The First Amendment retaliation and defamation lawsuit is ongoing. There will soon be a 7-digit demand. This is what happens when there is incompetent leadership at the top and dedicated, long-term employees are tossed aside like old newspapers. “

We reached out to Mayor Coogan for comment and he said it was a staff and school system issue.


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