Travis Zuellig Feb. 2, 2016, 10:05am


ERIE — A teacher is suing a Pennsylvania school district, alleging retaliation for complaints about treatment of disabled students.

Joy Tibbott, of Northern Cambria, Pennsylvania, filed a lawsuit against Northern Cambria School District on Jan. 6 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, alleging retaliation and discrimination.

According to the complaint, Tibbott began working at NCSD in 1997 as a learning support teacher and, starting in 2013, Tibbott held the director of education position. As a part of her job, the suit says, she was required to ensure that NCSD complied with legal special education standards.

The lawsuit states in December 2013, Tibbot told district officials the district was legally required to provide the least restrictive environment for disabled students, but the school board refused to acknowledge the requirement. By keeping disabled students away from mainstream classrooms, the district effectively discriminated against those students, the suit says.

The plaintiff alleges because of her actions she was put on furlough, not hired for positions for which she was qualified and, ultimately, assigned as an 8th grade teacher, a demotion that cost her $20,000 per year in salary.

Tibbott seeks damages, including mental anguish and embarrassment, and court costs. She is represented by attorneys Marcus B. Schneider and and Kelli Vandergrift of Steele Schneider in Pittsburgh.

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania Case number 316-cv-00005-KRG

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