School Takes on Union to Discipline Teacher

     FRESNO, Calif. (CN) – A teacher for the hard of hearing called a little boy “gay” and a “fag,” through an amplifier, the Fresno school district claims, and it sued her and her union for the right to suspend her for two days.
     The Fresno Unified School District sued Rose Ruelas-Wasser and the Fresno Teachers Association CTA/NEA in Superior Court, seeking to overturn an arbitration award and suspend Ruelas for two days.
     The district claims that Ruelas-Wasser, “a teacher of deaf and hard-of-hearing pre-kindergarten students at Birney Elementary School … made discriminatory comments about one of her 5-year-old students (‘Student J’) during class time while wearing a microphone that transmitted and amplified her words to the students and staff in her class. Specifically, Ruelas-Warner called Student J ‘gay’ or ‘fag,’ which equate to racial and/or ethnic slurs such as ‘nigger,’ ‘spic,’ or ‘kike.’
     “By finding there was ‘substantial evidence’ that Ruelas-Warner made these comments about Student J, however, not permitting the district to skip lower progressive discipline pursuant to the clear and unambiguous expressed language in the agreement, the arbitrator exceeded her powers and the arbitration award should be vacated.”
     Specifically, the district wants two parts of the arbitrator’s award vacated: “That the suspension of Ruelas-Warner be[] rescinded; and the suspension and related documents be removed from Ruelas-Warner’s personnel file.”
     The district is represented by Ingrid Meyers.

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