Walter Pierce

Former hair-trigger teacher trumped by Third Circuit

by Walter Pierce

The Third Circuit Court also shot down an appeal by a former Lafayette public-school teacher canned in 2007 after admitting to threatening to shoot her principal and a counselor. In a ruling issued this week, the Third Circuit judges sided with a Lafayette judge’s dismissal of Mary Margaret Alexander’s lawsuit against the Lafayette Parish School Board, which approved Alexander’s firing following a recommendation by then-Superintendent James Easton. Alexander had filed suit against the LPSB seeking reinstatement and back pay.

According to court records, Alexander was employed as a teacher’s assistant at Lafayette Charter School when, fuming following a reprimand by Principal Lawrence Lilly, told another teacher, “I should bring a gun and shoot off their f***king heads. I’d rather not have to do that. What I’m saying is if they made me mad enough, I would.” That’s according to the teacher Alexander made the remark to. The unnamed second teacher sent Lilly a letter detailing Alexander’s comments, and, according to the Third Circuit’s opinion, Alexander admitted to Lilly that she had made the comments but denied she ever intended to act on them.