GRISD Voted on Agreement Re: Joelle Ogletree at school board meeting (March 26 2012)
GRISD Voted on Agreement Re: Joelle Ogletree at school board meeting (March 26 2012)
27 March 2012 at 5:38:23 PM
Interesting. Behind the scenes attorneys representing GRISD and Joelle Ogletree had been working on a mutually satisfactory agreement to bring the legal issues surrounding Ogletree's civil cases to an end. (For background, read here). Last night, the board members went into executive session, came out and voted to accept the agreement. Basically, Ogletree will not have to pay attorney fees to the school, 4 years from now she will be able to volunteer, as long as she is not directly supervising children, at her chidren's school and 6 years from now will be able to apply for teaching positions, whether substitute or permanent positions. The court/attorney fees were due to her appeal to the Federal Court being denied in 2010; the attorneys for GRISD had filed for costs. She in turn had appealed.
My opinion. I can't imagine why they are making her wait 4 years to be able to be an approved volunteer at the school. If GRISD thought for one minute that she was actually a danger (and we know they do not from their previous actions), then no amount of time would be enough to prevent her from being around children. Is this waiting until all the current board members have moved on to greener pastures and the travesty that was done to Joelle Ogletree is a fading memory?
On that direct supervision of children: The agreement reads:
Nothing contained herein shall constitute an acknowledgment by Ogletree that there exists any reason to preclude her from volunteering in any capacity, including for activities that do involve direct supervision by Ogletree of District students.
I had originally misread this as saying that she did not herself require any adult supervision, but instead it is saying that she cannot be involved in volunteer activities that supervise children. What kind of volunteer activity would that be?
**********Here is the text of that agreement
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
JOELLE OGLETREE, §
v. § CIVIL ACTION NO. W09CA239
GLEN ROSE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL §
COMPROMISE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT AND RELEASE
This Agreement is entered into between Joelle Ogletree (“Ogletree”), Plaintiff, and the Glen Rose Independent School District (“District”), Defendant, a political subdivision of the State of Texas, located in Somervell County, Texas, on the 26th day of March, 2012.
WHEREAS, Ogletree filed the above-styled and numbered cause against the District on October 5, 2009; and
WHEREAS, the District Court granted summary judgment to the District on December 3, 2010; and
WHEREAS, the District Court awarded attorney fees to the District in the amount of $24,972.72; and
WHEREAS, Ogletree appealed both the judgment and the attorney fee award to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled on October 11, 2011 that the judgment against Ogletree and in favor of District was affirmed, but remanded the amount of attorney fees back to the District Court for recalculation; and
WHEREAS, the summary judgment in favor of the District and against Ogletree has now become final and unappealable; and
WHEREAS, the District Court has recalculated the amount of attorney fees awarded to the District to the amount of $12,486.36; and
WHEREAS, Ogletree has appealed the amount of the attorney fee judgment (“the Final Judgment”) to the Fifth Circuit; and
WHEREAS, while bona fide disputes and controversies exist between the parties as to the amount of the attorney fees, the parties now desire to resolve all such controversies and disputes under the terms and conditions set forth herein.
NOW THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual representations, promises, and agreements contained herein, including the recitals set forth above, and with the express intention of settling and extinguishing all remaining obligations, demands, claims, causes of action, and disputes of whatsoever nature between the parties, the parties voluntarily agree as follows:
1. Ogletree shall not apply for any full-time, part-time, or substitute teaching position with the District for a period of six (6) years from the date of this Agreement;
2. Ogletree shall not apply or request permission to serve as a volunteer for the District for a period of four (4) years from the date of this Agreement.
3. Ogletree shall dismiss her pending appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals concerning the amount of attorney fees awarded to the District within five (5) calendar days of the effective date of this Agreement, March 26, 2012, so that the award of attorney fees by the District Court becomes final.
4. In consideration of Ogletree’s agreements in paragraphs 1-3 above, the District agrees that it shall take no efforts to execute on or collect its judgment for attorney fees against Ogletree in the amount of $12,486.36 during the six years from the date of this Agreement.
5. In consideration of Ogletree’s full performance of the agreements set forth in paragraphs 1-3 above, the District agrees that the judgment shall be fully satisfied at the completion of six years from the date of this Agreement. At that time, the District agrees that its counsel shall file with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, a Notice of Satisfaction of Judgment in the form attached as Exhibit “A”. A copy of such filing shall be transmitted to:
Andrew S. Golub
Dow Golub Remels & Beverly, LLP
9 Greenway Plaza, Suite 500
Houston, Texas 77046
6. The District agrees that upon the expiration of four years from the date of this Agreement, and upon the condition that no information or indictment upon criminal charges has issued against Ogletree that would otherwise preclude her from serving as a volunteer in the District, Ogletree shall be allowed to volunteer for District activities that do not involve direct supervision of District students by Ogletree. Such activities include, without limitation, Project Graduation, Junior Class Hamburger Supper, or similar Junior- and Senior-class activities.
7. Nothing contained herein shall constitute an acknowledgment by Ogletree that there exists any reason to preclude her from volunteering in any capacity, including for activities that do involve direct supervision by Ogletree of District students.
8. The District represents and warrants that as of the date of this Agreement it has not sold, assigned, transferred or pledged the Final Judgment, in whole or in part, to any other person or entity, and that for a period of six years running from the date of this Agreement, it will not sell, assign, transfer or pledge any portion of the Final Judgment to any other person or entity.
9. Each party represents and agrees that it has consulted with its legal counsel concerning the terms of this Agreement and hereby enter this Agreement in reliance upon the advice of their legal representatives.
10. The parties stipulate that this Agreement has been entered into voluntarily and not as a result of coercion, duress, undue influence, or reliance upon any statement, promise, or representation not specifically included in this Agreement.
11. The parties agree and understand that this Agreement is a public document under the Texas Public Information Act.
12. This Agreement is to be performed in Somervell County, State of Texas, and the substantive laws of the state of Texas shall govern the validity, construction, enforcement, and interpretation of this Agreement. Should any provision in this Agreement be unenforceable or invalid for any reason, the remainder of the Agreement shall remain in full force and effect as to all other provisions herein.
13. Each signatory to this Agreement acknowledges, represents, and warrants that she or it has the requisite authority to execute this Compromise Settlement and Release Agreement in their respective capacities set forth herein.
Dated this 26th day of March, 2012
GLEN ROSE JOELLE OGLETREE
INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT
________________________________ _____________________________ Marilyn Phillips
President, Board of Trustees
My opinion is that (while I know this has been Hell for Ms. Ogletree and her family and they must want an end to this) she should sue the School District, demand her job back (if she would want it, which I would doubt), demand the salary she lost since she was removed from her job, and file for defamation of character, slander and other damage re: mental anguish and financial deprivation during this impossible time.
That district has giant "cajones" to add restrictions of any kind to Ms. Ogletree. It is outrageous.
The students who lied at the least should be doing years of community service. What happened to them?
I have a deep sadness for what the district and community have done to Ms. Ogletree and her family.
"Nothing contained herein shall constitute an acknowledgment by Ogletree that there exists any reason to preclude her from volunteering in any capacity, including for activities that do involve direct supervision by Ogletree of District students."
I believe this is saying that Ms. Ogletree may volunteer, including activities in which Ms. Ogletree may exercise direct supervision of students.
@hb-Well, that is Ogletree's rejoinder to the agreement, which is in the tone of "Look, I didn't do anything wrong that would preclude me not only for volunteering but also having supervision over children". The paragraph before expressly sets out the administration position, which says no.
OK, salon, I see that now. And I agree with pstern that the school district's time tables are unreasonable and unfair. But I also acknowledge the reality that Ms. Ogletree is dealing with concerning the litigation proceedings regarding the protection of her rights: Unfortunately, it just ain't as straight-forward and as fair in our system as one thought it would be. Just the cost of fighting for your rights in this country is perverse and very discouragiing. It's too bad that the GRISD threw away a good French teacher. I wonder how many of those are floating around these days?
Thank you for your support. Yes, of course I agree that what they did to me was terrible, and I did fight it, as hard as I possibly could. But, I suppose in large part do the political environment we’re in, I never was allowed to put my cases against the school district before a jury. I never ran away from the charges against me being heard, but the school district certainly did. And they were able to do so successfully.
Yes, it is extremely sad (and appalling) what the district has done to me and my family, but I really am okay. I say that with all sincerity. Among the many things I was robbed of, the worst is the years of experiences with my children that can never be replaced. But becoming an angry, bitter person over it wouldn’t bring those years back either. And actually, right now my family and I are very happy. When one door is closed, another is opened. It never ceases to amaze me the gifts God will give you and his timing in doing so.
Yes, how difficult it is to fight for your rights is very discouraging--believe me, I’ve been discouraged quite a bit!!! But it never stopped me from pressing forward. The fact is that I’m the little guy, and they’re the big guy, or the corporation. In some regions, the corporation will always win--especially when it is appointed judges who are there for the rest of their lives, never having to face an election, who make sure they make the decision rather than putting it to twelve citizens.
Everyone hears and likes to talk about cases that are (or at least seem) ridiculous where the plaintiff walks away with huge amounts of money paid by the defendant in a settlement. But what no one talks about, and what I would like people to think about, are the countless cases where the plaintiff is offered nice settlements, but refuses to take them, principle being more important. And then the plaintiffs end up never getting their day in court.
And no, there aren’t a lot of good French teachers floating around. That’s part of the basis for the federal suit. In 2008, the school had both a French opening and one for an English teacher, very specifically to teach advanced English courses; I applied for both positions. I have my MA in English and would have been the obvious choice, being able to fill both needs. Instead, the school opted to no longer have a French teacher at all. And yes, French teachers are hard to come by. I know that other schools have difficulty finding them as well.
All things are passing, Ms. Ogletree, and the work goes on. Don't lament what you may have lost with your children. They had other lessons to learn from you, your courage and from that of their father. There's no disgrace in doing the best you could do with what you had to work with.
Kudos to your hard determination behind your passion in teaching. Just because someone makes a choice doesnt mean that its right and obcourse we all make mistakes but this shows that hard work and determination goes a long way.
Forget the apology. The boys cannot do it because they still don't comprehend what they did.
They should be sentenced to community service for 1 year and see a psychologist until they comprehend what they have done to a caring and professional teacher. They have problems that need ongoing counseling.
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