A former teacher from the Klein Independent School District is suing administrators over claims he was verbally and physically abused by students and unlawfully terminated from his job.
Michael D. VanDeelen filed a lawsuit April 8 in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Texas against James Cain, Curt Drouillard, L.S. Spencer, Patricia Crittendon, Susan Murphy, Jeremy Lewis, Ronnie Anderson, Steven Smith, Rick Mann, Paul Lanham, William Pilkington, Georgan Reitmeier, Stephen Szymczak, Klein Independent School District and Ellen Spalding, citing retaliation for exercising freedom of speech, violation of 14th amendment, infliction of emotional distress and negligence.
VanDeelen claims he was hired mid-semester by Klein ISD as a pre-calculus teacher. VanDeelen alleges the district had plans to eventually place him in a geometry class, which he claims was full of disrespectful and violent students. VanDeelen claims the district's plans were unbeknownst to him.
VanDeelen states after being placed into the geometry class he had multiple incidents of disrespectful behavior and violence that caused him to fear for his safety and the safety of his other students.
The suit alleges VanDeelen approached the district officials several times about the abuse in his classroom, but they refused to help him. The district subsequently threatened and ultimately fired VanDeelen, the suit states.
VanDeelen is seeking damages in excess of $300,000, court costs, declaratory judgment that the Defendants violated his 1st and 14th Amendments rights, and any other relief the court deems just.
United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas Case No. 4:14-cv-00923
This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed at the Southern District of Texas Courthouse. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note, a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it only represents one side of the story.