Assaulted Teacher Sues St. Paul Schools for Retaliation

Substitute teacher Candice Egan is suing the St. Paul School District after it blacklisted her for speaking out about being assaulted by a student, reports the Star Tribune.  

According to the lawsuit Egan was working at Creative Arts Secondary School on March 22. She was warned that her sixth period class was particularly difficult and to call the main office if there were disruptions. A teaching assistant left to take some students to the principal’s office for disruptive behavior. Left alone with the remaining students, Egan called the main office three times about further disruptive behavior.

Egan then confiscated the cellphone of a seventh-grade student who had already been instructed to put the device away. The student fought back verbally and physically. The student shoved Egan backward into a window and “continued this assault for some time,” the suit said.

She filed a police report on March 24 at the recommendation of district staff. She then gave interviews about the assault to local newspapers, and TV and radio stations.

Subsequently Egan was notified by Teachers on Call, the agency that placed her in substitute jobs, saying that the St. Paul Public School District wanted to stop employing her as a substitute teacher.

The suit said TOC wrote this regarding the exchange, “Candice has been removed from the SPPS substitute pool for the remainder of the 2015-2016 school year. The district is seeking some space after perceiving that recent media spotlight was inappropriate.”

Egan’s suit alleges the district blacklisted her because her story was embarrassing to the district, especially in light of other student-on-teacher assaults that also received widespread media coverage.

Egan is a retired teacher, and had been subbing in St. Paul schools for three years prior to the assault.
“I subbed pretty much full time, and it was fabulous,” Egan told the Star Tribune in April, “I love those schools, I love those kids.”

Anders Koskinen