Fulton H. S. Employee Sues Board, Superintendent After Firing

3 years 6 months 1 week ago November 21, 2012 Nov 21, 2012 Wednesday, November 21 2012 Wednesday, November 21, 2012 1:14:00 PM CST in Coverage From Callaway
By: Kerry Leary

FULTON - A Fulton High School employee filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Fulton Public Schools Superintendent Jacque Cowherd, Assistant Superintendent Suzanne Hull and five school board members in U.S. District Court, claiming she was fired for calling police about a student possibly having a gun at the school.

According to the court documents obtained by KOMU 8 News, Ruth Burt, a Fulton High School employee for 22 years, claims a school-aged boy was seen with a gun by Fulton High School employee Lori Lamons on Sept. 6. Burt's friend Anita Stuckey called her about the incident and then called the regular number for the Fulton Police Department and made a report to the police. The police did not find the described boy.

The next morning, the suit claims Burt overheard kitchen employees talking about the boy and acknowledged his presence as school that day. Burt went with the kitchen employee to speak with Fulton High School Principal Jason Whitt about the second appearance of the boy. The suit claims Whitt said he was busy with a parent meeting and they were directed to Assistant Principal Chris Mincher. The group began to search for the boy on campus. The suit claims Burt returned to her office and learned Mincher sent the boy back to class because he had to deal with a fight.

According to the documents, Burt was then "fearful for the children in the school building because of the boy who was seen with a hand gun the day before" and decided to speak to Superintendent Jacque Cowherd or Assistant Superintendent Suzanne Hull, who were not yet at the building.

Burt waited for "some time" and eventually decided to call the school's resource officer. Burt was then directed to speak with Whitt and wrote a statement of the occurrences up to that point.

The boy admitted he had a handgun style air pistol near the school the day before.

Burt was sent home after the superintendent stated "he wasn't happy with the way things had happened that morning [and] he didn't know what he was going to do with [Burt]."

On Sept. 14, Burt received a letter from the Fulton Board of Education confirming her termination from employment at Fulton High School.

Burt claims Fulton Public Schools caused damage to her regarding "lost wages, lost benefits, emotional distress," and "the loss of enjoyment of life."

KOMU 8 News spoke with the Fulton Public Schools superintendent Wednesday, but he refused to comment on the pending litigation, directing KOMU 8 News to the lawyer representing Fulton Public Schools. The lawyer did not return KOMU 8's message.

KOMU 8 News left messages for the plaintiff's lawyer as well who is in court all day Wednesday.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Dryer’s Shoe Store is one of Columbia's oldest downtown retailers, and it is currently running a shoe drive... More >>
6 hours ago May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016 Monday, May 30 2016 Monday, May 30, 2016 10:13:00 PM CDT in News
GLASGOW- The Missouri River was more than six feet above flood stage levels in Glasgow Monday afternoon. The entire... More >>
9 hours ago May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016 Monday, May 30 2016 Monday, May 30, 2016 7:37:00 PM CDT in News
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - The Missouri State Highway Patrol tested new extended Water Patrol shifts this Memorial Day weekend.... More >>
10 hours ago May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016 Monday, May 30 2016 Monday, May 30, 2016 7:01:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis' police chief is calling the city's judges too lenient with defendants in alleged gun... More >>
11 hours ago May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016 Monday, May 30 2016 Monday, May 30, 2016 5:25:00 PM CDT in News
ZALMA (AP) — A southe astern Missouri man is charged with assault after authorities say he tried to set his... More >>
12 hours ago May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016 Monday, May 30 2016 Monday, May 30, 2016 4:29:29 PM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Authorities in southwester n Missouri's Gree ne County say a jailer is recovering after being seriously injured... More >>
12 hours ago May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016 Monday, May 30 2016 Monday, May 30, 2016 4:24:53 PM CDT in News
LONE ELM - Some people barbecue or head down to the lake to celebrate Memorial Day, but one community celebrates... More >>
13 hours ago May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016 Monday, May 30 2016 Monday, May 30, 2016 3:59:00 PM CDT in News
BOONE COUNTY - Mid-missourians honored their fallen service members at memorial services across Boone County on Monday afternoon. Boone... More >>
14 hours ago May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016 Monday, May 30 2016 Monday, May 30, 2016 2:53:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY – A 21-gun salute and triple bell service honored veterans Monday at the Jefferson City National Cemetery. ... More >>
14 hours ago May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016 Monday, May 30 2016 Monday, May 30, 2016 2:43:00 PM CDT in News
TIPTON - Members of the community in Tipton are mourning the loss of a 19-year-old Robert Ashbaugh who was shot... More >>
14 hours ago May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016 Monday, May 30 2016 Monday, May 30, 2016 2:32:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The 28th annual Salute to Veterans Memorial Day Parade has some remembering what this day means to them.... More >>
14 hours ago May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016 Monday, May 30 2016 Monday, May 30, 2016 2:15:00 PM CDT in News
TIPTON (AP) — Missouri state authorities say they are investigating a weekend shooting death involving a 19-year-old man in central... More >>
14 hours ago May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016 Monday, May 30 2016 Monday, May 30, 2016 2:14:38 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - KOMU 8 News viewer Sheila Baker said her family was awed at the Salute to Veterans Celebration and... More >>
15 hours ago May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016 Monday, May 30 2016 Monday, May 30, 2016 1:19:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Regulations aimed at helping companies such as Uber and Lyft expand in Missouri died in the... More >>
16 hours ago May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016 Monday, May 30 2016 Monday, May 30, 2016 12:41:00 PM CDT in News
HAVANA - Cuba formally accepted a 20-ton shipment of rice processed in southeast Missouri Monday. Gov. Jay Nixon announced the... More >>
16 hours ago May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016 Monday, May 30 2016 Monday, May 30, 2016 12:21:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - As an event promoter for Off Track Events, Colin LaVaute has planned plenty of races in his work... More >>
1 day ago May 30, 2016 May 30, 2016 Monday, May 30 2016 Monday, May 30, 2016 3:01:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — Over 600 people in south Columbia experienced power outages around 10 p.m. according to Columbia Water and Light.... More >>
1 day ago May 29, 2016 May 29, 2016 Sunday, May 29 2016 Sunday, May 29, 2016 11:44:00 PM CDT in News
BOONE COUNTY - Flooding along the banks of the Missouri River caused a change of plans for some Mid-Missouri residents... More >>
1 day ago May 29, 2016 May 29, 2016 Sunday, May 29 2016 Sunday, May 29, 2016 6:02:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 64°
5am 64°
6am 65°
7am 66°
8am 69°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

4:30a
KOMU 8 News Today
5:00a
KOMU 8 News Today
6:00a
KOMU 8 News Today
4:30a
Paid Program
5:00a
Paid Program
5:30a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
America's Got Talent
9:00p
Maya & Marty
7:00p
The Flash
8:00p
Containment
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld