Principal Sues Moberly Superintendent and School Board
Rick Boyce is suing Superintendent Bob Bach and school board for defaming Boyce and violating his rights to free speech and due process.
"It tells them that they can't ruin an educator's career without substantial and competent evidence that that educator did something wrong," said Robert Krueger, Boyce's lawyer.
The lawsuit's 27 pages of allegations against the superintendent and board states Bach and Boyce had a deteriorating relationship because Boyce would not move from Mexico to Moberly. The suit also states the two disagreed over a literacy program for Moberly elementary schools. Krueger says that led to Bach's intentional mishandling of an investigation about Boyce touching students.
Bach issued a statement, calling Boyce's lawsuit "baseless" and "unfounded."
Boyce's lawyer said the case has already cost the district.
"I believe it's in the six figures for, surely, what the St. Louis legal counsel to the Moberly school district has charged to date, I'm sure," added Krueger. "Where this will go, I just don't have any idea."
The lawsuit asks the district to reinstate Boyce as principal and to pay him lost wages and damages.
Boyce came to Moberly at the start of the 2004-05 school year. His lawsuit states two parents told Bach in December 2004 their children were not comfortable with Boyce tickling them, but Bach did not tell Boyce.
Boyce's suit also states Bach did not tell him about parents' concerns when Back evaluated Boyce's performance in January 2005.
Then, some 3rd graders told their counselor in April that Boyce touched them inappropriately.
The school board put Boyce on administrative leave April 12. The board held hearings almost nine months later, before voting in March 2006 to stop paying him and to not rehire him when his contract ends in June.
Boyce's lawyer said the students admitted they made up the allegations. Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney Mike Fusselman has not charged Boyce.