This appeal is from the order granting Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment in the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Western Division. The District Court had jurisdiction over this case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 (2002) because this case arises under the First Amendment of the Constitution and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (2002). This Court has jurisdiction over the present appeal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1291 (2002) because the appeal is from a final order of the United States District Court. The order granting Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment is considered to be a final order because it disposed of all the parties' claims. Gordon v. City of Kansas City, 241 F.3d 997, 999 (8th Cir. 2001). The order was entered by the District Court on February 14, 2003, and the notice of appeal was filed on February 26, 2003.
[...] Kincaid felt she was terminated in retaliation for exercising her free speech rights by writing the letter and showing the film, she filed her Complaint against River Bluffs Community College. R. 4-5. SUMMARY OF THE ARGUMENT The District Court made three errors in granting Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment. First, the Court erred by using the Pickering balancing test. The Court should have applied the Hazelwood test when balancing River Bluffs Community College's interests against Dr. Kincaid's interests in showing the film because speech inside the classroom should be treated differently from a teacher's speech in other settings. [...]
[...] Kincaid provided sufficient evidence that showing the movie Boys Don't Cry and writing a letter to the editor were protected speech so that the trier of fact could properly decide whether the protected activities were a substantial and motivating factor in her termination? Mt. Healthy City Sch. Dist. Bd. of Educ. v. Doyle U.S (1977). Stever v. Indep. Sch. Dist. No St. Paul F.2d 845 (8th Cir. 1991). STATEMENT OF THE CASE Dr. Karlene Kincaid filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. 1983 in the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Western Division, in which she alleged that River Bluffs Community College violated her First and Fourteenth Amendment Rights by retaliating against her for exercising her free speech rights. [...]
[...] Kincaid for violating college policy. R Dr. Kincaid raises three issues on appeal. First, the Court used the wrong test in determining that Dr. Kincaid's interests were outweighed by the College's with regard to the film. Second, Dr. Kincaid argues that the Court erred in finding that her letter to the editor did not touch on a matter of public concern. Finally, because Dr. Kincaid provided sufficient evidence showing these two actions were protected activity under the First Amendment, she should be allowed to have a trial on the issue of whether the defendant fired her in retaliation for these activities. [...]
[...] Kincaid alleges that River Bluffs Community College terminated her employment because of a letter she wrote to the editor of the local newspaper and a film she showed in her freshman composition classes. Id. She alleges these activities are protected speech and thus terminating her employment because of these activities is a violation of her First Amendment rights. R River Bluffs Community College filed an answer, and after discovery, moved for summary judgment. The Honorable R.D. Herring granted summary judgment for the College in an order dated February R The Court held that the College's interests in keeping alumni and parents satisfied with the educational experience offered at the school outweighed Dr. [...]
[...] In the case before the Court, River Bluffs Community College points to its interest in maintaining an educational experience that alumni and parents will be satisfied with. R Dr. Kincaid's termination is not reasonably related to this interest. The Court in Miles emphasized that the actions taken against Miles were reasonable because the letter that was placed in his file was very specific about the interest the school was trying to protect F.2d at 778. Also, the paid leave was “directly tied to the interest of avoiding the appearance that the comment was sponsored by the school”. [...]
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