From The Charlotte Observer: Lawyers for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg (N.C.) School District are seeking a new trial in the case of former teacher Jeffrey Leardini, who was awarded more than $1 million when a jury found that he was coerced to resign. The district is arguing that the judge erred in his instructions to the jury. Leardini resigned in April 2006 after being confronted with allegations that several students said he had touched them improperly. He said he touched students’ shoulders and heads as part of an interactive teaching style, but he said reports of inappropriate touching were false and stemmed from a conflict with a student who was getting bad grades. The teacher contended that a district employee misled him into believing he had to resign immediately to get paid through the end of the year and avoid further investigation.
FEBRUARY 2012...from The Charlotte Observer: A jury in North Carolina has awarded $1.1 million to a man after finding that the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district violated his rights by coercing his resignation. Jeffrey Leardini argued in the lawsuit that an employee relations specialist for the district misled and intimidated him into resigning on the spot after five students accused him of improperly touching them. The resignation, which he tried to rescind within minutes of signing the form, made him look guilty, Leardini testified. The incident occurred in 2006.