Daughter of Madison Co. Commissioner Claims Retaliation by Superintendent, School Board

HCSApril2014Lawsuit

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The daughter of a Madison County Commissioner has filed a lawsuit against Huntsville Superintendent Casey Wardynski and the Huntsville Board of Education.

Lynda Gaines claims she was denied a transfer to teach at another school because her father, Bob Harrison, is embroiled in a public disagreement with the school system.

She demands a trial by jury.

Gaines has taught in Huntsville City Schools for 18 years. Her complaint details meetings she says she attended with Dr. Wardynski and other school administrators regarding school moves in recent years.

During the 2011-12 school year, Gaines taught at the Seldon Center. When the Center closed, teachers there were told they would be transferred. Gaines was told she would be transferred to a position at Davis Hills Middle School.

Gaines requested a hearing to discuss the transfer, and after meeting with the school board and the superintendent, and then again with the superintendent at a later date, she had the understanding if she would serve at Davis Hills during 2012-13, she would receive her choice of an assignment for 2013-14. Gaines desired to work at a high school.

Toward the end of the next school year, in March 2013, Gaines asked again about a transfer. Her current principal at Davis Hills wanted her to stay on, and offered her another position at the school.

Gaines said around this time, her father, Bob Harrison, was critical of the Huntsville Board of Education and was featured in a Huntsville Times article about this topic.

Gaines claims her father’s remarks led to her being retaliated against by Wardynski and the board, and her being passed over for transfers she was promised.

She claims these actions also caused her to suffer mental distress and emotional anguish.

Read the complaint here.

Superintendent Wardynski issued a response Friday.

“These allegations are simply without merit, and the district looks forward to presenting the true facts to the court. The Complaint will now be reviewed by the school system’s legal experts and, since it is a pending matter, we will not be able to offer any additional information at this time.”

School Board Member Laurie McCaulley shared an email last year with WHNT News 19 from Gaines dated July 9th.

Here is the text from the email electronically signed by Lynda Harrison Gaines:

“The school year is approaching and my matter is unresolved. Sent certified letters to the Superintendent and Deputy. Board members letters will come. At my hearing, I proceeded last year with civility and discretion. I wanted no public interference or formal representation in order to give administration a chance to act properly. I proceeded with careful intent because Wardynski was new and you were up for re-election. Now I have no other choice than to take desparate (sic) measures to be treated fairly. I acted in good faith and hoped to receive the same. I am so disappointed in our system and so are many others. Please keep the interest of EVERYBODY in mind in the choices you make today- July 9 and for the duration of your term.”

McCaulley told forwarded the email to the superintendent, school district’s lawyer, Rep. Laura Hall and Rev. Clarence Johnson.The school board member told all of them Gaines threatened her.

21 comments

  • kimbo9

    If being passed over for a transfer caused her to suffer mental distress and emotional anguish, how is it possible for her to tolerate the stress of dealing with the little thugs on a daily basis?

  • Nuclear Mike

    Please keep this bickering going as we, the taxpayers, are about to see even more scandals & corruption disclosed as all the officials go after each other!!!

  • Jan

    You had me until the whole “mental distress and emotional anguish” stuff. Everyone knows that means she wants money, and a lot of it. Give me a break. If she was passed over then fix that!

  • Alan Yates

    What a crock. How obvious can she be…This is nothing more than an attempt by her crooked daddy to embarrass the school board. I hope the courts slap her hand and make her pay court costs. Young lady, people are NOT as stupid as you wish they were and they can see through your playing around.

  • Thinking

    Bob wants money to still change hands for private work??? Plenty of Mr. Bobs friends have Rv’s”gas story” and now here comes the daughter in…. Bob you should have stopped with the “Bob Harrison Senior Center” 1 block from your house! Some powered people want learn! Like to see the “so called “cameras” Mr Commish!!!!’

  • Big Dog

    Will the saga of Da Fat Man ever end? Now it’s his daughter being harassed by that mean ole Wardynski. Lawdy.

  • Concerned

    Why would a man like Big Bob Harrison be in a position such as a County Commissioner? He was unable to run a car dealership that was sponsored for him by the government. Why would we want somebody, such as himself, to even be involved in our County government? So, with this being said, I can understand why his daughter thinks that she should have special privileges within the Huntsville School System. She does not want Davis Hills School because of the dis-respectful and undisciplined children that this neighborhood comes with generally. I know from living in the area for 50 years. From the perfomance and test score results, I would’nt want to be going there myself. So, Mrs. Gaines, do your job!! Work where you are put and quit whining!! This society is what y’all wanted!!!

    • BNB

      The voters that put Harrison in office knew of his baggage, but put him in anyway. Look at the black “leaders” of today. Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton. Both crooks and liars. The black community needs to wake up.

  • Former teacher of Northwest Huntsville

    Yes, people have the rights to say what they want to say, but when addressing your concerns please know the facts. If you have never taught a day in your life how can you tell someone that they cannot be in distrss or emotional anguished. As educators, our lively hoods are in jeopardy based on students’ performances on STAR Assessments, ARMT Assessments, and etc. A lot of us educators put a lot of time, energy, money, and emotions into our profession, but a lot of the parents’ do not put in the after school time to assist their child/children with their homework or failed to follow through with the teacher to see how their child/children are performing in school. When there’s no support from the parents, it makes a teaching job very stressful. The role of a teacher is to TEACH students the objectives, concepts, and skills of a subject or subjects, but how can a teacher do his or her job when there’s no assistance at home. Teaching is NOT an easy job nor is it an enjoyable and rewarding job anymore.
    Therefore, I can sympathize with Mrs. Gaines about being distressed and emotional anguished, because I was.

  • D-Ray

    She complains to her county commissioner Daddy..and Daddy tells the school superintendent that he’s disappointed in him for basically “not giving in to his daughters wishes” (which could be deemed as a threat) and she sues. There should be a counter-suit against “daddy” for trying to use his political office for personal gain. This appears to be a blatant in-your-face attempt at political corruption at it’s finest.

  • oldgal

    Many years ago I did my student teaching in a middle school. It was awful. I realized I am not tough enough a disciplinarian for the job…and never taught in a classroom since. I’m good at teaching, but I am better suited to teaching cooperative adults…not obnoxious teens. (Often with equally obnoxious parents) It is stressful. Perhaps Ms. Gaines should seek other employment, or transfer to another system that can give her the assignment she wants. It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it. I don’t know why she thinks she being singled out in some way.

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