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Wrongly accused teacher files suit

SCRANTON – A former special education teacher who was falsely accused of abusing several students has filed a federal lawsuit against the Wyoming Valley West School District, alleging she was suspended from her job without benefit of a hearing.

Angela Kairo-Scibek, of Plymouth, alleges members the district’s school board made “wild, baseless allegations” against her following her arrest in December 2007 on multiple counts of simple assault and endangering the welfare of children.

Police alleged Kairo-Scibek struck three special education students with a wooden object during the 2005-06 school year. All charges against her were dropped in October 2008 after prosecutors said the students admitted they had lied about the abuse.

The suit, filed Wednesday by attorney Mary Walsh-Dempsey of Scranton, claims the school board suspended Kairo-Scibek without pay from her $54,226 a year job without first holding a hearing to determine whether the allegations against her were true.

Kairo-Scibek was rehired after she was cleared of the charges, but the district did not allow her to return to her position as a special education teacher. She was instead forced to apply for a new teaching position as a high school Internet learning support, which she currently holds.

The lawsuit alleges violations of Kairo-Scibek’s right to due process. It seeks more than $75,000 in compensatory damages in addition to back pay and benefits and reinstatement to her prior position.

Attorney Michael Hudacek, the district’s solicitor, said he had not yet seen the suit and could not comment.

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