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Streeter v River Rouge Board of Education 12.21

Section 29(1)(b)

MISCONDUCT DISCHARGE, Act constituting a felony, Carrying concealed weapon, Elementary school teacher, Fear of bodily harm, Handgun

CITE AS: Streeter v River Rouge Board of Education, No. 54997 (Mich App October 12, 1981).

Appeal pending: No

Claimant: Johnnie Streeter

Employer: River Rouge Board of Education

Docket No: B79 03208 67059

COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING " ... section 29 does not make the commission of acts which might be the subject of criminal prosecution a reason for disqualification for benefits."

FACTS: An elementary school teacher was discharged for carrying a concealed .38 caliber pistol to school. She testified that she had been unable to obtain protection from the employer after being threatened by a parent who had been convicted of felonious assault.

DECISION: The claimant is not disqualified for misconduct discharge.

RATIONALE: "We first note, as did the referee, that it is irrelevant to our application of the term 'misconduct' in section 29 whether appellee's conduct may have been sufficient cause for her dismissal by appellant.

"The record reveals that the first thing that appellee did when threatened by the angry parent was to report it to the acting principal. Only upon his failure to take what appellee believed to be definitive measures to divert the anticipated confrontation did she seek her own protection. Although her reaction to the situation constituted a grave error in judgment, there is competent evidence to support the referee's conclusion that appellee's actions did not constitute a 'wilful or wanton disregard of [her] employer's interests.' Appellee's actions were motivated by personal fear, and she attempted in good faith to perform her duty properly before the misconduct took place."


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