Stillwater School superintendent recommends not rehiring teacher who filed lawsuit

Friday, April 4th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) _ A veteran teacher who is suing the Stillwater school district should not be rehired, the superintendent says in a recommendation to the school board.

Linda Greenshields, a second-grade teacher, filed a lawsuit in Payne County District Court stating she has the right to use the teaching method she prefers if she adheres to state standards.

She says she has been harassed at her job at Sangre Ridge Elementary because she won't use the science module method of teaching advocated by administrators. She said her contract specifies that she may choose her methods.

Greenshields said she objects to the module method because it will take her out of the classroom too often for training and it doesn't contain enough material from other subjects such as reading, math and spelling.

``She files a lawsuit and guess what? Within four months she's fired,'' said her husband, Bill Greenshields. ``It has to be retribution.''

School board members received the recommendation from Superintendent Walt Swanson during a special meeting Thursday. They set a hearing date of June 2 to decide whether to renew her contract.

Swanson said he could not comment on his recommendation because it is a personnel issue.

Greenshields has taught 31 years, 27 of those in Stillwater schools. She said she has rarely had conflicts with administrators until the past couple years when the school system started encouraging teachers to use the modules, which are boxes with different science experiments where students are supposed to exercise other skills such as reading and math.

She said her method provides for more structured instruction in all the subjects and less subjective testing.

Her performance evaluation for the 2000-01 school year shows high marks in nearly all categories while the evaluation for this school year shows low ratings in almost all categories.

The lawsuit has been moved to Oklahoma City federal court at the request of the school system.