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Yellow Springs district, former teacher face mediation before trial

Both sides in a legal battle involving Yellow Springs Schools and a former teacher have called for a trial by jury to settle a lawsuit filed by the district.

The case between Yellow Springs Schools and former physical education teacher Angela Bussey first is set to go to mediation, with the initial conference scheduled for Aug. 2 in Greene County Common Pleas Court.

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The case stems from the 2014 lawsuit Bussey filed against the district. She claimed during her first and only year as a teacher in the district that she was bullied and harassed by Principal Tim Krier.

The case was settled in 2015 with a confidential agreement that dictated the district pay Bussey $20,000, clean her personnel file of any negative employment reviews and include in her file a letter of recommendation from a district administrator. Both sides agreed to not disclose details of the settlement.

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However, in May of this year, Yellow Springs Schools filed a civil suit against Bussey, claiming she disclosed details of the confidential agreement when she made comments in an online forum under the pseudonym “Gela May.”

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The district is seeking $25,000 in damages.

In response to the district’s legal filing, Bussey’s attorney, David Duwel, filed a counterclaim against the district, claiming the district had already disclosed details of the agreement in an article published by the Yellow Springs News in 2015.

Further, Duwel claimed the district did not comply with the settlement because Bussey’s personnel file contained negative reviews and did not include the required letter of recommendation.

The district, as represented by West Chester-based Pramila Kamath, has filed an answer with the court, denying Bussey’s counterclaims.

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The district’s answer states in part that the damages that the defendant alleges “were caused, in whole or in part, by her own conduct and/or breach of the settlement agreement.”

Bussey is seeking more than $100,000 in damages to settle her counterclaims.

Duwel said the district did not comply with the settlement agreement when earlier this year they provided a third party Bussey’s personnel file, which contained the negative evaluations that led to her original lawsuit.

The year, Krier, the principal, went on medical leave in March and has not returned to work.

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