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Michigan district must pay $880,000 to superintendent it fired

Sept. 28, 2022
An arbitrator ruled that the Grand Ledge school board acted in bad faith when it fired superintendent Brian Metcalf in 2020.

An arbitrator has ordered the Grand Ledge (Mich.) school district to pay nearly $880,000 to the superintendent the board fired in 2020.

The Lansing State Journal reports that the arbitrator found that the Grand Ledge school board acted in bad faith when it fired Brian Metcalf. The district must pay Metcalf $802,872 for the remainder of his contract with the district and $75,000 in compensatory damages.

The arbitrator, former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Robert Young Jr., said in his 58-page finding, that the process used by the school board to fire Metcalf for comments he made about George Floyd "was fatally tainted and pretextual."

Metcalf, who had been Grand Ledge superintendent for about nine years, was fired 3½ months after he made comments on Facebook about the death of Floyd, a Black man who died at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer in May 2020.

Metcalf's comments placed blame on Floyd for his own killing, at least in part, and sparked a backlash within the Grand Ledge community.

Young wrote in his finding that the school board did not give Metcalf due process before he was fired and "and it did not provide him with an impartial decision maker at his due process hearing."

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