South Dakota School District to Pay $50K to Settle Suit with Former Employee

October 30, 2020

The Douglas School District in Box Elder, S.D., will pay a former district employee $50,000 to settle a lawsuit filed in February 2019, representatives from both sides said on Oct. 27.

Patrick Ealy said he was wrongly terminated by the district because he informed the school board about alleged violations of federal and state law regarding students accessing pornographic and obscene content online, the Rapid City Journal reported.

The board has approved resolutions that authorized the settlement and retroactively changed Ealy’s termination status to a resignation. There was no discussion.

Ealy’s lawyer, John Fitzgerald, said that the district and Ealy signed a non-disclosure agreement prohibiting either party from discussing the settlement.

The district said in a press release that it “specifically denies any wrongdoing, and all parties have agreed that the settlement is only to avoid the cost of litigation and that it is specifically not an admission of liability.

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