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Court orders reinstatement of former Florida principal

A federal judge in Fort Myers, FL ordered that a former middle school principal be temporarily reinstated pending the outcome of her case. Collier County Public Schools have decided to return her to a different role titled "administrator on special assignment," rather than her former role of principal at Manatee Middle School. However, her attorney states this could violate the court order.

In May 2016 the principal contacted Collier County Sheriff's Office to report a teacher after she smelled alcohol on her breath. She suspected that the teacher was intoxicated. The state of Florida opened a case and conducted a full investigation of the allegations. After that investigation was complete, the principal is said to have experienced an onslaught of retaliation, as stated in her lawsuit against the school district. She filed that lawsuit in May 2018, claiming that Collier County Public Schools violated her First Amendment rights and the Florida Whistleblower Act.

The alleged "campaign of retaliation" which the former principal claims to have experienced involved multiple complaints against her claiming that she would target employees and proceed to bully them. It was after that three-month investigation that she was fired.

Until the case is complete, she will return to work at the Martin Luther King Jr. Administrative Center, rather than at the school. Her attorney is currently still investigating whether that decision is in direct violation of the court ordered reinstatement. A court ordered mediation is scheduled for August 30th, 2019 and trial is set in April 2020.

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