Law & Justice

Arbitrator Rules Teacher Justifiably Dismissed for Misconduct at Warren Location of Morris Union Jointure

9eb4012bc950c3b834d1_92bb705d206ed139ad13_gavel_stockmonkeys.com.jpg
9eb4012bc950c3b834d1_92bb705d206ed139ad13_gavel_stockmonkeys.com.jpg
 
WARREN, NJ  – An arbitrator has ruled that the Morris-Union Jointure Commission was justified in dismissing Jennifer Filo, a tenured teacher at its Developmental Learning Center for students with autism, because she engaged in an alleged pattern of corporal punishment.
Timothy Smith, Filo's attorney, alleged that the commission tampered with witnesses and failed to turn over evidence, however, arbitrator Robert Simmelkjaer agreed with the commission that Filo's dismissal is "the only appropriate remedy."
 
"The gravity of her misconduct, her use of excessive force and the absence of extenuating circumstances render her unfit to teach," Simmelkjaer wrote in a 44-page decision following hearings in February.
 

Smith said that no physical evidence had been introduced and argued that Filo had been investigated and cleared by police and the state Division of Child Protection and Permanency. Smith emphasized that no parent had complained about Filo and one parent had even testified in support of Filo. 
 
Many of the Morris-Union Jointure Commission's students are on the more severe end of the autism spectrum. Filo was a teacher during the summer program at the Warren location of the school from June to August 2014 with eight students in her class and all but two being non-verbal, according to Simmelkjaer's decision. There were also four teacher assistants assigned to the class.
 
Three of the four assistant teachers testified against Filo, who denied all the allegations.
 
During the rest of the school year Filo was a teacher at the New Providence location.
 
The charges against Filo detail occasions when she allegedly intentionally mimicked some students autistic behaviors, asked them if they were stupid, withheld breakfast from students, screamed at students on a daily basis, bent back students' fingers, hit a student with a wooden clipboard, and encouraged students to hit back when they became aggressive toward each other.
 
Simmelkjaer concluded that "although there is case law that recognizes the difficult task a teacher must perform in managing students with disabilities," Filo's training had prepared her to not "resort to physical force."
 
In the report, as Superintendent Janet L. Parmalee put it, " We cannot guarantee what our students learn or how they progress academically with us... I have to guarantee our staff does not purposely hurt our kids. I have to guarantee that."
 
Smith has not yet filed a challenge to vacate the arbitrator's decision.
 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Warren

Bee Day at Hanson Park!!

May 20, 2018

Please join the Hanson Park Conservancy on Saturday, June 23rd for Bee Day at Hanson Park!  At 2:00 PM Grant Stiles from Stiles Honey will be sharing his knowledge of bees with his presentation, “Fundamentals of Beekeeping and the Importance of Honey Bees in Our Society.”  Bring your blankets and chairs and enjoy the beautiful surroundings as Mr. Stiles answers all of your ...

Golf Outing On May 26 Benefits Retired Racehorses

MILLSTONE TOWNSHIP, N.J. —May 29, will mark Standardbred Retirement Foundation's (SRF) 26th Annual Charity Golf Outing being held at the beautiful Battleground Country Club in Manalapan, N.J.

This much anticipated event is held in conjunction with SRF's online auction which will open for bidding beginning Friday, May 25 and end at 7 p.m. on  Thursday, June 7. The outing ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_67c8ffc06fa8f1db5cd0_22b088bd-9913-4530-ad3b-981f9ad2ba55

Sat, May 26, 11:00 AM

Home For Good Dog Recue, Berkeley Heights,

Dog Adoption

Other

Wed, June 6, 10:00 AM

Summit Free Public Library, Summit

Workshop on New Jersey Sales Tax for business ...

Business & Finance Education

Obituaries

Jul 28, 1955 - Feb 8, 2018
Owner/Chef of Jaret’s Stuffed Cupcakes  Beloved Husband, Father, Brother and ...
Read more

Memorial Day Weekend Travels Kick off Summer 2018 in the Long Beach Island Region

May 25, 2018

LONG BEACH ISLAND, NJ - With much anticipation for warmer weather, longer days and salty seas, visitors flock back each year to the Long Beach Island Region to enjoy the many pleasures this resort area brings.

The Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce operates a fully staffed visitor center, who always sees demand for customer inquiries rise either through their digital platforms, ...

Belmar Mayor Grants ‘Larry the Lobster’ His Freedom to Kick Off New Jersey Seafood Festival

BELMAR, NJ — Belmar Mayor Brian Magovern wasn’t going to let the rough ocean surf and high winds get in his way yesterday of pardoning “Larry the Lobster” to begin the New Jersey Seafood Festival.

Instead, Magovern moved the May 18 event from the Fifth Avenue beach to the quieter waters of the Shark River Inlet. Accompanied by a small group of borough officials and ...

Food to Travel For - Two Jersey Shore Dining Hot Spots in National Limelight for Specialty Eats

BELMAR, NJ — Two Belmar specialty eateries have made the national food-hopping map. Coney Waffle Ice Cream and Sweet Shop on Ocean Avenue and Hoagitos in Belmar Plaza are featured this month on television shows touting what makes them stand out from the rest.

The over-the-top ice cream creations of Coney Waffle are in the spotlight in Viceland’s “The Ice Cream Show” in ...

WHRHS Baseball: Roxbury Baseball Powers Past Watchung Hills

May 19, 2018

ROXBURY, NJ – The Roxbury High School baseball team won its 14th game on Friday, rolling over Watchung Hills 9-1 at home.

Offensively, Roxbury did its damage early, scoring twice in the second inning and then five more times in the third to take an early 7-0 lead.

Roxbury’s Will Findlay had two hits and Donovan Brady, Andy Axelson and Brian Dachowski all had base hits. In ...

WHRHS Boys Lacrosse: Bridgewater Upsets Watchung Hills in OT for SCT Title

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - So close. The Watchung Hills boys lacrosse team fell to Bridgewater-Raritan, in overtime, as the Panthers won a fourth-straight Somerset County Tournament title on Saturday, 5-4, at the Torpey Athletic Complex.

Watchung Hills took an early 3-0 lead in the first quarter with goals from Gavin DeFuria, Connor James, and Joe Rica. 

The last game the ...

Somerville Suspect Charged with Armed Robbery of Gaston Avenue Store

May 25, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ – A 22-year-old borough resident has been charged with armed robbery at a convenience store on Gaston Avenue, accoeding to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson..

Jake Sommers, 22, of Eastern Avenue is lodged in the Somerset County Jail and faces charges of first degree robbery and third degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

Robertson provided ...

DiGanci Named Interim Principal in Watchung, Meet and Greet Scheduled

 

WATCHUNG, NJ - Dr. Thomas DiGanci has taken over the helm of Bayberry School in Watchung and a meet and greet has been scheduled for Wednesday, May 23 at 9:30 a.m. 

DiGanci is a former principal of both Valley View School and Watchung Hills Regional High School. He will serve as interim principal at Bayberry School through the end of the school year.

The next ...

Hillsborough Man Sentenced for Bribing Doctors in $100M Test Referral Scheme

NEWARK, NJ – Five individuals including a Hillsborough resident  were sentenced Friday for bribing doctors in exchange for test referrals as part of a long-running and elaborate scheme operated by Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services LLC (BLS), of Parsippany, its president and numerous associates, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Doug Hurley, 38, of Hillsborough and Kevin ...

North Plainfield Middle School Hosts Holocaust and Genocide Open House

NORTH  PLAINFIELD, NJ - All are invited to the 2018 North Plainfield Middle School Holocaust/Genocide Open House on Thursday, May 17 at 6 p.m. Students and staff will be on hand to serve as docents for a unique exhibit.

It is a museum in a school, created by the school, constructed by the school and for everyone in the community. featuring  over 400 posters, memorabilia and artifacts ...

Memorial Day Weekend Travels Kick off Summer 2018 in the Long Beach Island Region

May 25, 2018

LONG BEACH ISLAND, NJ - With much anticipation for warmer weather, longer days and salty seas, visitors flock back each year to the Long Beach Island Region to enjoy the many pleasures this resort area brings.

The Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce operates a fully staffed visitor center, who always sees demand for customer inquiries rise either through their digital platforms, ...

Podcast: The Royal Wedding Through the Eyes of a Brit

In our May 18 podcast, Giles Bootheway, a British citizen who teaches at St. Bonaventure University, shares his thoughts on the Royal Wedding with TAPinto Greater Olean Co-editor Richard Lee.

PLAY

Sign Up for E-News to get top stories delivered daily to your inbox. 

Download the FREE TAPinto App!  Click here for Android - Click here for iOS to get ...

Charity Golf Tournament to Benefit Parkland Cares and the Jason Taylor Reading Room, May 17 -Travels Charity Spotlight -

PARKLAND, FL - Parkland Cares will hold a Charity Golf Tournament on Thursday, May 17 at Parkland Golf & Country Club, with 100% of the proceeds going to the Jason Taylor Reading Room and Parkland Cares.  The event is presented by Steven Douglas and former NFL player and Hall of Famer Jason Taylor will be in attendance.

Howard Dvorkin, CPA, is chairman of Debt.com and a 30-year ...

'Turning Off the Morning News' brings comic twist

‘Turning Off the Morning News’ tackles today’s issues with a comic twist

By Liz Keill

PRINCETON, N J – Despite the late night comics, no one quite captures the insanity of the political/social status world like Christopher Durang.

His latest play, “Turning off the Morning News” hit the ground running.  John Pankow as Jimmy addresses the audience, ...

'To Kill a Mockingbird' Sustains Timeless Appeal

SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit Playhouse provides a stellar production of a much loved classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Harper Lee novel, later a Gregory Peck film and now a stage production, retains all the warmth, intensity and integrity that made it such an appealing hit in the 1960s. And there will be a new production on Broadway in December with a script by Aaron Sorkin ...