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Reynolds v. Little Rock School District

United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Central Division

January 2, 2020

RODNEY MICHAEL REYNOLDS and JAMES RICHARD REYNOLDS PLAINTIFFS
v.
LITTLE ROCK SCHOOL DISTRICT, et al. DEFENDANTS

          ORDER

          BILLY ROY WILSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Pending are Defendants' Motions to Dismiss (Doc. Nos. 26, 31). Plaintiffs have responded.[1] For the reasons below, the motions are GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiffs were both teachers in the Little Rock School District. According to their complaints, they were retaliated against after they questioned how Defendants were treating the special education programs and facilities where Plaintiffs worked.

         Mr. James Richard Reynolds alleges that “[o]n May 19, 2015, he was harassed by Fields”[2]and his “date of separation” was June 16, 2015.[3] He filed his complaint on June 15, 2018.[4]

         Mr. Rodney Reynolds filed his complaint on August 16, 2018 alleging that he was subjected to retaliation in the “Spring of 2015.”[5] He asserts that his “last day of school” was August 17, 2015, but that “LRSD recorded the date of separation for [him] as January 7, 2016.”[6]

         Defendants assert that the statute of limitation (and other defenses) warrants dismissal of both Plaintiffs.

         After Defendants' filed the Motions to Dismiss, Plaintiffs filed a 190-page Amended Complaint reciting grievances from 2008 through 2015.[7] Plaintiffs allege that they were “constructively discharged . . . over the course of 2015.”[8] According to the Amended Complaint, “on May 29, 2015, James Richard Reynolds submitted his resignation notice to the Little Rock School District.”[9] Rodney Michael Reynolds was on medical leave at the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year, but eventually resigned on December 17, 2015.

         II. DISCUSSION

         Plaintiffs do not dispute that the statute of limitations for their claims is three years. However, they argue that “the basis of the claim is the teacher's contract, which had been renewed for both teachers for the 2015-16 academic year.”[10] Plaintiffs appear to assert that the statute of limitations runs from the official date of their separation. I disagree. The statute of limitations commenced when Defendants allegedly violated Plaintiffs' rights, not when the employment contract concluded.[11]

         A. James Richard Reynolds

         According to the Amended Complaint, the last acts of alleged retaliation against James Richard Reynolds occurred before he resigned on May 29, 2015.[12] In fact, the original complaint asserted that the last act of retaliation was on May 19, 2015, when he was “harassed by Fields.”[13]However, his complaint was filed on June 15, 2018 - outside the 3-year statute of limitations. No. retaliatory actions are alleged to have occurred within the statute of limitations, so James Richard Reynolds's case is dismissed.

         B. Rodney Michael Reynolds

         Originally Plaintiff Rodney Michael Reynolds asserted that the last retaliatory action against him happened in the Spring of 2015.[14] He filed his complaint on August 16, 2018. In the Amended Complaint Rodney Michael Reynolds alleges that he was on medical leave at the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year and that on December 11, 2015, “Eason told Reynolds that he could retire or be terminated, and that he needed to decide immediately.”[15] Although it is not clear how Eason's actions are ...


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