Dismissal Process Starts for Ethnic Slur Teacher

The school district announced today that it is initiating dismissal proceedings against math teacher Gabrielle Leko.

The announced Tuesday that it is initiating dismissal proceedings against Gabrielle Leko, the math teacher in her classroom over the years.

The announcement comes after the district failed to reach a settlement with Leko that would terminate her employment. Following is the district's formal announcement.

La Cañada Unified School District

Update on Governing Board’s Vote to Initiate Dismissal Proceedings Effective February 27, 2012

February 27, 2012

On February 7, 2012 the Governing Board of La Canada Unified School District took action by unanimous vote to initiate dismissal proceedings against certificated employee number 01-11-12 effective February 27, 2012.

Along with the vote, the Board made the statement that it would continue to pursue all options including a settlement that would result in the employee’s separation from the District at the end of the current academic year.

At the close of the business day on February 27, 2012, no settlement agreement has been reached with said employee.  As a result, while it is still hoped that the parties will reach agreement on a resolution of the subject matter, the District has initiated dismissal proceedings per the Education and Government Codes.

Check back with Patch for more details as we get them.

James Stoker February 28, 2012 at 07:41 PM
I applaud the district for attempting to settle this matter as amicably as possible. Given recent issues in LAUSD, it may be best for both parties that the formal proceedings have been initiated. Either the teacher's will be cleared of the charges, or LCUSD will avoid being charged with failing to warn other districts of the issue. The formal public process is better in the sense that it is more open and impartial. Trial by media is rarely fair or impartial. Secret agreements are rarely fair to all parties, particularly not to the injured victims and interested public.
Cindy Wilcox February 29, 2012 at 09:48 PM
I applaud the Patch team for a great job covering this story. Thank you for clarifying the headline. No one has been fired, certainly not Mrs. Leko. With extensive legal assistance from the powerful and well-funded California Teachers' Union, Mrs. Leko's case is starting through the dismissal process. The dismissal process is run by a State agency that does not necessarily share our community's high standards for adult behavior and rigorous education. If Mrs.Leko wins, she can continue to be a classroom teacher at La Canada High School. This is not a done deal. Mrs. Leko could win, and our kids could lose.


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