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Smith v. Harrington

United States District Court, N.D. California, San Francisco Division

March 27, 2015

THOMAS E SMITH, Plaintiff,
v.
STEVEN HARRINGTON, PhD., et al., Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [Re: ECF No. 84]

LAUREL BEELER, Magistrate Judge.

INTRODUCTION

In this civil rights action, Plaintiff Thomas Smith sues the Santa Rosa City School District ("District") for retaliation in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 2008 ("ADA") and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ("Rehabilitation Act"), and he sues four school district officials for violating his Fourteenth Amendment due process right to familial association. The four school officials are as follows: (1) Sharon Liddell, the District's Superintendent; (2) George Valenzuela, the District's Compliance Officer and attorney; (3) Stephen Mayer, Principal of Proctor Terrace Elementary School; and (4) Kim Craven, the District's school psychologist (collectively, the "Individual Defendants"). He filed his lawsuit after the Sonoma County Human Services Department ("SCHSD") removed his daughter A.S. from his custody based in part on two school officials' reports of child abuse. Mr. Smith claims that reports are false and were submitted to SCHSD in retaliation for his advocacy efforts on behalf of his daughter, who was diagnosed with Tourette's Disorder.

Defendants move for summary judgment on Mr. Smith's three claims on the grounds that the California Court of Appeal necessarily decided Mr. Smith's challenges to the allegedly false reports in the dependency proceedings concerning A.S. and, in any event, Mr. Smith does not raise genuine issues of material fact that preclude summary judgment. The court agrees and grants summary judgment in favor of Defendants.

STATEMENT

I. FACTS

The court now sets forth the facts that are supported by authenticated, admissible evidence. ( See 2/9/2015 Evidentiary Order, ECF No. 97[1]; 3/11/2015 Evidentiary Order, ECF No. 104.[2])

A. Mr. Smith's Complaints about the Bullying of, and His Request for a Special Education Assessment for, His Daughter A.S.

Mr. Smith enrolled his daughter A.S. in Proctor Terrace Elementary School for the 2011-12 school year. (First Declaration of Thomas Smith, ¶ 2, ECF No. 94-5 ("First Smith Decl.").) For the first six months of the school year, from August 2011 until February 2012, Mr. Smith says that he had a very positive parent-teacher relationship with A.S's third grade teacher, Nancy Koski. ( Id. ) Ms. Koski confirms Mr. Smith's view. (First Declaration of Thomas Moore, ECF No. 94-4 ("First Moore Decl."), Ex. VV (Nancy Koski deposition).) During these months, Mr. Smith was actively involved in A.S's schooling: he helped construct the garden on the school's campus; he walked A.S. to and from school every day; and he interacted and socialized with many of the parents of A.S.'s classmates at several school events without incident. (First Smith Decl., ¶ 2.) He also interacted with Ms. Koski on almost a daily basis. (First Smith Decl., ¶ 3.)

In December 2011, Mr. Smith says that A.S. confided in him that she had been bullied by a classmate, "P, " since the start of the school year. (First Smith Decl., ¶ 4.) On December 20, 2011, Mr. Smith sent Ms. Koski an email regarding P's alleged bullying of A.S. (First Smith Decl., Ex. A; Declaration of Steven Eichman, ECF No. 84-2 ("Eichman Decl."), Ex. L.) The next day, Ms. Koski forwarded the email to Principal Mayer and asked to talk with him about both it and another email regarding P. (First Smith Decl., Ex. A.) She also spoke with P about her behavior (which Ms. Koski said could be "bossy" sometimes, see First Moore Decl., Ex. VV) and talked to her class about bullying and teasing. (Eichman Decl., Ex. L.) She did not reply to Mr. Smith regarding his email. (First Smith Decl., ¶ 5.)

On February 14, 2012, the District received a letter from Mr. Smith requesting that A.S., who at that time was eight years old, be evaluated for an individualized education program ("IEP"). (Eichman Decl., Ex. B). The request included a note from A.S.'s doctor indicating that A.S. had received a presumptive diagnosis of Tourette's Disorder on February 9, 2012. ( Id. ) In response, the District initiated the assessment process. ( See Eichman Decl., Ex. C (February 21, 2012 letter outlining the assessment process).) On February 21, 2012, Kim Craven, the District's psychologist, wrote Mr. Smith a letter acknowledging Mr. Smith's request for an IEP and asking him to sign and return a formal "assessment plan" (which she enclosed). ( Id. ) She noted that A.S. could not be evaluated until he returned it to her. ( Id. ) She also asked Mr. Smith to fill out and return a "Health and Development Questionnaire" (also enclosed) and to sign a "release and exchange of information" form (also enclosed) so she could communicate directly with A.S.'s medical providers as part of the assessment process. ( Id. )

From February 15, 2012 (the day after the District received Mr. Smith's letter) to April 10, 2012, Mr. Smith sent a series of letters and e-mails to various District offices complaining, in part, that A.S. was being bullied by her classmates at Proctor Terrace Elementary School because of her disability (Tourette's Disorder). In an email dated February 15, 2012, Mr. Smith identified P in particular, whom he believed was targeting A.S., and he stated that he believed A.S. had been "hazed" because of her disability. (First Smith Decl., Ex. C.) Mr. Smith said that if the problem was not resolved, he would have no choice but to file a complaint based on discrimination and child neglect. ( Id. ) Then, on February 21, 2012, the District received a handwritten letter from Mr. Smith stating that A.S. had been chased by four girls and poked with a branch during recess. (First Smith Decl., Ex. D.) And on February 23, 2012, Mr. Smith spoke to Principal Mayer on the phone, during which time Mr. Smith told Principal Mayer that he had spoken to the United States Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights about A.S.'s being bullied. (First Smith Decl., Ex. E.)

The District and its employees responded to Mr. Smith's concerns about bullying. ( See First Declaration of Rebecca Widen, ECF No. 84-3 ("First Widen Decl."), Ex. DD (Thomas Smith deposition and exhibits), EE (Nancy Koski deposition and exhibit).) Principal Mayer spoke with Ms. Koski about the alleged bullying, and together they interviewed A.S. and P. Principal Mayer documented the interviews immediately thereafter on February 22, 2012. ( See Eichman Decl., Exs. F, G, H (interview notes).)

On February 24, 2012, Principal Mayer provided Mr. Smith with a letter explaining the results of their investigation. (Eichman Decl., Ex. I.) Principal Mayer informed Mr. Smith that P told A.S. that her face looked "weird" when it "spasmsed" at one point during the class field trip on February 14, 2012. ( Id. ) P said it was the first time she had ever seen A.S.'s face do that. ( Id. ) P became aware that A.S.'s feelings were hurt by the comment, and she discussed it with her mother later that evening. ( Id. ) P's mother told her that A.S. was probably embarrassed. ( Id. ) P also said that she considered A.S. her "best friend" at Proctor Terrace. ( Id. ) A.S. also stated that there had been no further comments about the incident and it occurred only one time. ( Id. )

With regard to the poked-with-a-branch incident, A.S. said that the girls were younger (they were in first grade), and they had a branch from a rosemary shrub that they were pointing and wiggling at A.S. and her friend. ( Id. ) A.S. told the girls to stop and they did stop. ( Id. ) A.S. said she did not report the incident to an adult at school because the girls stopped, and she wanted to keep playing. ( Id. )

Finally, Mr. Smith had expressed concern that a male student had thrown his backpack and it slid past A.S. and went under a bench. ( Id. ) Principal Mayer's investigation revealed that the student had thrown his backpack to the bench where students in the class put their backpacks before going to their P.E. class in the morning. ( Id. ) A.S. was not near where the backpack was thrown, and it was not thrown at her. ( Id. )

Based on the information gathered, Principal Mayer concluded that there did not appear to be a pattern of bullying directed at A.S. and that the incidents Mr. Smith was concerned about appeared to be isolated and done without malice or ill-will. ( Id. ) He assured Mr. Smith that A.S. had been made aware, through the school's anti-bullying curriculum, that if she has problems with other students, she has options, which include her using words to deal with situations with other students and going to an adult at the school for assistance. ( Id. ) He also assured Mr. Smith that A.S. had been reminded that she should tell her teacher, a playground supervisor, or another adult at school if she has any problems with other students. ( Id. )

On February 24, 2012 (the same day Principal Mayer provided Mr. Smith with the above-described letter), Mr. Smith came into the Proctor Terrace office requesting to see A.S.'s cumulative file. ( See Eichman Decl., Ex. W.) The office manager said that at the beginning of the encounter he behaved aggressively, asked why certain documents were in the cumulative file and medical file, and told "Connie, " the "Elementary Tech., " that a "lousy job" was being done to maintain them. ( Id. ) He also asked several other questions, which Connie was able to answer. ( Id. ) Mr. Smith calmed down, apologized to Connie, and said that he was not trying to tell her what to do. ( Id. ) He then said that there had been a "failed IEP" at A.S.'s previous school because that school "couldn't do the process properly." ( Id. ) He further said that he believed Proctor Terrace "will be able to do it" and that he "has faith in Proctor Terrace." ( Id. )

Also as part of the investigation into Mr. Smith's concerns about bullying, Ms. Craven observed A.S. in the classroom, at lunch, and on the playground, over a two-day period. ( See Widen Decl., Ex. FF (Kim Craven deposition and exhibits).) Ms. Craven was told about Mr. Smith's concerns, and she observed A.S. to determine if A.S. was being bullied or if A.S. seemed anxious because of the way other students treated her. ( Id. ) On February 28, 2012, Ms. Craven provided Mr. Smith with a letter informing him that A.S.'s social-emotional functioning in the classroom, at her lunch table, and on the playground seemed healthy and within normal limits. (Widen Decl., Ex. GG.) She also told Mr. Smith that A.S.'s peers interacted respectfully and appropriately with her in all settings, A.S. did not exhibit outward signs of anxiety, and A.S.'s teacher (Ms. Koski) did not report any incidents of bullying or harassment of A.S. ( Id. ) In that same letter, Ms. Craven once again informed Mr. Smith that he needed to sign and return a formal assessment plan (which she enclosed once more) before A.S. could be evaluated for an IEP. ( Id. ) She also asked Mr. Smith again to fill out and return a health and development questionnaire and to sign a "release and exchange of information" form (both of which she enclosed) so she could communicate directly with A.S.'s medical providers as part of the assessment process. ( Id. )

On February 29, 2012, Mr. Smith was at Proctor Terrace and saw Suzette Tyler, a parent of one of A.S.'s classmates, taking (with Ms. Koski's permission) candid pictures of students in A.S.'s class. (First Widen Decl., Ex. DD (Thomas Smith deposition).) He alleges that he saw Ms. Tyler smiling as she reviewed the pictures on her camera, and he became angry because he believed she was laughing at pictures of A.S.'s facial "tics, " a symptom of Tourette's Disorder. ( Id. ) Principal Mayer informed Ms. Tyler that Mr. Smith was angry, and she and Principal Mayer went into the hallway to discuss the situation with Mr. Smith. (Declaration of Suzette Tyler, ¶ 6, ECF No. 84-1 ("Tyler Decl.").) With A.S. standing next to him, Mr. Smith loudly and angrily demanded to know why Ms. Tyler was taking pictures of A.S. ( Id. ¶¶ 6, 8; id., Ex. A (Ms. Tyler's summary of the incident).) He also kept referring to A.S.'s "disability, " and asking Ms. Tyler if she was taking A.S.'s picture because A.S. was "ugly." ( Id., ¶¶ 7-8.) Ms. Tyler did not know what he was talking about (as she had never observed A.S. exhibit any facial tics or signs of physical disability or heard anyone mention that), but in an attempt to de-escalate the situation, she immediately apologized and explained that she was taking candid pictures of the class to use in the school yearbook. (Tyler Decl., ¶¶ 3, 7.) She agreed to go through the pictures with Mr. Smith. According to Mr. Smith, the photos depicted A.S. as "sad" and exhibiting Tourette's Disorder symptoms. (First Widen Decl., Ex. DD (Thomas Smith deposition).) According to Ms. Tyler, none of the photos depicted A.S. in that manner and there were a few "particularly great shot[s]" of her. (Tyler Decl., ¶ 9.) Ms. Tyler nevertheless went through and deleted all of the photos of A.S. at Mr. Smith's insistence. ( Id. ) After Ms. Tyler apologized once more, Mr. Smith "stormed off" down the hallway with A.S. ( Id. ) Ms. Tyler later mentioned how upset she was from the encounter. (Tyler Decl., ¶ 11.)

Shortly thereafter, at Principal Mayer's request, Ms. Tyler wrote a summary of what occurred and submitted it to the school. (Tyler Decl., Ex. A; Eichman Decl., Ex. M.) Principal Mayer also reviewed the "emergency card" in A.S.'s student file and saw that Mr. Smith did not check either "yes" or "no" on the line asking whether he consents to A.S.'s being photographed. (Eichman Decl., Ex. M.)

Later that same day, Mr. Smith called Proctor Terrace requesting information about the school's anti-bullying curriculum. (Eichman Decl., Ex. Y.) Initially, he refused to identify himself. ( Id. ) The person who received the phonecall put Mr. Smith on hold and went to talk to Principal Mayer about the request. ( Id. ) By the time the person returned to the phone, Mr. Smith had hung up. ( Id. ) The person noticed that a voicemail had been left. ( Id. ) While the person was talking to Principal Mayer, Mr. Smith called back and said he hung up by accident. ( Id. ) He further said that he did not initially identify himself because "it was [about] confidential information which was between him and the principal." ( Id. ) Mr. Smith left his phone number and asked that Principal Mayer call him. ( Id. ) The person who took the first call called Mr. Smith back and left a message, saying that Principal Mayer said that if Mr. Smith has a child enrolled at Proctor Terrace, he needed to contact his child's teacher, and if he did not have a child enrolled at Proctor Terrace, he needed to contact the District. ( Id. ) Not long afterward, Mr. Smith came to Proctor Terrace's office looking for Principal Mayer. ( Id. ) Office staff told Mr. Smith that Principal Mayer was not there at that moment. ( Id. ) Mr. Mayer appeared to office staff to be very angry. ( Id. ) Mr. Smith said that he wanted to file a formal complaint against a parent who was taking pictures in a classroom. ( Id. ) Mr. Smith stated that he was upset not because he did not want A.S. to be in the yearbook but because no one had informed him about photographs being taken. ( Id. )

On March 1, 2012, Sharon Liddell, the District's Superintendent, sent an email to Principal Mayer (and copying George Valenzuela, the District's Compliance Officer; Debra Sanders, the District's Director of Special Services; and Gail Eagan, the Assistance Secretary to Superintendent Liddell) in which Superintendent Liddell recounts that Mr. Smith contacted her and stated that he was unhappy with Principal Mayer's February 24, 2012 letter and that he plans to file a complaint (which the District had not received at that time). (First Moore Decl., Ex. S.) She emphasized that if A.S. did in fact have Tourette's Disorder, the District needed to look carefully at the situation. ( Id. ) Superintendent Liddell also noted that she had been informed about Mr. Smith's behavior during the photography incident. ( Id. ) She wrote that "it was suggested that these situations may require a TRO at some point." ( Id. )

On March 2, 2012, Principal Mayer replied to Superintendent Liddell's email. ( Id. ) As for any alleged bullying, he said that staff members at the school did not know of any problems with other students, other than the three incidents he investigated and detailed in his February 24, 2012 letter to Mr. Smith. ( Id. ) He also said that playground supervisors had been "keeping an eye out" for A.S. and any problems, but they had not seen any. ( Id. ) He further said that A.S. had not reported any other incidents to her teachers or other adults, and he had not heard anything more from Mr. Smith. ( Id. ) As for the photograph incident, Principal Mayer first described both the initial incident and Mr. Smith's inquiry about the school's anti-bullying curriculum. ( Id. ) He then stated that on March 1, 2012 he had an extensive conversation about Mr. Smith with Terrena Rodebaugh, the principal of Wright Elementary, the school A.S. previously attended. ( Id. ) He said that staff at Wright Elementary had many problems with Mr. Smith. ( Id. ) For example, Mr. Smith demanded that the school switch A.S. to another classroom, and when the school did, he complained that he had not been consulted. ( Id. ) Also, when he picked up A.S. in the afternoon, he would stand by the classroom door, listen to the instruction, and then would distort what he had heard and complain about it. ( Id. ) He also threatened "OCR complaints." ( Id. ) Mr. Smith also complained that A.S. was being picked on, even though she was not. ( Id. ) He also told them that he did not want A.S. to have sweets, but then he complained when A.S. did not receive one. ( Id. ) He told the school that A.S. had Tourette's Disorder, but he never provided any documentation to support his claim. ( Id. ) In short, the school staff members tried being reasonable with him, but they thought he was always contrary and would never agree about anything. ( Id. ) They believed that he "grilled" A.S. after school each day in an attempt to find something to complaint about, and he usually twisted the truth when doing so. ( Id. )

Principal Mayer also noted that "many people wondered" if Mr. Smith was "hiding something, " in light of Mr. Smith's response to photographs being taken of A.S. and the fact that A.S. had been in four different elementary schools in four years and had gone to three different pre-schools. ( Id. ) His staff checked "missing children's databases" for Mr. Smith or A.S., but they did not find anything. ( Id. )

Principal Mayer then stated that his office staff and A.S.'s classroom teacher "have expressed concern about what appears to be Mr. Smith's escalating erratic, angry, aggressive behavior." ( Id. ) They felt "that he is out of control." ( Id. ) Principal Mayer believed that his staff members were concerned for their personal safety. ( Id. ) He said that he had "never before felt such an unease about a parent." ( Id. ) He also stated that "two people mention[ed] the possibility of contacting CPS with concern for [A.S.'s] being subjected to his increasingly apparent mental instability." ( Id. )

On March 5, 2012, Superintendent Liddell wrote a letter to Mr. Smith confirming that her office had received Mr. Smith's "signed assessment plan" and it had been routed to Ms. Sanders, the District's Director of Special Education. (First Smith Decl., Ex. I.) She also acknowledged that Mr. Smith had included health information and information about Tourette's Disorder. ( Id. )

On March 6, 2012, Mr. Smith says he wrote a written complaint to George Valenzuela, the District's Compliance Officer and the person designated to receive complaints to the District. (First Smith Decl., ¶ 16; see First Moore Decl., Ex. ZZ (George Valenzuela declaration).[3]) He says he expressed his dissatisfaction with the IEP process and recounted several incidents of bullying of or discrimination against A.S. because of her disability. (First Smith Decl., ¶ 16.) Mr. Smith also says he formally invoked the Uniform Complaint Procedures for purposes of his complaint. ( Id. ) Mr. Valenzuela did not respond to the complaint; instead, he had his assistant take it to Superintendent Liddell's office. (First Moore Decl., Ex. ZZ.) He was not asked to investigate the complaint. ( Id. )

On March 6, 2012, A.S. participated in a one-on-one therapy session with Phyllis King, a Marriage and Family Therapist for Sonoma County. ( See First Widen Decl., Ex. HH.) Ms. King's notes from that session reflect that she and A.S. discussed A.S.'s Tourette's Disorder symptoms and school issues, and that A.S. reported, "unlike father, " that "she had only been teased twice" at school. ( Id. ) There was another session on March 20, 2012, and Ms. King's notes from that session suggest that there was a discrepancy between Mr. Smith's and A.S.'s descriptions of "issues and things at school like getting teased." ( Id. )

On March 8, 2012, Mr. Smith called the Proctor Terrace office and "was very angry and aggressive over the phone." (Eichman Decl., Ex. Z.) He asked whether A.S. was going to "have an assessment before the evaluation." ( Id. ) He also asked for the extension and location of someone's office, but that information was not provided to him. ( Id. )

On March 9, 2012, Mr. Smith went to a District office and asked to use the copier to make copies of information on Tourette's Disorder. (First Widen Decl., Ex. FF (Craven deposition and exhibits).) An office staff member "had to set limits on him" and have him stop using the copier so that the staff members could "get back to their work flow." ( Id. ) The office staff member described Mr. Smith as very aggressive and angry, and said that they "were toe-to-toe." ( Id. )

That same day, Mr. Smith also went to the "SELPA" office, where he demanded information for educators about Tourette's Disorder. (Eichman Decl., Ex. AA.). He was referred to Ms. Craven. ( Id. ) Mr. Smith "pretty overtly badmouthed" Ms. Craven and said that she knew nothing about it. ( Id. ) A SELPA staff member described him as "very pushy." ( Id. )

On March 15, 2012, Mr. Smith submitted another complaint to Mr. Valenzuela. (First Smith Decl., Ex. K.) He again expressed his dissatisfaction with the IEP process and recounted several incidents (including the photography incident) of A.S.'s being bullied or discriminated against because of her disability. ( Id. ) He also requested that any photographs of A.S. being used by the District be removed, but he stated that if asked he might allow a photograph of A.S. to be used. ( Id. )

On March 26, 2012, Mr. Smith met with Principal Mayer at his office to discuss whether photographs of A.S. could be included in the school yearbook. (Eichman Decl., Ex. BB.) Mr. Smith told Principal Mayer that he approved of A.S.'s photograph being included on the class page of the yearbook. ( Id. ) Principal Mayer told him that the yearbook coordinator would check to make sure there was no recognizable candid photograph of A.S. included on the "collage page" of the yearbook. ( Id. ) Mr. Smith responded by questioning the right of the school to take candid photographs in the classroom for any use. ( Id. ) Principal Mayer said that, while the teacher could give permission for such photographs to be taken, the school nevertheless would not include any candid photographs of A.S. ( Id. ) Mr. Smith said that he did not want any photography occurring in the classroom. ( Id. ) Principal Mayer told Mr. Smith that he "could not dictate that no photography" be taken in the classroom, to which Mr. Mayer exclaimed loudly, "We'll see about that!" ( Id. ) Mr. Smith then left the school office and slammed the door on his way out. ( Id. )

That same day (even though it was not received by the school until March 28, 2012), Mr. Smith wrote a letter to Ms. Koski. (First Smith Decl., Ex. B.) In it, he told Ms. Koski that he had submitted a formal complaint to the District about A.S.'s being photographed without his permission. ( Id. ) He further reiterated his demand that A.S. not be photographed and his belief that the she was being photographed to humiliate him and her. ( Id. )

Later correspondence indicates that the school tried to ensure that no unauthorized photos or videos were taken of A.S. ( See Eichman Dec., Exs. N, O.) For instance, on March 26, 2012, Ms. Koski sent Mr. Smith an email asking him whether he approved of A.S.'s being videotaped when giving biography reports and presentations. (Eichman Decl., Ex. O.) Ms. Koski said that if Mr. Smith did not wish A.S. to be taped, she would make sure that A.S. was not. ( Id. ) And on April 2, 2012, a staff member sent Principal Mayer an email asking him if it was acceptable to include a class photograph in the yearbook if A.S.'s face was intentionally blurred so she could not be identified or clearly seen. (Eichman Decl., Ex. N.)

On April 10, 2012, Mr. Smith submitted a written complaint stating that P scolded A.S. for helping another student and gave A.S. "dirty looks" earlier in the day. (Eichman Decl., Ex. K.) The letter was handwritten by Mr. Smith, but signed by A.S. at the bottom. ( Id. )

A.S.'s teacher, Ms. Koski, said that she never specifically addressed A.S.'s condition with the class because A.S.'s symptoms were not obvious to the students. (Eichman Decl., Ex. G.) Nevertheless, whenever there was a problem or situation regarding unacceptable behavior, she discussed the behavior with her class. (Eichman Decl., Ex. L.) On August 18, 2011, she instructed her students about what bullying and harassment are and how to stop them, and she taught her class the "Second Step Violence Prevention Curriculum" on the following dates during 2011: August 22 and 29; September 6, 12, 13; October 3, 7, 10, 11, 24, 25; November 7, 8; December 5. ( Id. )

On April 17, 2012, at approximately 3:20 p.m., Mr. Smith "burst" into the main office of Proctor Terrace. (Eichman Decl., Ex. U (Kathy Bassini declaration) ¶ 3.) Office manager Kathy Bassini was there, and Mr. Smith yelled at her, "Mr. Mayer, now!" ( Id. ) Ms. Bassini explained to Mr. Smith that Principal Mayer was in a meeting and was not available. ( Id. ) Mr. Smith continued to yell and point at Ms. Bassini in a very aggressive manner, and he told her that she was not doing her job. ( Id. ) Although Ms. Bassini told Mr. Smith that she had always passed on Mr. Smith's messages to the teachers or Principal Mayer, Mr. Smith kept yelling at her and insisted that she had to take a report. ( Id. ) Mr. Smith then told Ms. Bassini that A.S. had been bullied because another girl had kicked her backpack. ( Id. ¶ 4.) He wanted to know what Ms. Bassini was going to do about it. ( Id. ) He also said that there were anti-bullying posters all over the school, and the school was going to stand by its word. ( Id. ) Mr. Smith kept insisting that it was Ms. Bassini's job to do something about it. ( Id. ) Mr. Smith then asked if he could submit a report, and Ms. Bassini told him that he could and that she would give it to Principal Mayer. ( Id. )

The whole time that Mr. Smith was in the office, he was yelling at Ms. Bassini. ( Id. ¶ 5.) He again insisted on talking to Principal Mayer. ( Id. ) Ms. Bassini told him again that Mr. Mayer was in a meeting and was not available. ( Id. ) Mr. Smith asked where the meeting was, but Ms. Bassini refused to tell him. ( Id. ) Mr. Smith then shouted that he was going to find Principal Mayer and "stormed" out of the office. ( Id. ) In Ms. Bassini's opinion, Mr. Smith yelled in an aggressive manner and seemed irrational, out of control, and unpredictable. ( Id. ) This made her feel uncomfortable. ( Id. ) Normally, Ms. Bassini goes to the counter when a parent comes into the office, but on this occasion, she felt that it was safer to stay across the room by the phone. ( Id. )

After Mr. Smith left the office to find Principal Mayer, Ms. Bassini called Principal Mayer to warn him that Mr. Smith was looking for him and was "on a rampage." ( Id. ¶ 6; Eichman Decl., Ex. P (Stephen Mayer declaration) ¶ 3.) Ms. Bassini could hear over the phone that Mr. Smith had entered the library, where Principal Mayer was. (Eichman Decl., Ex. U ¶ 6.) Ms. Bassini could hear Principal Mayer ask Mr. Smith to leave because he was in a meeting, but Mr. Smith refused to leave. ( Id. )

Principal Mayer was in the library conducting a Student Study Team meeting with two teachers, Janet Davis and Ginger Matich, Ms. Craven, and the parent of the student being discussed in the meeting. ( See Eichman Decl., Exs. P (TRO and Stephen Mayer declaration), Q (TRO and Janet Davis declaration), R (TRO and Kim Craven declaration), S (TRO and Virginia Matich declaration).) Mr. Smith "stormed" into the library and was standing with his legs apart and with clenched fists at his side, just inside the doorway of the library, blocking the door. ( Id., Ex. P ¶¶ 3, 5; id., Ex. Q ¶¶ 3, 5; id., Ex. R ¶¶ 13, 15; id., Ex. S ¶ 5.) A.S. was with him. ( Id., Ex. P ¶ 5; id., Ex. Q ¶ 3; id., Ex. R ¶ 13; id., Ex. S ¶ 3.) Ms. Matich stood up and informed Mr. Smith that they were conducting a meeting. ( Id., Ex. P ¶ 5.) Mr. Smith told Ms. Matich that he wanted to talk to Principal Mayer. ( Id. ) After hanging up the telephone, Principal Mayer turned and looked at Mr. Smith and calmly told him that they were conducting a confidential meeting and that he could not speak with him at that time. ( Id., Ex. P ¶ 5; see id., Q ¶ 4; id., R ¶ 14; id., Ex. S ¶ 4.) Principal Mayer told Mr. Smith that he needed to make an appointment. ( Id., Ex. P ¶ 5; id., Ex. Q ¶ 7.) Mr. Smith yelled that he was not going to leave until he spoke with Principal Mayer. ( Id., Ex. P ¶ 5; id., Ex. Q ¶ 7; id., Ex. R ¶ 14.) Principal Mayer told Mr. Smith two or three ...


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