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12 N.J.A.R. 954

Wolf, Richard; National Park, Gloucester County, Bd. of Ed. of the Borough of
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Citation: 12 N.J.A.R. 954
Decision Date: 1987
Synopsis: The Board of Education certified charges of conduct unbecoming a teacher against respondent. The matter was transmitted to the Office of Administrative Law for a hearing. The administrative law judge assigned to the case concluded that respondent, an elementary school teacher, should be removed from his position for improperly touching students and ridiculing them. The administrative law judge excluded respondent from the hearing room while students were testifying. Respondent watched the proceeding on closed-circuit television from an adjoining room. He was not able to confer with his attorney during the testimony unless the hearing was interrupted and counsel left the room. Upon review, the Commissioner of Education adopted the initial decision, agreeing that the penalty of removal was warranted by the incidents of touching girls' backs, snapping their bra straps and calling students names. Respondent was ordered dismissed. The State Board of Education affirmed. On appeal, the Appellate Division held that excluding respondent from the courtroom during the hearing so that he could not confer with counsel was so fundamentally unfair that a new hearing was required. The case was reversed and remanded. Alan R. Schmoll, Esq., for petitioner (Capehart & Scatchard, attorneys) State of New Jersey 955 Steven R. Cohen, Esq., for respondent (Selikoff & Cohen, attorneys)
Citation Tracker adopted-Com'r of Ed.; affirmed -St. Bd. of Ed.; reversed & remanded-231 N.J. Super. 365 (App. Div. 1989) [Updated through 1991]