Ex-teacher sues St. John Neumann on alleged retaliation
A former social studies teacher at St. John Neumann Regional Academy has sued the school and Diocese of Scranton in federal court, alleging his termination was retaliatory after an incident involving a student.
In the complaint in U.S. Middle District Court, James Ledda, 54, said the termination of his job occurred in April 2019 and was based on false allegations after an interaction he had with the student who was using a cellphone while in class, a violation of school policy.
The alleged incident occurred Dec. 5, 2018, and was captured on video, and the student was a star basketball player with an older brother who also was a standout player, according to the lawsuit.
Ledda said he made several requests of the student to turn over the cellphone and the student accused the teacher of “being in his face,” according to court documents.
Ledda said the administration at the school was contacted but there was no resolution. Rather, Ledda was informed by school administration that he needed to take three days off and attend anger management class. Ledda was terminated shortly afterward, according to the lawsuit.
Ledda said the stress of working without a resolution at the school caused him illness and anguish and resulted in a complaint filed with city police.
Ledda also filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which was jointly filed with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.
Ledda, who was hired in 2015 by the district, has asked for a trial and the court to issue declaratory and injunctive relief and pay his lost wages and benefits along with some other requests, court documents said.