DURANT, Iowa — Members of the Durant School Board have been ordered to serve 30 days in the Cedar County Jail for violating a court order, a judge ruled Friday.

Cedar County District Judge Mark Smith decided in a written ruling that board members violated a court order in how they restored Monica Rouse to her old job as Durant High School principal.

“Given the actions of the school board members, the Court finds that they should be individually fined the sum of $500 and shall serve 30 days in the Cedar County Jail,” Smith wrote in his ruling.

The judge said, however, that school board members could avoid the contempt ruling by giving Rouse “all of her duties, privileges, authority and rights that she enjoyed prior to her termination as principal of Durant High School.”

It’s not clear how much time the board has to comply.

The three-year legal battle began when Rouse was escorted off the school grounds Sept. 17, 2009, by then-Superintendent Duane Bark. Rand Wonio of the Davenport law firm Lane & Waterman, which is representing the school district, released a statement Friday on behalf of the school board, saying it will “review the order with counsel and determine how to proceed in the very near future.”

Superintendent Duane Bennett said Friday the board will react to the judge’s order after its next meeting. He declined further comment.

The Durant Community School District distributed an agenda for a special board meeting at 6 p.m. Monday at the school for a closed session to “discuss matters that are presently in litigation.”

“They need to react to the ruling on Monday,” Rouse’s attorney, Cathy Cartee of Davenport, said. “I expect compliance by Monday. If they haven’t complied with the court order by Monday afternoon, I’m going to ask that they go to jail.”

Cartee said, “It’s not hard to stick her desk in the principal’s office.”

On Friday, Rouse was sitting in an empty storage room in the elementary school wing of the building it shares with the high school.

“I’m elated,” Rouse said, declining further comment on her attorney’s advice.

Co-principal Anthony Neumann refused to come out of the Durant High School’s principal’s office to speak Friday.

Neumann was hired as high school principal while the school board was appealing a district court’s decision to reinstate Rouse. He has been rehired as co-principal for the current school year.

The judge named past board members Dick Stoltenberg, Sheila Compton and Steve Ralfs and current board members Brian Fargo and Joe Meincke in his ruling.

The board’s statement Friday said the order improperly includes Ralfs, Compton and Stoltenberg, who were not on the board when Rouse returned in April.

Cartee also agreed that those three were part of an earlier contempt charge. She said Friday’s ruling should instead apply to current board members Ron Alpen, Barb Reasner and Russ Paustian, in addition to Fargo and Meincke.

Efforts to reach any of the board members for comment Friday were unsuccessful.

The board had voted to fire Rouse in March 2010, claiming various counts of wrongdoing. She appealed her termination to the Iowa Supreme Court and won earlier this year, returning to work April 23.

Bennett and Fargo, the school board president, admitted at an Aug. 27 contempt hearing that Rouse wasn’t allowed access to student records, to her old computer or to the entire Durant High School facility for several months after she returned as principal.

Rouse testified that district leaders directed her not to interact with students or staff and denied her an office with the other administrators, including Neumann.

Fargo testified the board met April 12 about Rouse and directed Bennett to divide principal duties between her and Neumann.

The combined annual salaries of the two principals cost the district $155,000. The high school has 250 students.

Smith talked about Neumann’s status in his ruling, saying the board can keep Neumann but not prevent Rouse from assuming all of the same principal duties she previously had.

“However, the board cannot hire an additional principal to avoid, defeat or undermine the court order,” he wrote.

He wrote that the district should place Rouse in an office with the administrative staff and allow her to access the administrative staff as she did prior to her termination. He also ordered the board and the school district pay $12,000 in attorney fees.

“The court has made an impression on the school board,” Cartee said. “You have to follow a court order.”

“All they had to do was give her her job back,” Cartee added.

Community reacts

Several Durant residents interviewed Friday say they support Rouse and wish the legal battle would end.

“I think it went on way too long,” Don Place said.

He thought Rouse has been unfairly treated.

“If I’ve learned anything in the last 20 years, it’s that you don’t get by ever treating people that way,” he said, referring to when Rouse was escorted off the school grounds and the efforts since to keep her from returning to her old post.

“My message to the board would be the same thing I tell my kids,” Place said. “It’s just as easy being nice as not being nice. The board was intent on not being nice.”

Freda Fusco called the firing of Rouse a “witch hunt,” saying the board didn’t investigate all of its claims against her.

“Some people just want to show their authority,” she said.

Her grandchildren were fond of Rouse when they had her as a principal, Fusco said.

Rouse was principal for 11 years before the board fired her.

Jo Samuels’ children attended Durant while Rouse was principal, and she would like to see her as principal again.

“It’s been hard on everybody, the community, the kids, Monica,” Samuels said.

She added several faculty members have left Durant over the principal controversy.

“This whole terrible thing has been hard on kids,” Bob Ellsworth said.

He’s lived in Durant since 1960 and had his children and some of his grandchildren go through the school system there.

“I hope all of this comes to an end,” Ellsworth said.

(57) comments

JK3513

Klaatu, please advise of all these Obama court orders, as I am unaware of them and interested in knowing. Thanks.

Klaatu
Klaatu

They must be following the lead of the Obama administration, who is defying court orders on multiple issues. Rule of law doesn't count for much anymore.

Kelsey Holladay

Wow,Im a Kid That goes to durant highschool you guys are teachin us well.and showing us the right stuff GROW UP!your adults

machineboy
machineboy

I came from Durant and I can tell you from personal experience that Alpen and Paustian are arrogant, controlling people. They could care less what the law says, they just want their way. Please do not judge the people of Durant by what some childish individuals do.

Acts25_16

The Lawyers at Lane-Waterman took $45,000.00 from the taxpayers ? Apparently this is evidence that lawyers are exclusively occupied with the details of predatory fraud. This is their bread and butter. They could care less about Truth, Justice or especially, the American way. Here they relied on Administrative Law that perverts the Constitution. The school systems in this country are overfed & undernourished. Superintendents being paid enormous salaries and parents are effectively disrespected and ignored by school boards who are made up of arrogant idiots. The Bettendorf area is a prime example of bad role models. officials have their favorites (like the kids of parents who are lawyers, judges and doctors) and if you don't go along, your kids suffer. Theron Schutte is indifferent to the fact that he is a part of a group that intentionally, maliciously, or negligently administratively bullies kids that pose any competition to their favs. An investigation would bare this out. Vote "NO" to retain Iowa Supreme Court "Judge" Tom Waterman and Bobbi Alpers. These frauds under color of law, violated their oaths of office by denying due process of law & denying a citizen their right to be heard in a case that was deceptively drafted & failed to produce any evidence or proof. go to iowacourts.gov and see LACE112272. Shame on these crooks. You Tube: Lawless America & Legal Land

bigtcburr2

Enough Already! This school board has defied the court order long enough. This is a horrible example for the students and also a true waste of taxpayer money! I'm Just Saying...

Weasal

The thing I find most entertaining about these comments is that all those who claim to be from Durant are incapable of writing a coherent, grammatically correct sentence.

I wonder why?

Terry W

I hope they all are FORCED to go to jail.........what a waste of taxpayers money and talk about a bunch of bullies. Let this woman do her job. IGNORANCE is alive and kicking in Durant.

Jud in Omaha
Jud in Omaha

I started following this story in 2009, and figured by now it had to be over. Was I wrong! I'm Happy for the principal, she deserves her job with a totally redecorated and LARGE office. She & her family have gone to HE'LLand back by this school board and they SHOULD SIT in jail FOR AT least 30 DAYS. They and former superintendent "Barff", oops Bark, bow wow, deserves jail time too! I can't believe they have spent $155K for 2 principals. $155K is about what the administrator in Omaha makea, which is a few thousand times larger than a 200 school like Durrant. I hope the school bd is proud of themselves for costing the town all this money. Final note, I always thought Lane-Waterman, was one of the top law firms in IA, but I think they need to study abit more on school bd issues. GO judge, put them on bread & water if they become guests of Cedar County.

lost in crazyville

Okay, so yesterday I was very fired up about this whole thing. I live in Durant and my children have attend this high school and do attend this high school. This is a very personal thing for those of us that live here and have kids in the middle of this mess. I am very angry at the school board and both superintendents. The kids that graduated last year had a different principle for each each of the four years. The high school in a shambles full of new teachers, teacher aids, and even a new secretary. When my oldest child graduated from this school, before any of this ever happened, I was proud for him to have a Durant diploma. I cannot say that is how I still feel. I have read all the court documents and followed this case closely, as most of us parents have. I want the people that still think that Mrs. Rouse did anything wrong, to really look, on a fact level only. I am not asking you to like her for her personality or to dislike any the people that are involved on the other side. In the first hearing if you read it almost every thing that she was accused of was not her mistake, it was Daune Bark's and the guidance counselors, it was their lack of education on Iowa law, they both come from other states (Wisconsin, Arizona) and had only been here less than three years. She was following Iowa law for the schools, and special needs children, which I might add, is her area of specialty. It is even what they made her in charge of when she returned to the school after the firing. She is an expert, as she has a child with disability. She never broke the law and allowed kids to graduate with out the proper credits, this was the basis of there accusations about her and they were wrong, people. That is why she won, because an Iowa judge that knows Iowa education laws said she did not break the law! I am not trying to tell you that she is perfect, or that she never made a mistake as an administrator. We all have made mistakes at our job but we are not fired for them, their is a process for firing someone. She did not break the law or any school laws that would have allowed them to fire her in the manor that they did. None of this needed to happen, none of this should have happened, and they definitely should not have done it in the way they did and then they continued to refuse to listen to the the people that decide the laws. I have a hard time feeling sorry for people that bring it on themselves, if the board goes to jail who fault is that? Theirs. They were the ones making the decisions, not Mrs. Rouse, at every turn, they appealed, and fired and hired other principals, and locked her out, how can any of us not look at them and not say you created this mess. I want all of you to think about what you would do if your boss, out of the blue comes up to you and says your fired you have 15 minutes to pack your stuff after 12 years of working there, and when you ask why, he won't answer you, so you start racking your brain what could you have done, and a few DAYS later he informs you that you are a morally corrupted person that will never work in your field again cause he is going to black ball you to every asking employer that calls him for a reference, and he is going to fight your unemployment. You have two kids, a mortgage, no job, and no career that you went to school for 6-8 years, and wait here is the kicker, YOU DID NOTHING WRONG! so you wouldn't fight, try to save your life, your career, your house. And you wonder why she fought and didn't walk away. Cause I don't t.

Bobaloo

Well said.

What I still want to know is the following:

* iowalittledog: The comment "I believe sometimes violence is needed to get a point across." Well, what exactly do you mean? Again, this sounds a little troubling to me.
* MamiBear: If you know something that Mrs. Rouse may have done wrong, then please come forward. I still see you haven't.

iowalittledog

One more thing, there should not have been a chance to get out of going to jail, if anything the judge should have reduced the sentence to 15 days in jail if they comply with the courts order. Once this case got back into court the judge should have sent a message, not a son you did wrong, but if you now do right I won't punish you. Wrong message judge!

I would love to see one of the board members tell the judge to go jump in a lake and stand up for what they claim to believe in, what's 30 days if you REALLY believed in something? I can't stand a coward.

iowalittledog

If the board members really believe in their case then they will not give in to the court order. If i believed in something jail would not scare me at all. Black people still would be sitting at the back of the bus if Ms. Rosa Parks was scared of jail. The problem here is simple, they had a messed u attorney Cameron A. Davidson representing the board, he is a joke. Just a kid hiding behind his fathers name. They finally replaced him but by that time it was too late. I also wonder what legal advise they got from the second attorney?

The board should demand their money back from the firm they hired and claim fraud on behalf of the firm representing the board. They lost at every level. If I ever needed an attorney i would hire Cathy Cartee, (I think I love her) She is a fighter and I like that. Like me she does not back down. The only difference between me & Cathy Cartee is that I believe sometimes violence is needed to get a point across.

Bobaloo

iowalittledog: Two points to address.

1. There is a way to tell a judge to "go jump in a lake" ... it's called a retention vote. Assuming that the judges involved in the decision involving Monica Rouse are up for retention, vote "no" if that is your belief.

2. The comment "I believe sometimes violence is needed to get a point across." Well, what exactly do you mean? This sounds a little troubling to me.

Snowball1

I have been following this story since day 1, which has been several months ago. Seriously, I am starting to think some of these negative ppl have ever got out of Durant or read a newspaper? The stress that this family has had to take on is pathetic!

Bottom line is that she was found not guilty in a court of law. How does it matter if ppl do not like her? Wow! Is there anyone out there that goes to work & does not care for anyone? We all go to our jobs for the same reason. We do our job & get a paycheck. I think she was doing her job? Or the judicial systerm would not have ruled in her favor?

The school board members sound like "bullies" & part of the "KKK". They need to go in order for Monica, her family, and others in this town can heal. I hope for the township of Durant these school board members have to sit in jail for the 30 days so everyone can carry on & educators' can do their job to serve the children.

It will be the only way they will stop saying f u to the law. And when they go, I hope there is parade.

getinvolved

That's one too many chances. They should have been picked up and hauled off to jail immediately.

1of3

To concerned sister, your sister has had my prayers since I first started reading about this fiasco. This school board went on a witch hunt and targeted her. They were prooven wrong several times and kept up there assault on her. Yes, I do believe it is a type of assault and I do hope the school board members who are responsible for all of this are held personally reliable. Im surprised they didnt try to make her wear a scarlet letter when she returned. I will continue to pray for Monica and her family. She is a strong woman and I do not know her, but I feel so proud of her that she has stood up to them and fought for what she knew in her heart was right.

ref

Correction to QCT article:
The QCT said, ".... She appealed her termination to the Iowa Supreme Court and won earlier this year, returning to work April 23."

Ms. Rouse did not appeal to the Iowa Supreme Court, the board appealed to the Supreme Court.

Ms. Rouse was fine with the administrative law judge's finding, reinstating her.
She was fine with the Cedar County district court's ruling, reinstating her.
She was fine with the appellate court's ruling, reinstating her.
The board is the party prolonging this to the Supreme Court and ultimately to this ruling.
It is possible they could try to appeal this contempt ruling. But, sooner or later they will realize they have lost.

Their last gasp is the complaint to the BoEE. It was filed in March, I think. In theory the BoEE never says anything unless the complaint is scheduled for a hearing or reports a sanction. It usually takes 4-6 months, so that time has arrived. The longer this goes without comment from the BoEE, the less likely anything will come of that.

KAQ510

Think of the wasted tax dollars because you know that these school board members didn't foot he bill on all of this.
Is this called government wastage?
Great job Judge Smith.
Now Durant can use their tax dollars to tear up their streets like Davenport.

concerned sister

Thank you to the Judges, attorneys and those closest to my sister! She deserves the support. It's been a difficult journey for Monica and her family. She stands by her convictions, displays integrity and maintains her GRIT. Perhaps each of you who have been critical of her would like to walk in her shoes. I'm quite certain you would fall apart in dispair. Shame on you!

blindasbats

WELL SAID "wildcat 11" I COULDN'T OF SAID IT BETTER MYSELF!!!......and "Durantee" I too am from this town and in my circle of friends, the people on the school board (past and present) are NOT well respected.
Bark DID make this mess. Bark HAS made his new school a mess, doing the same things. Bark (and Blahosky) DID make a LOT of good people leave this school system/community. Bark also helped our new supt. get an interview. He also was a classmate of Bark's at some point of his career, so he is well informed of "the Bark agenda".
Mr. Neumann may be a good principal to your kids but he tends to play favorites. He took the job knowing what might happen and it has. I hope he enjoys doing Mrs. Rouse's research job.
My hat goes off to Mrs. Rouse and her family for surviving this. I truly can not imagine what they have gone through. She was very respectful to my kids as they went through the Durant school system.
We are innocent until proven guilty and she was NOT proven guilty. Not once! Read the documents; I have. All of them.
So Mr. Bark, "What goes around, comes around". Maybe it's your turn now. Hopefully there will be a court date for you personally back here in the Quad Cities--soon.

the old ranger

Just change the name of the town to "Aintry" and everything will be just fine.
if there a river nearby change that name to the "Cahulawassee River"
I hear Banjos!

mondaymorning

Monica 10, School Board 0. How high are we playing?

wildcat11

If you are said to be guilty of something that you believe you are not, you have the right to fight it. Monica did and she has won at every level. You see Monica did things that others who have left didn't do. She stuck her name out there, put her family through the grief and heartache and perhaps turned many in the community against her. All because she stood up for her rights! She was accused of something she didn't do! She fought it and WON! Is this really that difficult to understand? From the inside, it was clear to see that this was coming for a year prior to it actually happening. It was a matter of who it was going to happen to! Which teacher or administrator was going to take the hit? Perhaps many teachers, coaches and aides left simply because they didn't want to be in the cross fire. The board is absolutely 100% to blame! They had the opportunity to sit down and talk to past teachers, community members, family members, etc. and they chose not to. THEY FAILED TO DO THEIR JOB! They even chose not to attend the first hearing before the administrative law judge. THE BOARD buried their heads in the sand! SHAME ON THEM! They should be fined! They should spend time behind bars! Remind me where is the individual that they blindly followed into this freaking mess? Oh yea, he's left! This is in no way shape or form Monica's fault! She fought for what she believed and I hope that everyone of us would teach our children to do the same! THE JUDGE MADE THE RIGHT RULING TO START POINTING THE FINGER WHERE IT BELONGS... THE SCHOOL BOARD! SHAME SHAME SHAME ON ALL OF THEM!

ref

Senor Citizen said, "sad that over half the town will now be in jail."

: )

MamiBear,
I have read all the QCT articles. I have read all the court documents.

It sounds like you have no first hand knowledge of any events, but rather you are putting your trust in a group that has a vested interest in ruining the reputation of Ms. Rouse -to lower the possible damages in the future law suits.

All objective outsiders have exonerated Ms. Rouse. Maybe it is time to re-evaluate if your trust is misplaced or not.

TruthOnlyBeTold
TruthOnlyBeTold

Do they still have the Durant Polka Fest?

senor citizen

Sad that over half the town will now be in jail.

durantee

how do any of them think they are above the law?? they are all working familys of durant community.

have any of you even to taken the time to notice even the names in this article ARE NOT correct. those are the old members of the board. the people that are being held in contempt are not all listed. so from the freaking get go these reporters are making up what they think is going on....have any of you ever been to durant??


Monica has trashed and dragged the towns name through the mud. idc what any of you hiding behind your computer screens think is right or wrong if you have ever met the women is not respectful at all. i went to durant and so did my family. monica treated me and my siblings like garbage.


IS ANYONE WORRIED ABOUT THE KIDS??? this is all about money and "sticking it to the man" because you think these people didnt do their job. remember they signed up to try to restore some order in the district after she left for a short while...the board that fired her is not the board facing these charges. these are ALL RESPECTED members of durant and the paper can't even get the names correct yet all of you think everything they report is correct???


I love the town of Durant and i am VERY proud to say i live and work in this town.
Monica should be ashamed she has tore this town apart!!!


Even if they have to serve time just let it be. its annoying to sit here and read comments from people this DOES not effect your day or your paycheck so leave your comments to yourself. please.

1of3

If you do not like the comments do not read them. People have a right to their own opinions and a right to voice them. It is not just the matter of them firing her. It is that the members of this board continued to disobey court orders to meet their own agendas. The people of Durant should be angry with this board, think of all the money that they wasted. All the money that could have been used to better the education of the children. It does affect everyonebecause the schools are funded by the state and federal governement with all of our tax dollars.

Bobaloo

And, I might add, they also have the freedom (not necessarily a legal right) to organize their own protest and buck the court order. Which is where the protest, the sit-in bit comes in. They're acting virtually like this ... anti-war protesters during the Vietnam War, where the school board burns the court order down on Main Street (instead of the draft cards Merle Haggard once sang about). "And I'm proud to be a WIldcat from Durant-ee. (Tell it like it is!)"

"We ... we shall overcome! We ... we shall overcome!"

As the outsider looking in, yeah, I too want to see this drama put to an end. The preferable way is for Monica Rouse to accept a payout and move on. (Yeah, I think she's got a future in education administration. Someone out there wants her for her talents. It's clear the guys in charge in Durant don't want her in Durant sorry to say. But 'tis the way it goes.)

But that has not happened. She was exonerated many times in court. No matter how many times the court has said, "Yes you will," it seems there are some who are trying to say, "No, I won't." Like a bullheaded 3-year-old boy throwing a tantrum when he doesn't get his way (and my 3-year-old nephew IS better behaved than that, FTR) ... this is how some of the powers-that-be are acting, be they on the school board or in the superintendent's office.

And MamiBear -- I've still yet to see what it was that Monica did that was so wrong that she deserved to lose her job. What was it? Where are the reprimands, personal-improvement plans, documentations of alleged poor performance, examples of her egregarious mistakes, depositions from employees who did believe she was a bad administrator ... WHERE IS THIS??!!?? Why was this not presented in court? (And bull-oney if "they weren't allowed to! They would have ... .)

What was that one thing she did? Was it something that was REALLY wrong, that went far and beyond the accusations that were presented to the school board and in court? Tell us. Obviously, you know something.

Come out or be a coward.

"We ... we shall overcome! We ... we shall overcome!"

TruthOnlyBeTold
TruthOnlyBeTold

Last time I checked, Durant was part of the United States of America and the State of Iowa...which means their citizens are entitled to their day in court, just like every other place in this country. Durant is not an island, allowed to make up it's own laws and rules. You say the board members are all respected members of Durant. Are they so "respected" that you feel their decisions are ABOVE the law? The Durant School Board was given a court order...they chose not to obey that order...so now the court has given them two options, obey the court order or go to jail and pay a fine.

Why is it you blame Monica for all this when multiple courts say she is in the right? Why should she be the one to back down when the courts say she should have her job back? Please do not place the blame for this on Monica for standing up for her rights. Blame your school board and superintendent for not following the legal court order.


lost in crazyville

This effects every Iowa. I am also a Durant citizen that works here. You think that Monica is at fault, what about all his other victims. Just because she choose to fight after he had done this and other things to several of her staff members and other school employees, does not make it her fault.Let me give just some of their names, specifically Tom McCleery, and C.J. Case both of these men where good, solid, hard working, school employees, that volunteered their time and money on the kids, but neither of them got along with him so he went after them. Both of them have moved out of the district and do not work for the school anymore both are volunteering/working and giving their time and energy to other communities that appreciate them and we are the ones that lost and these are not the only two. People have no idea the depth of his depravity and he was a very good liar. Which is why people still believe him, when the he had NO evidence to his accusations and that is what the courts found. They even went so far as to call him deceitful in court documents. It amazes me that people in this town still think he was telling the truth when he did so much damage to so many of our teachers and coaches. People need to but two and two together. Can you really still believe that the courts and all the people here in town have kept some kind of secret as to her wrong doings or all the other people he chased off or fired? Nobody keeps a secret in this town, especially a juicy one. There is so much that he did and all people have to do is connect the dots. Sad that the board is unable to look at this with open eyes and not through the lens of lies he created for them.

ambrose13

Monica has not "drug Durant through the mud." Monica has tried to clear her name against repeated accusations of wrongdoing when none ever occurred. If she treated so many individuals "disrespectfully" and "like garbage", there wouldn't be numerous judges exonerating her behavior as a principal. If Durant has been "drug through the mud" as you put it, it is from their faulty and incompetent representation as well as the board's compliance with such illogical requests from their counsel. Regardless of attorney instruction, the board should have had enough sense to obey a court order.

If you're a proponent of Durant, fine. But to comment with only your irrational and emotional feelings when there are findings of fact that support the other side is silly. And to boot, it is hard to coincide with you when half of your post lack proper grammar and spelling. It looks like Durant really served you well.

TruthOnlyBeTold
TruthOnlyBeTold

It's nice to know that small town politics do not extend to district judges. The school board needs to submit to what the judge ordered and put this behind them. If they are unable to do that then they should do their jail time, pay their fines and then RESIGN!

Durantres

Mamibear I must ask you now if you think all of the judges are that dumb and wrong??

bbbiker

I love it when people who think they are above the law get a reality check! They don't even care about the money they have wasted just to feed their vindictiveness. But since it's not their money it's no surprise. My question is, Why haven't they been voted out of office for their blatant disregard for the tax payer's financial burden in all this? It's obvious they are more concerned with their own issues in this than those of the students and the community! Id' like to see them have the guts to ignore the judge now!

RWBETT

Way to go Monica!! It has been far too long, far too expensive (with the worst yet to come), and far too dramatic for this ordeal to come to this. Simply put, the Board either needs to buy her out, or more appropriately, put her back in her job without any restrictions. Due to the Board's (or actually, Lane and Waterman's) ignorance and stupidity, the district is on the hook for two princpals' salaries. There is futher litiagation pending, so the district will need every penny saved to pay for this debacle. I hope MamaBear is ready to pay with her tax dollars - Monica did nothing wrong, as proven repeatedly in the courts.....so your "majority of the community" (likely three of your relatives) are as ignorant as the Board. Shut up and pay up.

MamiBear

Ref, I am unable to find the first article QCT's produced regarding this fight since it has gone on for so long. However, I cannot believe that the original reason Monica was fired could be backed up by 2 superintendents as well as 2 generations for extremely diverse school boards, only to be rejected by the judge. Half of our current school board started as "Pro-Monica" but changed their tunes once they were fully informed. So, are all of these people really wrong, or is Cathy Cartee just an excellent attorney compared to that of the Durant School Board?

lost in crazyville

They changed their tunes when the lawyers told them how much it was going to cost the district and that they are the ones in the hot seat for it. Do you really believe that if they had anything on here in this small town that we would not know. Come on they would tell there families and so one. Plus bring it up in the courts! This was a bunch of lies that Duane Bark told to get her out of their, and he did it to Mr. Case and several other teachers, but they just left instead of fighting. You should ask Mr Case about what he did to him!!! Have you not seen the turn over, and all the stuff that when on just before and after she was fired, like the football coaches, do you think every one that was working for the school was doing things wrong? NO! it was him and his agenda and now the new school board found out there is no way out of this mess and the new super is a Monica hater, he was hired by Bark!!! and lawyers want our money they are not our friends, they give the district bad advice over and over and we still trust them!! come on!!

Bobaloo

Well, the school district did have ample opportunity to provide evidence to prove Monica Rouse was unfit for her job ... and it was shown to be not credible by several judges.

Now, I am sure you must be on the side of the fence that suggests local control rather than running the school board from the courthouse. If that is what you believe is the case, then perhaps you can vote against retaining the judges who voted to restore Monica Rouse to her position, assuming they are up for retention.

After all, if we can remove judges for their controversial decision to uphold same-sex marriage ... then we can politicize how this case might influence how school boards make personnel decisions, particularly on employees they believe are unfit to hold their current jobs. This seems to be what your opinion is.

I will agree: From what I know about Mr. Neumann, he is an excellent teacher and probably also an excellent administrator. I just feel bad for the spot he's been put in, because I know he's a proud Durant graduate and wants to serve his school the best way he knows how.

I also agree that perhaps a buyout and an amicable settlement should be in order. And then Monica Rouse can try to move on. However, I find it hard to believe she was so bad of an administrator that she can't get a job anywhere ... even in a "poor" school district that is struggling to find even a mediocre administrator. I, too, have been waiting all this time to get a full accounting of everything she supposedly done wrong – so if someone wants to come forward with evidence and talk to a Times' reporter, please, do so.

And, if YOU (pointing my finger in your chest, poking your belly button) know something, MamiBear, please, tell us.

Bobaloo

Like I said, MamiBear: "We ... we shall overcome! We ... we shall overcome!"

Would you like to organize the sit-in to defend the school board so the police can't get at them to take them into custody and go to jail?

I bleed Black and Gold

If you believe all the tripe that Bark and the board fed you then I have a bridge i'd like to sell you!

bailaw
bailaw

Not just one judge, several. If the board was "fully informed", it was lied to, then given poor legal advice. The members can still avoid the jail sentence if they do as the original judge ordered, restoring Ms. Rouse to her position as principal.

My guess is they will continue to resist, costing Durant and Scott County taxpayers even more money, with the same end result.

You might ask your favorite board member how close they are to the insurance cap for legal fees, and who pays once the insurance company is done.

The Bucktown Kid

What a shame. What kind of example are we showing the children? Grow up!

Durantres

@Mamibear you claim Monica broke rules, but please explain to me what rules she broke? I was on the inside in this matter and I can assure you in that case their were no rules broken, as accused. All of these accusations are against her, but there is absolutely no proof and she has been found innocent. The only rules and laws that have been broke are by the school board members.
Also if you read the ruling, you will see that it says on pages 11-12 that if she is reinstated back to her position with all of her duties than the board members can get OUT of the JAIL TIME AND FINE.
As a Durant resident I can also say a majority of people I speak with are not in agreement with this mockery of school board and superintendent.
Superintendent Bark and the school board members are the only ones to blame for this.
Way to go Monica!!

MamiBear

"As a Durant resident I can also say a majority of people I speak with are not in agreement with this mockery of school board and superintendent." -Durantres

I said that the majority of this town wants to eliminate the drama and keep with focusing on the education of our children. Our school has been torn apart. Now she won. Now she needs to move on and let us heal.

why move on? She earned the right to her job, and the majority of the town wants her to be in charge. Apparently you are one of the school board members behind this debacle? Or Bark?

You stated she broke the rules 3 hours ago. What rules were broken?

"Mrs. Rouse continues to make a mockery of our school. Move on Monica. You broke the rules. Now you destroyed our school. Our school is torn apart but you got your way. Move on Monica." MamiBear

ref

MamiBear,
Which rules did Ms Rouse break? Not being part of the high school system, I am not sure of the things she did. Please tell me.

MamiBear

This makes me sick to my stomach.
My children attend Durant School. I am 100% behind Principal Neumann who has shown his best interest is in the children. I am also 100% behind the Durant School Board who represent the majority of the community in wanting to eliminate the drama and keep with focusing on the education of our children. Now our School Board is going to jail and getting fined all because Mrs. Rouse continues to make a mockery of our school. Move on Monica. You broke the rules. Now you destroyed our school. Our school is torn apart but you got your way. Move on Monica.

6561

MamiBear - You might want to take a little time and read through ALL the court documents. This makes what?? the 5th Court to say Ms Rouse is NOT in the wrong --- and never was. Duane Bark is the one that started all of this and our idiot Board members that couldn't figure out that Bark reported to them, not the other way around. Bark convinced them that Monica was a bad person. And now he's doing the same thing at the school he's at now - three times in a row he screws over the communities and then leaves. I don't think the Board "represents the majority of the community" either.
I have nothing against Tony Neumann - he was a very good math teacher and probably a good principal but the BOARD was wrong in hiring him to a permanent position when they were still in court proceedings.... once again Bark saw to it that Neumann got a 2 year contract as a first year administrator - that's not how it is usually done but our Board members weren't smart enough to stand up to him so now everyone has to pay.
Ms. Rouse deserves a huge settlement for all the pain and suffering she's gone through for something she never asked for. Monica didn't make 'a mockery of the school', she simply stood up for her rights - and did it the right way. Our Board and Supt's have chosen not to follow the law.... you say Monica is making a mockery of our school -- I would say it's the School Board and Supt's making a mockery of the school. They're the ones showing the kids you don't have to follow the law .... so who's destroying our school? Once again - PLEASE READ ALL THE COURT DOCUMENTS before you make your comments.

ref

The QCT said,"The combined annual salaries of the two principals cost the district $155,000."

This is the reported salaries.  IPERS adds another $13,400 (8.67%); workmans comp=$2,000 (Ia Workforce table); inusurance at who knows, but it ain't cheap; annuities; social security=$9,600 at 6.2%.  It keeps on rolling.  And this is for three years.  

     Then there is the clerical time, the copying costs, the travel costs, the costs to post and hire, the additional time the administrators/staff spent doing this instead of other things, the sub costs for staff to testify, prepare for the hearings.  The travel, lodging, food for supoenaed witnesses.  The paper/ printing/mailing costs. The heating/cooling/lighting costs to maintain buildings beyond normal to meet and  prepare.  The additional custodial time for extended meetings.

Then we have . . . The legal costs................. Theirs and hers . . . . 

Then ..... The buy out costs.

To keep the district solvent, they may just bite the bullit and have Ms. Rouse be principal till she retires.

As this morass draws to a conclusion, at least one would hope, it may be time for the QCT to do a little investigative work to see what this has cost in total; including all actual dollars, and man/woman-hours. Costs is one of the recurring themes in the comments of the readers.

1of3

Good for this Judge,, about time someone show these fools that they are not above the law and they must follow a court order just like anyone else. I wonder how high and mighty they will be feeling once they have completed their 30 day jail sentence.

ref

This is sad. I am sure few, if any, of the board members have any legal training. I assume they were following the advice of their legal counsel. Unfortunately, even those of us on the outside saw their actions as a losing proposition. In order to save face, or possibly a massive lawsuit, they refused to use common sense or even a moral compass. Instead they continued to try to belittle and besmirch Ms. Rouse. They are truly deserving of this and more.

Now, do the sensible thing, that should have been done three years ago (for a lot less then), buy her out. Settle

petersvillerocks

WOW!!! The wheels of justice grind slowly but they do grind on. Good for Monica!!! Good for the Judge!!! This is why we have courts & laws. The average man or woman won today. This will make national news for sure!!! It'll at least be the top story on the ol KWQC!!!!!

Bobaloo

"We ... we shall overcome! We ... we shall overcome!"

Remember that song that was made famous during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s? They sang it at every sit-in as police were champing at the bit, trying to take protesters into custody for exercising their basic human rights.

Me wonders if a sit-in of this magnitude will occur in Durant? Y'know, the board members deciding to continue to thumb their noses at the court order, saying, "We ain't goin' to jail ... " (much like C.W. McCall said, "We ain't gonna pay no toll") in his famous song "Convoy" and then they sit in the board room, daring the police to take them into custody. And when the police officers DO start to handcuff them, they resist, just like the protesters of the 1960s did when officers tried to arrest them ... war protesters, who were literally carried off by six officers and they still fought.

Betcha this is what's going to happen. I'd bet the farm on it – Durant School Board members being carried off like war protesters of the late 1960s, screaming like "Rain Man" (in the airport scene) as they're being taken to jail to serve their 30-day sentence.

Then once they do go to jail, they begin a hunger strike ... to protest the court order demanding that they restore Monica Rouse to her principal's job. Anything to make their point that THEY DO NOT WANT TO WORK WITH THIS PERSON IN THIS JOB, OR SEE HER GET ANY JOB IN EDUCATION ANYWHERE!!!!!

Right or wrong – and the courts have proven them wrong – they must think the courts have overstepped their boundaries and they must think that Monica Rouse is the epitome of a bad educator. This is what I'm sensing. They must think and truly believe that – along with the current and former superintendents – they had overwhelming evidence that Ms. Rouse was unfit for her job, that she did things completely wrong and so forth ... and the courts for whatever reason found their assertions non-credible or nonsense.

If that is the case – that this is a case of one or more board members believing the courts are interfering with their control of who is the principal at their school – then why doesn't one of them run for the state legislature and influence their fellow lawmakers to reduce the court's role?

Why don't we see Durant school board members and other administrators grow some balls and have some guts, and challenge the judges that ruled against them, claiming they overstepped their boundaries. Bob VanderPlaats is doing so with the gay marriage ruling – campaigning to influence voters to not retain a judge that ruled in favor of gay marriage – so why can't Durant school board members join in a non-retention campaign to remove those judges that ruled against the Durant School District? C'mon, have some guts, produce a commercial and air it in the Quad Cities market, show yourselves as good, hard-working people and say that this is about local control over personnel and for the courts to not interfere.

Or are the courts right? It's time for you to decide – fight, or concede that the courts just might be right and – for better or for worse – it's time to stop fighting this thing, restore Monica to her job and to get on with educating students. (See, this is what I've been talking about over on the Davenport North football-related threads ... you sometimes have to know when to throw in the towel and stop fighting for a hopeless cause.)

As the outsider looking in, I'll know your answer once you either restore her to your job ... or we see you make that commercial portraying yourselves as law-abiding folks and/or see the newsclips on TV where you're being dragged off to jail much like civil rights and anti-Vietnam War protesters.

LouiseK

It is about time! They seem to think they are above the law. When there is a court order you are expected to follow it. The judge did the right thing.

Marc Twain

Cudos to this Judge. This school board has defrauded people of honest services and snubbed their noses at the appropriate corrective measures that were ordered.

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