This link has the real updates:
Dec. 21, 2009:
The teacher has submitted to the court her statement of rebuttal against the school. This is accompanied by categorical documentation from the school year 2006-2007. These documents are from the administrators, teachers, counselor and parent themselves etc. (who wrote letters against the teacher). The letters contradict what they have written in 2009. The teacher has also provided documents which disprove some school-side claims that she has violated this law, that standard, this agreement etc.
Nov. 5, 2009:
Finally got a chance to meet with the teacher, and here is what’s new:
NOTE: If you are reading this and happen to be someone who wrote / or was asked to write something “in defense” of the school, you should know that whatever the school has told you, the teacher used / obtained documents given to her from her 2006/2007 files. In fact, she was not told she was going to be fired until December 2007. Back then, there was no intent of any lawsuit happening. Many types of mediation were sought and gone through and court was one of the last resorts–in terms of time, expense, and effort. Any letters pulled out and submitted for the case were out of pure necessity of proving the school administration wrong and for no other reason. They were all dated late 2006, early 2007, confirming the teacher’s case.
Last time, about a year into the court case, the school had not provided evidence to back up their claims that the teacher needed to be dismissed. There was no warning system, no standard evaluation, no formal complaints that led to the decision. Plus, the teacher had been renewed once before–after the year that was allegedly problematic. Thus, the judge had recommended ending the case early, but perhaps in a way that might not have been face-saving enough for the school, so, they opted to continue the case. Clearly, they would have to produce something now. And they have!
– The school has submitted the written statement of the other administrator, who the teacher in the past had named as one of the people she felt harassed by. Among other things, this administrator hopes to discredit the petition signed by 32 families, indicating that some parents thought they were signing a field-trip permission form! [Interesting that these same families were capable of making the decision to send their sons to St. Mary’s!]
– There is a letter from a parent, who had requested another teacher for her son before 2006. This request was lost by the administration, and so the parent pushed to make it happen early in the 2006 school year. Although the parent had the right to give any reason for the move, in October 2006, she only documented that she had made the request because she had planned that the other teacher would be a better match for her son. The teacher in this case has already submitted this documentation to court. The parent who did not have any dealing with the teacher beyond 2 months out of 2 years, now does not want to be caught dead or alive having a letter written in her defense. Her letter is dated October 2009, with “new information” about the real reason for the move (observations from the doorway, etc), was because of the teacher being a bad one. She writes about flashbacks where she remembers having coffee with other 3T moms who also said bad things about the teacher. Who were these unnamed parents? How can this be proven or not? Which statement will the court uphold October 2006, or October 2009?
-there are letters, mostly from the elementary teachers at St. Mary’s–these are all not translated into Japanese yet and are unoffcial. So we have to await their official status before commenting [otsukare-chan, Main Office Staff at St. Mary’s!]
– some letters from other teachers commenting directly about the teacher, but none of which are from people who actually set foot in the teacher’s class and watched her teach
– some letters, from, (and there is no other way to put it, “cronies” of the administration), who want to put their undocumented, unproven “two yen” of NEW allegations about the teacher down
– letters from some people who were clearly asked to support their employer vs. a woman they have not seen in a year
All said and done, it would be interesting to see if a company can justify firing a person who was given notice of being fired, by submitting letters written by company employees and stakeholders, 2 years after the fact–much of it new, and previously undocumented information.