Firm Secures Reversal of Baltimore County Teacher's Termination and Loss of Unenployment Insurance

Bill Sinclair and Chris Mincher of Silverman Thompson obtained rare reversals of agency decisions adverse to their client, a Baltimore County teacher terminated in April 2015 after a post he made on Facebook went viral. The post – “Just shoot them; Bowley’s Quarters hasn’t been in the news lately” – came in response to a post on a community Facebook page about three young African-American males seen walking around Bowley’s Quarters and came in jest in response to increased surveillance in the community after a number of recent crimes.

In response to the post, Baltimore County terminated the teacher, who was the inaugural Stemmer Run Middle School teacher of the year in 2013. Messrs. Sinclair and Mincher appealed the termination, which was affirmed by a hearing examiner acting on behalf of the County Board, to the Board itself, which took the rare step of reversing the examiner and finding that the teacher should be reinstated.

After being terminated, Baltimore County schools also sought to deny the teacher any unemployment benefits, a decision that was upheld in part by DLLR. Messrs. Sinclair appealed that decision to the Baltimore County Circuit Court which reversed, acting on an unopposed motion by the State Attorney General’s office to remand to DLLR and award the teacher all benefits owed.

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