Fired ESD Teacher Files $2 Million Lawsuit

IMG_0076A former special education teacher at the Northwest Regional Education Service District has filed a $2 million lawsuit against his former employer.

Michael Wright, who taught blind students, lost his job last September after officials said his teaching license had expired and he failed to renew it.

Wright’s lawsuit, filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court, claims the district retaliated against him for reporting “incidents and situations in which his blind students were subjected…to inadequate facilities or services in violation of the Rehabilitation Act.”

In addition to giving him “unwarranted performance reviews” and “directing him not to discuss inadequate services regarding blind children in the program,” the district discharged him from his job, according to the lawsuit.

Citing violations of state and federal laws, Wright, who is represented by Portland attorney Mark McDougal, is seeking his job back along with $2 million and attorney fees.

Update: A Washington County jury has awarded Michael Wright $970,000 in damages.

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The Oregonian – Wendy Owen (3/28/2011)