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Dismissal asked for Jackson lawsuit

February 19. 2013 8:48PM
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SCRANTON – Attorneys for the Dallas School District have asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit by former head football coach Ted Jackson Sr., who alleges his firing was retribution after he spoke out against the suspension of his son.

Jackson, 61, filed the lawsuit in September against the school district and school directors Catherine Wega, Maureen Matiska, Karen Kyle, Larry Schuler, Richard Coslett and Charles Preece. Jackson claimed in the suit he was fired as head coach when he responded to a reporter's question about the suspension of his son, Ted Jackson Jr., as a coach in the district.

Jackson Jr. was suspended as an assistant football coach for two games during the 2011 season after receiving unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in consecutive games. He stepped down as the high school's basketball coach in November 2011.

Jackson was quoted in a newspaper that he did not agree to his son's suspension and threatened to boycott the football game against Pocono Mountain on Oct. 22, 2011.

The lawsuit alleges school directors retaliated against Jackson by opening the position of head football coach in December. Jackson had been head coach at Dallas since 1984. He was awarded by high school principal Jeffrey Shaffer in 2011 with a satisfactory report as head coach, but was given an unsatisfactory grade by Shaffer after the 2011 season.

Attorneys for the school district and school directors, the law firm of King, Spry, Herman, Freund and Faul, of Bethlehem, recently filed a request to have the lawsuit dismissed.

They claim Jackson's lawsuit failed to address retribution by school directors, noting Jackson's coaching agreement expired at the end of the 2011 football season. Attorneys also claim the school district is immune from Jackson seeking punitive damages for which he is seeking in excess of $70,000.

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