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W.Va. Supreme Court Rejects Tieless Teacher Case

March 9, 1989

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) _ A teacher fired for wearing jeans and no tie to class says he has no option but to wait on the outcome of a grievance after the state Supreme Court refused to intervene in his case.

The court on Wednesday unanimously refused former Point Pleasant High School math teacher Bill Webb’s request that it order him reinstated pending the grievance hearing.

Webb’s lawyer asked the court to overturn a Mason County Circuit Court decision denying his request to be reinstated while he challenges his dismissal.

Webb, of Gallipolis, Ohio, was fired for refusing to abide by a dress code prohibiting him from wearing blue jeans and requiring him to wear a tie. He appealed the dismissal to the state Education Employees Grievance Board, which conducted a hearing Jan. 27 but has issued no ruling.

Mason County Circuit Judge James O. Holliday on Feb. 21 denied Webb’s request for an injunction requiring the county school board to give him his job back pending the outcome of his appeal. The high court voted 5-0 against hearing the case.

″It seems they are very much concerned with keeping the grievance system intact,″ Webb said after the court’s decision. He said his next action would be determined by the state hearing examiners’ decision, which is due in early April.

Webb, a 20-year veteran of the Mason County school system, was suspended three times during the fall for refusing to wear a tie and dress pants to school. On Halloween, he was suspended indefinitely and was fired on Dec. 21.

In the meantime, he has applied for jobs at a manufacturing plant in Ohio and a college and has been doing odd jobs around his house.

″It it wasn’t for the frustration of dealing with these people, it’s been all right. I’ve done everything I’ve wanted to do since Halloween,″ Webb said.

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