Listen Live
On Air Now
Philbilly
6:00am - 12:00pm

SARASOTA COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT OFFICIALS KNEW THEY WOULD HAVE A FIGHT ON THEIR HANDS WHEN THEY TRIED TO TERMINATE VENICE ELEMENTARY TEACHER DIANA O’NEILL.  NOW THEY KNOW IT WILL BE DECIDED IN THE COURTS.  THE DISTRICT SENT A LETTER TO O’NEILL AT THE BEGINNING OF THE MONTH TERMINATING HER EMPLOYMENT AFTER A STATE PANEL SUSPENDED HER TEACHING LICENSE FOR TWO MONTHS.  O’NEILL WAS ARRESTED BY VENICE POLICE BACK IN 2008 ON CHARGES SHE ABUSED SEVERAL DISABLED STUDENTS IN HER CLASSROOM, BUT SHE WAS ACQUITTED IN COURT.  THE DISTRICT TRIED TO FIRE O’NEILL AFTER THE TRIAL, BUT AN ARBITER RULED THEY COULDN’T BECAUSE THEY KNEW ABOUT O’NEILL’S BEHAVIOR BUT NEVER BEGAN PROGRESSIVE DISCIPLINE.  SHE WAS SUSPENDED FOR FOUR WEEKS.  IF THE SUSPENSION IS STAYED IN COURT, O’NEILL WOULD RETAIN HER JOB UNTIL A RULING IS MADE, WHICH COULD TAKE UP TO EIGHT MONTHS.