Tom Mickes and Betsey Helfrich successfully represented the Carthage R-IX School District in an appeal of a teacher termination proceeding before the Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District. After a hearing before the District’s Board of Education, the Board terminated the Director its Parents as Teachers Program for immoral conduct. The evidence at the hearing before the Board of Education revealed that the Director approved her subordinate’s trip to a jail nearly two hours away from the District to visit a Parents as Teachers client who was in jail awaiting deportation due to her illegal immigrant status. While at the jail, the Parents as Teachers educator solicited the adoption of the woman’s minor child. After reviewing the evidence, the Board of Education determined that the Director was aware of the illicit purpose for her subordinate’s trip to the jail, that the Director supported the visit with District funds, and helped conceal the true nature of this visit for nearly two years. The Board found that the Director’s participation in this matter defied the very spirit and purpose of the Parents as Teachers Program. The Board voted 6-0 to terminate the Director for her participation in the solicitation of adoption of a minor child.
The Director, a tenured teacher in the district, appealed to Circuit Court of Jasper County and then eventually brought the case before the Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District. Following briefing and oral argument, the Missouri Court of Appeals upheld the termination decision of the Board of Education. In June 2011, Ms. Homa’s application for transfer for review was denied by the Missouri Supreme Court.