$850,000 settlement ends Durant HS battle with its principal - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

$850,000 settlement ends Durant HS battle with principal

Monica Rouse Monica Rouse

DURANT, Iowa - Monica Rouse is no longer principal of Durant High School - again.  As KWQC was first to report, Rouse voluntarily agreed to step down Monday as part of a settlement agreement in which she will receive $850,000.

Rouse attorney Cathy Cartee tells KWQC morning anchor David Nelson that the $850,000 is in addition to $300,000 the school district has already paid Rouse in back pay.

Cartee says the $850,000 settlement breaks down as follows:

"Rouse will continue to be compensated for the remainder of this school year and for early retirement thereafter for 31 months.  The cost to the (Durant Community School) District for this will be $400,000.  In addition, a settlement in the amount of $425,000 will be paid by EMC Insurance Company and the District will contribute $25,000."

The settlement ends years of litigation between Rouse and the Durant Community School District that has wound its way all the way to the Iowa Supreme Court and at one point threatened school board members with jail time.

The case dates back to the fall of 2009 when Rouse was fired as principal.  Administrators alleged she changed records to allow some students to graduate.  Rouse denied the allegations, took her termination to court, and won her job back.

But when she returned, she claimed she was overtly mistreated including being given a back office and not being allowed to interact with students or faculty.  A Cedar County Court agreed and found the School Board in contempt.

That ruling stated that each school board member had to pay a $500 fine and spend 30 days in jail. But the ruling stated the school board members may purge themselves of the contempt by "restoring to Principal Rouse all of her duties, privileges, authority and rights that she enjoyed prior to her termination as principal of Durant High School."

A press release issued Tuesday states that "The Board takes this opportunity to recognize Monica Rouse as a dedicated and qualified school administrator."


Follow David Nelson on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/PdyVE3 and on Twitter http://bit.ly/MUP5yV


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