United States District Court, D. Maryland
DEBORAH K. CHASANOW, United States District Judge
pending and ready for resolution in this employment
discrimination case is the motion for summary judgment filed
by Defendant Loyola High School of Baltimore, Inc. t/a Loyola
Blakefield. (ECF No. 26). The issues have been briefed, and
the court now rules, no hearing being deemed necessary. Local
Rule 105.6. For the following reasons, Defendant's motion
will be granted with respect to Plaintiff's federal
claims and supplemental jurisdiction will be declined with
respect to Plaintiff's state claims.
following facts are presented in the light most favorable to
Plaintiff, the non-moving party.
September 1988, Plaintiff began working as a Band Director
for Defendant. In March 2016, Defendant notified Plaintiff
that his contract would not be renewed for the 2016-2017
time of the non-renewal, James Katchko was the Chair of the
Performing Arts Department, John McCaul was the Assistant
Principal, John Marinacci was the Principal, and Anthony Day
was the President. Mary Thielen was the Middle School Band
in 2007, Plaintiff demonstrated work performance issues. For
example, in October 2007, Plaintiff forgot that he had a
class to teach on two occasions. Defendant subsequently
placed him on probation and temporarily withheld a contract
for the 2008-2009 school year. Plaintiff ultimately received
the contract. In 2013, Defendant instructed Plaintiff to
cease contact with the Business Office and, instead, to use
Mr. Katchko as a liaison following "disruptive and
accusatory  " behavior that "monopolized] the
time and resources of that office." (ECF No. 26-5). In
November 2013, Plaintiff fell asleep during class and Mr.
McCaul warned "that sleeping when [he was] expected to
be supervising students may lead to immediate
termination." (ECF No. 26-6) .
2014, Plaintiff sent a letter to Defendant to explain that he
recently learned that he had Lyme Disease and that
"[t]he only major symptom. . . was enormous
fatigue[.]" (ECF No. 26-19). Plaintiff offered this as
an explanation for falling asleep in the November 2013 class,
but explained that "since beginning treatment, the
symptoms and fatigue are completely gone."
the 2015-2016 school year, Mr. Marinacci reviewed stipends
paid to faculty members and decided to eliminate
Plaintiff's stipend. (ECF No. 29-4, at 4-6). Plaintiff
objected to the reduction of his stipend and explained that
he received the stipend because his "duties were well
beyond those of the ordinary teacher." (ECF No. 29-7) .
The parties dispute that point, and Defendant maintains that
Plaintiff's schedule was not longer than other teachers.
(ECF No. 29-4, at 5). Nonetheless, the parties agree that
Plaintiff received half the expected stipend amount.
August 28, 2015, Plaintiff met with Mr. Katchko to discuss an
increase in concerns regarding his course during the previous
school year. (ECF No. 32-5).
September 30, 2015, Plaintiff met with Messrs. Marinacci and
McCaul to discuss performance issues from the 2014-2015
school year and the creation of a Performance Improvement
Plan ("PIP") to assist Plaintiff in his efforts to
address the identified issues. (ECF No. 26-7; ECF No. 26-8).
October 2, 2015, Plaintiff e-mailed Messrs. Day and Marinacci
to say that he "may need to go on medical leave at some
point" because he was "having increasing difficulty
functioning[.]" (ECF No. 26-20).
the fall, Plaintiff made an arithmetic error on a purchase
order for the business office. Plaintiff asked his coworker
to double check his arithmetic to eliminate errors. Defendant
offered an Excel program with an addition formula to assist
Plaintiff with this task. Defendant explained how to
"increase the size and change the contrast to help with
vision." (ECF No. 29-4, at 10) .
October or November of 2015, Plaintiff assisted Ms. Thielen
with one of her classes and instructed the drum section
separately. When the students' focus lagged, Plaintiff
discussed locking them in the music room until they got it
right and discussed tasers with the students. (ECF No. 29-2,
at 22-25) . The parties disagree about the nature of this
conversation. Plaintiff maintains that his comments were
jokes, (ECF No. 29-13 at 2), and Defendant characterizes them
in a more serious manner.
received the PIP on December 3, 2015. (ECF No. 26-8) . On
December 18, 2015, Plaintiff met with Allison Panowitz, the
Human Resources Manager for Defendant, and "expressed
vague claims of workplace harassment and
discrimination." (ECF No. 26-22) .
Human Resources Department completed its investigation in
January 2016 and informed Plaintiff that it found no evidence
of discrimination. (ECF No. 26-22).
January 2016, Ms. Thielen provided evaluations to her
students and asked how they thought she could improve the
class. Some of the evaluations referenced Plaintiff's
earlier comments about locking the ...