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Court finds Kewaskum school district wrongly failed to re-hire teacher

WAUKESHA, WI (WTAQ) - An appeals court said the Kewaskum School District wrongly ignored an arbitrator's order to re-hire a teacher who was fired before the Act 10 bargaining limits took effect.

The Second District Appellate Court in Waukesha ruled Wednesday morning in favor of former special-ed teacher Linda Kiser. 

She was fired in 2010 for using physical force against students. She took the case to binding arbitration, which was eliminated when Act 10 was passed in 2011. 

By then, however, the arbitrator gathered evidence in the case. And in 2012, the arbitrator said much of the alleged force never happened, and Kewaskum officials were told to re-hire Kiser with back pay except for a 30 day suspension. 

The school district claimed that the order was mute because it came after Act 10 took effect, even though the firing came before. 

The appellate court threw out the argument, saying the arbitration was made when an existing contract was in force -- and therefore, the enforcement of the contract was protected by the Constitution. 

Also, the court said the school district ignored the finding that Kiser did not engage in much of the alleged contact -- and reinstating her does not violate the public policy that the new bargaining law intended.