A school official who ledthe charge to fire an assistant superintendent for repeatedly criticizingschool management is shielded by qualified immunity, the U.S. Court ofAppeals for the Second Circuit ruled yesterday.

The Second Circuit, in McCulloughv. Wyandanch Union Free School District, 98-7274, found that InterimSuperintendent Anthony Pecorale had objectively reasonable grounds forfinding that his subordinate’s criticism was disrupting the school system,and that terminating his employment would not violate the First Amendment.

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