Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Hicks v. Richard (Cal. Ct. App. - Sept. 17, 2019)

It doesn't seem like a school principal -- any principal, and perhaps especially the principal of a Catholic elementary school -- should be saying things like this:

"As examples of making inappropriate comments and creating a hostile work environment, the letter stated Hicks "recently made the following statements in the presence of female faculty members at the School, and in some instances, either in front of children or toward children: 'she's like a dog;' 'nice legs;' 'look at her hips;' 'I don't give a shit;' 'he looks like [a] pervert (directed at an elementary student);' 'you are too fat to be a model (directed at a middle school girl),' and 'it is a shame you are having a girl (stated twice, directed at a pregnant staff member, and stated in the presence of female School employees).'" The letter also stated Hicks had commented on a female teacher's breast size in the presence of another teacher and had stated his hiring philosophy consisted of hiring attractive female teachers."

Yeah.  If he indeed did that, I could see why you might want to fire the guy.

The Court of Appeal holds that the letter at issue was protected by the common interest privilege, and hence that the defendant's anti-SLAPP motion should have been granted in its entirety.  Seems about right to me.

By the way, the Court of Appeal never names the school at issue.  It's the St. Mary, Star of the Sea elementary school, down here in San Diego County.  Pretty name.