A Wise County jury has awarded a former Fort Worth school employee $2.4 million in damages in a wrongful-termination suit according to news reports.
Joseph Palazzolo, a former assistant principal at Arlington Heights High School, said he was fired because he reported falsification of student attendance records, inappropriate sexual relations and discrimination against minority students. Palazzolo started with the Fort Worth district as a teacher in 2007 and was promoted to assistant principal after one year, working with ninth-graders at Arlington Heights. According to reports, he had a “stellar” job evaluation in June 2009, but soon after he raised concerns, his June 2010 evaluation included negative comments, and he was transferred to Western Hills High School at a lower salary.
Palazzolo’s wrongful-termination suit was filed under the Texas Whistleblower Act, which a prohibits a governmental body from taking an adverse employment action against an employee who “in good faith reports a violation of law.”