Supreme Court overrrules motion for rehearing

The Missouri Supreme Court overruled a motion for rehearing in a former technology coordinator's lawsuit against the Jefferson City School District.

The Supreme Court decided in January to uphold Tammy Ferry's employment termination by the district. That decision ran counter to two previous rulings from the circuit court and the appeals court.

Ferry was fired in 2019 after the district said she had violated student privacy by moving work files to her personal Google account, which the district said was a violation of FERPA. Ferry said she had moved the files for use in her case and hadn't shared them with others.

Ferry asked the Supreme Court to re-examine her case through a motion for rehearing. Ferry's attorney, Dennis Egan, explained at the time a motion for rehearing is a way of saying to the court they feel items were overlooked in the court's opinion.

Ferry's motion for rehearing argued the opinion misinterpreted FERPA, that it ignored previous related cases, and it overlooked Ferry's rights to preserve evidence for her trial, among other things.

On Tuesday, the court overruled that motion for rehearing.

"The Jefferson City School District stands behind the Missouri Supreme Court's decision not to rehear their previous ruling," the district said in a statement Thursday. "Since the beginning, our pursuit of this case has been a reflection of the district's commitment to protecting confidential student records. We believe the Court's decision is in the best interest of our staff, students, and their families."

Ferry still has another active lawsuit alleges retaliation, sex discrimination and a hostile work environment against the district, Superintendent Larry Linthacum and Director of Technology Joe Martin, her former supervisor, which is set to begin in September.

Roger Brown, a co- counsel for Ferry, said, "It's difficult to ever expect a court to rehear anything," but he had hoped it might re-examine the facts and circumstances.

Brown said Ferry's legal team is still prepared to go to trial for the other case, which he said will include litigation of the events prior to Ferry's employment termination.

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