A teacher was terminated from her position as a math teacher at a charter school and sued, alleging that she was fired because of her age.

The teacher began employment with the charter school in August 2009. One of her responsibilities was to teach an advanced placement (“AP”) calculus test and to prepare students in that class to take the AP calculus test. For the 2009-10 academic year, only one of her students passed. During the next academic year, she requested that the school offer a non-AP calculus class. The school agreed.

The teacher was observed the first week of the 2010-11 school year and received unfavorable feedback. She was observed again later in the fall and was asked to improve her performance. In February 2011, the teacher was informed that she would not be invited to return for the following year and was given the opportunity to resign effective at the end of the year. She did submit a resignation that was effective at the end of the school year; however, about a week after she submitted her resignation, the teacher sent an email to administrators and staff concerning the proposed course schedule for the 2011-12 academic year. The proposed schedule did not include the non-AP calculus class the teacher had proposed. The email sent by the teacher was declared unprofessional by administration and the school terminated the teacher’s employment effective May 17 rather than the effective date of her resignation.

The trial court dismissed the teacher’s lawsuit and she appealed to the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals observed that there are four things that must be proven to establish a possible age discrimination case: 1. that the person who filed the lawsuit was 40 or older; 2. that the person was qualified for the position; 3. that the person was terminated from employment, and 4. that the person was replaced by somebody younger than 40, or that younger workers were treated more favorably. The court noted that the teacher had satisfied the first three requirements – she was 64 years old, was qualified for her job and was terminated from employment. However, she was unable to meet the last requirement. She presented no evidence showing that her not being invited back was motivated by age discrimination, and the teacher who replaced her was 50 years old.

The Court of Appeals agreed with the trial court and upheld the dismissal of the lawsuit.