A high school teacher's contract was terminated for good cause by her school district. She appealed that termination to the commissioner of education. After the commissioner upheld the termination, she then appealed to district court and then to the court of appeals.

The facts underlying the termination showed that the teacher met with her principal after multiple students asked to be transferred out of her class. During that meeting, the principal directed the teacher to undertake rapport-building exercises with her students. The principal gave the teacher a written memorandum outlining the exercises, but the teacher refused to sign the memorandum and left the meeting without taking it with her. The teacher then filed a grievance against the principal. The district assigned an investigator to the grievance, and the teacher signed a confidentiality agreement in which she agreed not to discuss the investigation. The agreement specifically stated that “disclosure of information pertaining to this investigation may result in disciplinary action.” However, the teacher later asked a student detailed questions about what she said to the investigator and recorded that conversation.

The district terminated the teacher based on a finding that she violated district policy by communicating with a student about an internal investigation after she signed the confidentiality agreement. The court of appeals agreed and determined that she violated district policy by communicating with the student.