Former School Officials, Employees File Suit

April 2, 2006 - Posted at 12:45 p.m. CST

HELENA-WEST HELENA, Ark. (AP) _ A former superintendent of the

Helena-West Helena School District has sued the district that

formerly employed her in an effort to be reinstated.

Joining former superintendent T.J. Graham in her federal court

suit are two former members of the district's school board and five

former employees of the district who had been hired by Graham but

were fired after the state took over management of the system.

Defendants in the suit are Arkansas Education Commissioner

Kenneth James and the Helena-West Helena School District.

The suit seeks reinstatement for Graham and the five former

employees, plus full back pay, compensatory and punitive damages.

The suit also seeks a declaration that the state's actions violated

state law and the state and federal constitutions.

The state took over the district last fall because of financial

and academic shortcomings.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)