Lassen Principal Wins Freedom on Morals Charge
March 16, 1937
I. V. Funderburgh, principal of the Lassen county high school and junior college, today was freed of charges of immoral and unprofessional conduct in a ruling handed down by Superior Judge Paulson of Trinity county, presiding for Judge Ben V. Curler of Susanville.
In rendering his decision in favor of Funderburgh, Paulson declared that “the burden of proof was upon plaintiffs and under all the circumstances that exist here I cannot hold that sufficient charges have been substantiated to justify a dismissal (from his position) of this defendant with the probable resultant loss of his certificate.”
Funderburgh was accused of improper and unprofessional conduct with Miss Frances Dundas, a former physical education teacher at the school, and both he and Miss Dundas denied the charges of immortal conduct.
In the decision, Paulson declared “it should be observed at the outset that the charges made, if all were true, do not include acts which are commonly considered ads ‘gross’ immorality. The welfare of our schools’ demands that a high standard be maintained by our teachers, but the law has not declared that every trivial act or even every improper act may be made a ground of dismissal.”
Paulson also remarked that the evidence produced in support of the allegation came from “strongly biased witnesses,” and that it was apparent during the trial of the case that “the witnesses and parties alike had become involved in a bitter faction fight.”
The trial began March 15, and Paulson took the case under consideration on the afternoon of March 17. The decision was received here today by County Clerk Maude E. Tombs.
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