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Morrison v. State Board of Education

California Supreme Court
461 P.2d 375 (1969)


Facts

Morrison (plaintiff) was a teacher at a California public school for several years. During that time, no one had complained about or criticized Morrison’s performance as a teacher. Morrison became friends with Mr. and Mrs. Fred Schneringer in 1963. Mr. Schneringer was also a school teacher in the public-school system. Morrison gave counsel and advice to the Schneringers during a period of marital and financial difficulty. For approximately a week in April 1963, Mr. Schneringer and Morrison engaged in non-criminal, homosexual conduct. This was the only time Morrison had engaged in homosexual conduct, and there was no indication that Morrison was more likely to engage in any misconduct while teaching. Mr. Schneringer reported the conduct to the local superintendent approximately one year later and resigned. Almost two years after that, the California State Board of Education (board) held a hearing to determine whether to revoke Morrison’s teaching credentials for unprofessional conduct and acts involving moral turpitude. The board revoked Morrison’s teaching credentials based on the single incident involving Mr. Schneringer. Morrision appealed to the Superior Court of Los Angeles County. The trial court dismissed the appeal, and Morrison appealed to the California Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Tobriner, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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