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Charlotte schools settle lawsuit with ex-teacher

CHARLOTTE (AP) — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has agreed to pay an ex-teacher nearly $700,000 to settle his lawsuit claiming he was improperly forced to quit after he was accused of improperly touching students.

The Charlotte Observer reported the agreement ends a lawsuit where Jeffrey Leardini had been awarded more than $1 million by a jury.

The school district appealed and the case went to mediation. The settlement of $680,000 was paid last week.

Leardini was a sixth-grade teacher who says he was forced to resign in 2006 after five students accused him of improperly touched their thighs. He acknowledged squeezing shoulders, patting arms and heads.

The district also changed the reason Leardini left the school system. Leardini’s lawyer says he thinks the school has learned not to rush employees to quit amid allegations.

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