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Washburn v. Kirk

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, Second Division

August 12, 2014

BETSY DEANN WASHBURN, Petitioner-Respondent,
v.
SHEILA LYNN KIRK, Respondent-Appellant

APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF BUTLER COUNTY. Honorable William J. Clarkson, II, Associate Judge.

For Appellant: Derrick S. Kirby.

Betsy Deann Washburn, Respondent Acting Pro se.

Nancy Steffen Rahmeyer, J. - Opinion Author. Gary W. Lynch, J. - Concurs in Result in Separate Opinion. Mary W. Sheffield, P.J. - Concurs. GARY W. LYNCH, J. - author of opinion concurring in result.

OPINION

Nancy Steffen Rahmeyer, J.

Respondent Betsy Deann Washburn, a middle school teacher (" Teacher" ), and Appellant Sheila Lynn Kirk, the mother (" Mother" ) of a middle school child, had a verbal confrontation at Walmart about Mother's child. According to both parties, the meeting was accidental as both parties were shopping there and ended up close to each other in the check-out line. Mother introduced herself and politely asked Teacher to talk to her about the child. Teacher, who was on her cell phone,

asked [Mother] to not talk to me, I was on the cell[]phone, and she said she tried to contact me at school and I wasn't returning her phone calls. And I

Page 832

said, " [Mother], I can't talk to you about this right now. This is a school matter. You need to make an appointment. Meet me at -- you know, contact me at school we can discuss it there."
And then she just continued to raise her voice, would not leave me alone. I asked her more than once to leave me alone. She kind of had me in a spot where I was in this spot where I was -- her family was behind me and I was -- my cart was there and she was kind of standing there, I couldn't get out and she just kept, you know, " You need to -- You need to talk to me." You're -- You're -- Basically, she was saying I had -- was mistreating her son and -- in class and that I needed to stop and that she had enough of me and she was tired of dealing with me and I wouldn't respond to her phone calls.

Teacher tried to get her groceries out quickly and Mother returned to her family but loudly continued to complain about Teacher not talking to her and treating her son badly in class. Mother did not follow Teacher out of Walmart and there was no further contact until the night of the parent/teacher conferences. Unbeknownst to Mother, Teacher filed an ex parte order of protection claiming tat Mother was stalking her; however, the order was not served on Mother prior to the school conferences. Mother was speaking with a teacher across the hall. When Teacher saw her, she shut her door and tried to walk out. Teacher testified that:

[Mother] said, " You have to talk to me.
And I said, " No, I don't. Please leave me ...

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