The legal battle between the Fort Worth school district and former Arlington Heights High School assistant principal Joe Palazzolo is like the Energizer Bunny –– it just keeps going and going and going. And now it’s going some more.

A Wise County jury awarded $2.4 million to Palazzola in 2014 after he filed a wrongful termination suit against the school district. School attorneys appealed the decision in 2015.

Judge Bill Meier of the Second District Court of Appeals in Fort Worth remanded the case for a new trial and cited “an error in the trial court’s judgment,” he wrote in a July 7 court opinion.

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In addition to reversing the trial court’s decision, the judge ordered Palazzolo to “bear the costs of the appeal.”

Today, a school attorney sent a congratulatory notice to board members saying the appeals court has “ruled in the District’s favor on appeal and has remanded the case back to the trial court for a new trial. This means that the district does not have to pay the plaintiff the former jury verdict amount of over $2 million and we get a new trial.”


  1. Jeff thanks for reporting this. It’s good to see something on the district back in the Weekly but there is so much more going on now that’s just as bad or worse. The former principal of the YWLA that was put on paid leave last year for misconduct has just been promoted to Director. This woman was abusive to teachers and students and is alleged to have outed students to their parents. For this she gets a raise and a promotion. Please look on the ciafwisd website for more information and please look into this. You are a good reporter and if you follow up on this you can do the community and the students of FWISD a lot of good. Please help.

  2. I followed this story in both The Weekly and the Startlegram….neither got it quite right. As a FWISD employee, far removed from this fight, but having a few insider sources, I’m pretty confident I have a grasp of the truth. And that is, that Palazzolo was about to be disciplined and/or fired for inappropriate behaviour, and was trying to divert attention from himself onto others. That’s not to say what he was attesting was not true or without merit, but that he was not blameless either. He just doesn’t deserve any money for his actions.

    • Obviously you were neither at the trial, heard the testimony, or reviewed the documents and in short, are IGNORANT of the facts. A Jury did not award him 2.8 million dollars because he was “about to be disciplined”. This was a myth floated by MJ and her staff. In fact, he had been offered a Principal’s position before he reported to first OPS, then TEA, on the attendance changing and sexual misconduct which WE TEACHERS had reported to him. It really pains me to read such ignorant comments. You sir do not “have it quite right”. You do all Teachers a grave disservice by spreading such unfounded CRAP. I suggest you go back and Re-read the material you claim to have been “following”. Obviously, you have no business being in a classroom (LINK or otherwise) with such low comprehension.

  3. One more thing: for having such a “grasp on the truth, how is it that you are unaware that he publicly stated he did not want the money but rather only sought reinstatement as the Commissioner of Education ordered? No coincidence you are parroting FWISD’s only defense. Something they always claim against Teachers/Employees who report wrongdoing.

  4. I can sometimes understand why folks get the details of the Palazzolo case/trial wrong. Locally, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, supposedly our community’s leading newspaper, has ignored the Palazzolo story for the privilege of cheerleading for FWISD. The Star-Telegram is now just a promotional rag for the FW Chamber of Commerce. Unfortunately, the Fort Worth Weekly has turned into a pussycat after basking in the glory of Lion-Hearted reporting by the venerable Betty Brink who broke the Palazzolo story and “rode it” like a seasoned rodeo champ! Tell the full story, Weekly. The Palazzolo case reveals ALL of the cracks in FWISD and the leadership in FW. A Whistle-blower like Palazzolo put his career and his family’s best interest on the line in an effort to make FWISD accountable—too bad that our local periodicals have not taken up the battle. In other cities, their newspapers, do.