Firings of 2 teachers at Iowa School for the Deaf will stand

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Two longtime teachers who challenged their firings from the Iowa School for the Deaf will not be returning to their jobs.

Judge David May has ruled that the Iowa Board of Regents, which governs the Council Bluffs-based school, had "just cause" to terminate 25-year teacher Tina Murdoch.

May's ruling overturned an arbitrator's decision that ordered Murdoch be reinstated. The regents had appealed that ruling, arguing Murdoch should be fired because of poor performance.

Murdoch's former colleague, Tricia Tighe, meanwhile, recently dropped a court appeal of her firing.

Attorney Raymond Aranza, who represented both teachers, says Tighe has found a teaching job in Arkansas and decided her firing is "not worth fighting over."

He says he's disappointed in the decision that upheld Murdoch's firing. Aranza says both teachers were popular with parents and students and that administrators unfairly second-guessed their teaching skills.