A school social worker praised by Chicago Public Schools as a humanitarian for donating a kidney to a near-stranger has been fired because he lives outside the school district.
The Board of Education on Monday sent notice to Dan Coyne that he would lose his job after the school year ends in June for violating the district’s residency requirements.
“I got my Christmas present from the Board of Ed by email Monday afternoon,” Coyne said Tuesday with characteristic good cheer.
Coyne has lived with his family in Evanston since he hired into the district amid a shortage of social worker applicants in 2002 and has never hidden the fact he lives outside the district.
The district waived the residency requirement when Coyne hired into CPS in 2002 because of high demand for social workers, but put him on notice that he would have to move into the district during an audit of employee addresses in 2009, according to the Board of Education’s order firing Coyne.
Coincidentally, Coyne had been much in the news in 2010, when CPS began mailing notices to employees who lived outside the district. Coyne had donated a kidney to Myra de la Vega, a Filipino immigrant who worked as a cashier at the Evanston Jewel-Osco. Coyne and de la Vega had chatted often in the checkout line, and when she mentioned she was in need of a kidney transplant, Coyne volunteered to become a donor.
The Board of Education’s order notes Coyne had a waiver from 2002 to 2005, but he and some 800 other employees were told they would have to move into the district in 2010. Coyne thought Huberman had granted him a lifetime waiver of the residency requirement in 2010, the school board maintained Coyne’s termination was only delayed because the social worker hadn’t been given proper notice of the residency problem. Only the school board can grant a residency waiver, CPS spokesman Michael Passman said Tuesday.
Coyne, who now works at Ogden International High School, was sent notice in 2013 and told to move inside district boundaries by August 2014. When Coyne didn’t move, the board moved to fire him.”
Coyne said he will appeal his firing, but doesn’t want to move his wife and two children from their longtime home in Evanston, a large house that is close to their church. The house also has space for long-term guests, like Hurricane Katrina evacuees the family hosted for months in 2005 or the Northwestern graduate student now living with the Coynes.
Source: Chicago SunTimes