from the United States District Court for the Western
District of Louisiana
DENNIS, CLEMENT, and GRAVES, Circuit Judges.
BROWN CLEMENT, CIRCUIT JUDGE.
decide whether the district court erred when it granted
summary judgment against Appellant Lori Rayborn on her claims
of (1) retaliation under Louisiana state law and the First
Amendment, (2) deprivation of her liberty and reputational
interests under the Fourteenth Amendment, and (3) intentional
infliction of emotional distress. We AFFIRM.
worked as a nurse at Parkway High School
("Parkway") within the Bossier Parish School System
("BPSS"). Her children attended Parkway, and for
many years she achieved the highest possible performance
reviews for her service. In 2011, a diabetic student, HDC,
committed suicide because of her classmates' bullying. As
the school nurse, Rayborn had worked closely with HDC to
monitor her diabetes and provide her with medical care.
Rayborn documented fluctuations in HDC's glucose levels
and increased frequency of hypo/hyperglycemia in the months
before the suicide.
testified that she recommended to BPSS's 504
coordinator that HDC receive special accommodations,
but her suggestion was apparently ignored. Sometime before
the suicide, HDC informed Rayborn that she was uncomfortable
receiving a profile in the school's yearbook as a student
with a disability. Rayborn passed HDC's concern along to
the administration, and HDC was not required to participate
in the yearbook's plan. HDC later informed Rayborn that
her substitute teacher had forbidden her to monitor her
glucose levels in class. Rayborn brought this to the
teacher's attention and explained that HDC had a health
plan with which the school was legally obligated to comply.
HDC's teachers received emails from Rayborn, reminding
them of HDC's health plan and instructing them to print a
hard copy of the plan for substitute teachers. About a week
before HDC's death, Rayborn treated HDC for high glucose
levels. Rayborn took notes of all of her interactions with
her suicide, HDC's parents sued the Bossier Parish School
Board ("BPSB"). Rayborn's notes were subpoenaed
as part of that action. Bourgeois and Ginger Hughes,
Rayborn's supervisor, each met individually with Rayborn
to discuss the notes' contents before responding to the
subpoena. Rayborn explained that the school's failure to
put HDC on a 504 plan raised concerns.Rayborn expressed
other concerns and safety issues, pointing to a number of
"red flags" with the school's handling of
HDC's health needs.
end of these meetings, Hughes and Bourgeois's demeanors
had changed. They appeared "alarmed" and
"distant and distracted." Hughes said Rayborn's
concerns reflected poorly on the school system. Rayborn
claims that these administrators treated her differently
after the meetings. Bourgeois gave Rayborn "cold stares,
" avoided conversing with her, and was less talkative
around her. Rayborn overheard Bourgeois mocking her by
reading aloud in an effected tone a work-related email that
Rayborn had circulated to the staff.
also had problems with a medically-trained secretary,
Michelle Barger. Hughes issued a verbal reprimand to Rayborn
for one particularly bad confrontation with Barger that
occurred in front of students and parents, and Hughes
informed Rayborn that she had discussed an involuntary
transfer with Bourgeois. According to Rayborn, Hughes
specified that the reprimand was issued in part because she
did not give the administration "wiggle room."
Hughes further stated that Rayborn's practice of voicing
her concerns was becoming a problem and that she needed to be
the end of a school administration meeting addressing
medication management and documentation and other
health-related issues, a question was posed regarding whom to
contact in the event of a medical emergency. Bourgeois
announced that whether a nurse was present or not, any
response to a medical emergency should be referred to 911.
Later, a student passed out in the cafeteria. Nobody informed
Rayborn, who was in her office, until after 911 had been
called and other medical professionals had arrived on the
scene. Upset, Rayborn went to Bourgeois's office and
protested her exclusion from the medical emergency, arguing
that her absence jeopardized children's safety and lives.
Bourgeois said, "[w]e didn't need you" and
reminded her of the meeting in which she had decided 911
would be called whether the nurse was on campus or not.
Rayborn exited Bourgeois's office repeating,
that incident, Hughes reprimanded Rayborn again and issued
her a mandatory transfer to another school within the BPSS.
Hughes informed Rayborn that she agreed with Rayborn about
student safety, but she could not condone
"insubordinate" conduct. Rayborn's transfer was
effective immediately and she was not allowed to return to
Parkway without an escort.
found the transfer unsatisfactory. She was no longer at
Parkway with her children and she had a list of concerns
regarding the facilities at her new school. Rayborn's pay
and benefits, however, remained unchanged.
filed two grievances, but BPSB took no formal action. Rayborn
claims Hughes subsequently issued a false evaluation of
Rayborn, accusing her of excessive absences and failure to
complete a proposed wellness program. Within a few months of
the transfer, Rayborn resigned and found work elsewhere
because she "was afraid to go back. They had forced
[her] out of [her] job."
sued BPSB, and its insurance provider, Ace American Insurance
Company, as well as Bourgeois and Hughes in their official
and individual capacities (collectively,
"Defendants"). She claimed Defendants were liable
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for retaliating against her for
expressing her views about the administration's
inadequacies in handling various medical
emergencies-including the suicide of HDC-in violation of the
First Amendment. She also claimed Defendants impugned her
liberty and reputational interests in violation of the
Fourteenth Amendment. Finally, she claimed BPSB violated the
Louisiana whistleblower law and Defendants' actions
amounted to intentional infliction of emotional distress.
district court granted summary judgment in favor of
Defendants on all of Rayborn's claims. She timely
review "a grant of summary judgment de novo,
applying the same standard as the district court."
Rivera v. Hous. Indep. Sch. Dist., 349 F.3d 244, 246
(5th Cir. 2003). Summary judgment is appropriate "if the
movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). "In deciding
whether a fact issue exists, courts must view the facts and
draw reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party." Wilson v. Tregre, 787 F.3d
322, 325 (5th Cir. 2015). We "may affirm the district
court's summary judgment on any ground ...