Lawsuit Against Rutherford County Schools and Former Siegel Principal to Head Back to Court



A woman who sued the Rutherford County Board of Education, Siegel High School Principal Ken Nolan and administrative worker Martha Millsaps will see her case back before the courts in the future, although a date for the case has yet to be presented. Plaintiff Fonda Blair was employed as a teacher at Siegel High School in 2006 when she says the defendant’s inaccurately reported her students Tennessee Value – Added Assessment System testing scores to the state.  The test scores measure student growth within a particular set of subjects.

According to a Court of Appeals filing in Nashville, Tennessee, Blair contends the defendant’s violated the Education Truth in Reporting and Employee Protection Act of 1989. While the case did not move forward as anticipated by Blair in 2010, the case looks to be gaining some traction this week in the court of appeals. Blair said that after she filed her initial lawsuit she was denied the right to teach summer school on two occasions. Blair claims she was retaliated against (TCA 49-50-1409). The Tennessee Code Annotated that Blair contends was violated reads, “Any person reporting under this part shall have a civil cause of action against any person or employer who causes a disciplinary action or threat of disciplinary action against the reporting person.”

According to Judge Richard H. Dinkins, a portion of the trial courts original judgment has been respectfully reversed and several other aspects of the case have been affirmed.

Source:

Court of Appeals in Nashville, Tennessee
Case: No. M2012-00968-COA-R3-CV - Filed July 19, 2013 – Click to Read

49-50-1409.  Civil action against party causing disciplinary action against reporting person. 

  (a) Any person reporting under this part shall have a civil cause of action against any person or employer who causes a disciplinary action or threat of disciplinary action against the reporting person. An action commenced pursuant to this part may seek appropriate injunctive relief or damages for each violation of this section.

(b) A court, in rendering a judgment over a disciplinary action against a person reporting pursuant to this part, shall order, as the court considers appropriate, reinstatement, payment of back wages, full reinstatement of fringe benefits and seniority rights, actual damages, or any combination of these remedies. A court may also award the complainant all or a portion of the costs of litigation, including reasonable attorney fees.

HISTORY: Acts 1989, ch. 444, § 9.