Sumner Teachers Win Lawsuit With School Board

News release from Sumner County Education Association:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Sumner County chancery judge ruled in favor of the Sumner County Education Association in its lawsuit against the Sumner County Board of Education in a lawsuit filed last year by the Sumner County Education Association (SCEA).
The lawsuit was filed as a result of the school board’s decision to impose a unilateral increase in Sumner County teachers’ share of their insurance premiums. The court ruled that the school board’s actions were unlawful and ordered the board to repay nearly $1 million in wrongfully withheld premiums to Sumner teachers. Those still working in Sumner County schools will be paid by a premium adjustment over 12 months beginning October 15. Teachers who have left the system are to be paid in a lump sum.
“This is an important victory for the teachers of Sumner County and the Sumner County Education Association,” said Dr. Alzenia Walls, Station Camp High School teacher and SCEA president. “The school board chose ignore its obligations to its teachers and SCEA, leaving us no other option than to file this lawsuit to stand up and fight for the benefits promised to teachers. We feel vindicated by this outcome and hope it reminds teachers they still have a voice in Sumner County.”
This is the second of two lawsuits filed by SCEA in 2011. The first lawsuit grew out of restrictions imposed by the Board of Education on the activities and communications of SCEA and its representatives. SCEA and Walls claimed that those restrictions violated the First Amendment and state law. In late December the federal court issued an injunction against the board of education as a result of those restrictions. Earlier this year, the Sumner County Board of Education approved a settlement of the first lawsuit.
“The resolution of these lawsuits enables SCEA and the Sumner County Board of Education to begin rebuilding our relationship,” said Walls. “We all want what is best for our students and teachers. Bringing closure to these matters allows us to all come together and work in the best interest of Sumner County schools and students.”

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