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Teacher Tenure Act

February 28, 2020

Teacher Tenure Act

Case: Melanie Lemon v. Williamson County Schools, Et Al.

Facts: A former tenured teacher sued the county school board and three administrators for wrongful termination, among other things, alleging she was “bullied” and forced to resign. The trial court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss because the teacher had resigned and was no longer a tenured “teacher” under the Act.

Appellate decision: The intermediate court reversed the dismissal of the wrongful termination claim. The court recognized “there is no controlling law concerning the doctrine of constructive discharge in a wrongful termination claim based on an alleged violation of the Tenure Act’s provisions.” However, the court held that the Teacher “provided sufficient persuasive authority to prevent us from foreclosing the possibility that a constructive discharge could violate the Tenure Act.”

Review granted: February 20, 2020.

Prediction: Ben thinks the Supreme Court will rule against the Teacher by strictly construing the Act, as did the trial court. Although the intermediate court recognized a gap in the law that should likely be addressed as a matter of policy, the Supreme Court will hold that such action must be promulgated by the legislature.