The Sumner County Education Association filed suit in federal court against the Sumner County Board of Education on September 7, 2011. The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court in Nashville, alleges violations of basic First Amendment rights of SCEA and SCEA members, as well as violation of their rights under the Professional Employees Collaborative Conferencing Act of 2011 (PECCA). The suit names the Sumner County Education Association and Dr. Alzenia Walls, a teacher in Sumner County and president of SCEA, as plaintiffs.
â€œAs the new school year was set to begin with new state laws in place, the SCEA attempted to work with the Sumner County Board of Education and its new Director of Schools, Dr. Del R. Phillips,â€ notes SCEA attorney Rick Colbert. â€œSCEAâ€™s good faith efforts were met with responses designed to silence SCEA and its educator members, in violation not only of their rights under state law but also their constitutional rights.â€
â€œSCEA regrets that the school boardâ€™s hostile actions necessitate the filing of this lawsuit,â€ adds Colbert.
SCEA is an affiliate of the 52,000-member Tennessee Education Association. For a number of years, SCEA and the Sumner County Board of Education were parties to a series of collective bargaining agreements negotiated and ratified under the Education Professional Negotiations Act, which was repealed earlier this year with the passage of PECCA.
View the lawsuit here.