Melanie Lemon, a former teacher for Williamson County Schools in Tennessee, was granted a partial appeal by the state’s Court of Appeals regarding a lawsuit that had been previously dismissed in which she claimed the district forced her to resign after she was “bullied” by administrators.
Lemon’s claims included wrongful termination, breach of contract, infliction of emotional distress and negligence of leadership. The appeals court allowed the wrongful termination claim to proceed. Both the district court and the appeals court ruled that Lemon did not have sufficient evidence of breach of contract and would be barred from pursuing any legal action with regard to negligent leadership or emotional distress because she resigned before she filed an official complaint with the district.
However, the state appeals court ruled that the claim of wrongful termination is applicable under the Teacher’s Tenure Act.
Lemon had been a second-grade teacher at Walnut Grove Elementary. She claims she was stalked, bullied, intimidated and defamed by administrators at the school and district during the 2015-2016 school year, specifically naming the school’s principal and the district’s superintendent and assistant superintendent.
The case goes back to an interaction Lemon had with a parent over a student’s behavior during “Back to School” night at Walnut Grove. The parent had reported that Lemon grabbed a student by the wrist while telling the student to stop their behavior. Lemon was suspended for three days without pay and had a surveillance camera placed in her room.
She later received significant community support from parents, students and teachers after she resigned.
For more information about how you can proceed with a wrongful termination case to protect your rights, contact an experienced attorney at Kardell Law Group.