NC teachers group to file second lawsuit over tenure

Ann Petitjean and Stephanie Wallace (Lauren Carroll/Journal)

Ann Petitjean and Stephanie Wallace (Lauren Carroll/Journal)

FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. — Two Forsyth County teachers are among six plaintiffs planning to file a lawsuit Tuesday against the state.

The lawsuit, announced Friday, will be the second brought by the N.C. Association of Educators related to recent legislation passed by the Republican-controlled General Assembly.

Stephanie Wallace, an East Forsyth High School English teacher, is one of the plaintiffs challenging the constitutionality of the repeal of career status by the General Assembly during the last legislative session.

Annette Beatty, a Clemmons Elementary School teacher, is the other. Career status, known as tenure, was thrown out in place of a new contract model that allows for contract lengths between one and four years. When a contract ends, districts may now choose to not renew the contract for any reason.

Ann Petitjean, president of the Forsyth County Association of Educators, said the loss of career status takes away a teacher’s right to due process. Teachers deserve to know why they’re being let go and have the right to protest that, she said. Petitjean said career status does not protect bad teachers, as opponents of the practice have said.

On Wednesday, the NCAE and the North Carolina Justice Center filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the voucher program that would give public dollars to private schools in the form of grants for poor students.

By Arika Herron/Winston-Salem Journal

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