Good Georgia Education Lawyer sued Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson and DeKalb County School District on behalf of our client for violations of the Open Records Act in relation to a fair dismissal hearing where a graduation coach was non-renewed due to a reduction in force.
The complaint alleged that Defendant Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson thwarted the Georgia Open Records Act by withholding the production of public documents: text messages contained within her DeKalb County School District issued cellular phone. The complaint also alleged that the Superintendent made representations that she would be willing to offer Plaintiff a job and 11 (eleven) other of Plaintiff counsel’s clients who had been “RIF’d” (laid off due to a reduction in force) in exchange for Plaintiff being willing to withdraw her Georgia Open Records Act demand for the Superintendent’s text messages.
As a “tenured” Georgia educator, the complaint alleged that the Plaintiff is subject to rights under the Fair Dismissal Act O.C.G.A. § 20-2-940 which provide her with the opportunity to be heard and to present evidence in a non-renewal hearing in front of a tribunal. Her due process rights are alleged to have been violated by a failure to disclose evidence and information concerning these factual allegations that are being withheld deliberately and without substantial justification by DeKalb County School District and the Superintendent.
The Plaintiff further contended that the school district unlawfully engaged in a pattern and practice of systematically and pervasively violating Georgia law O.C.G.A. § 20-2-948, through an arbitrary and capricious implementation of the Reduction in Force in violation of DeKalb County School District employees’ rights.