Georgia Education Lawyer Julie Oinonen won an appeal before the State Board of Education on behalf of Mrs. Cindy Williams, a Georgia Association of Educators’ member and one of the sole African American guidance counselors in Grady County School System in southwest Georgia who was wrongfully terminated.
Fortunately,the Grady County Board of Education agreed to award a $50,000 settlement as detailed in the front page of the Thompson Times newspaper. Along with the settlement, the Georgia State Board of Education granted Williams’ appeal, reversing the Grady board’s vote to terminate her employment.
Mrs. Williams’ attorney, Julie Oinonen of Williams Oinonen LLC in Atlanta, said of the settlement:
“We are gratified that the Board accepted the recommendation of their superintendent and fine lawyer which will help right the wrong that was done to Ms. Williams.”
“On behalf of the Georgia Association of Educators, this is a win for fair dismissal and the constitutional right of due process of Georgia educators,” Oinonen said. “All local boards of education should follow the leadership of Grady County in affording their charter school teachers fair dismissal and the right to appeal to the State Board of Education.”
Said Mrs. Williams: “This case shows how important it is to hold our community and school leadership accountable for the decisions they make. It is important for educators to know there is a system of checks and balances in place when they have been wronged. GAE provided me with the best counsel there is in Mrs. Julie Oinonen. The way my case was presented paved the way to victory. I encourage all educators to join GAE. Being a part of such a strong organization gave me the tools necessary to restore my professional reputation and score a win for the students of Grady County.”