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Georgia Teacher Wins Professional Standards Commission PSC Ethics Case

Good Georgia Employment Lawyer secured a third victory for Cindy Williams in an ALJ trial prosecuted by the Attorney General. The ALJ’s (Administrative Law Judge’s) decision is below which reversed the Professional Standards Commission, also known as the Georgia PSC, which had sought to suspend the educator’s certificate for two years.

Cindy Williams had previously won her appeal before the State Board of Education reversing the Local Board of Education’s decision to terminate her. The Grady County School Board also ended up paying her $50,000 to settle all her claims. Preposterously and in spite of these two victories, the Georgia PSC still erroneously sought to suspend her teaching certificate.

Fortunately, Cindy Williams was a member of the Georgia Association of Educators (GAE). Oftentimes educators contact our law firm in tears because they joined the wrong teaching professional association instead of GAE and soon learned that their legal fees would not be fully covered. Other times, teachers will often ask: “Should I join GAE or PAGE?” Whereas PAGE has legal caps and limitations in terms of how much legal funding they will cover for a member’s case, GAE does not as it is the only teaching association in the state of Georgia that is the regional affiliate of the National Educator’s Association (the NEA) the largest labor union and teacher’s union in the country. As a result, GAE has the resources and weight as a powerhouse to aggressively fight on behalf of educators throughout Georgia.

In this day and age, where teachers are under pressure left and right and can be falsely accused of wrongdoing or retaliated for doing the right thing, it is absolutely essential to have the employment protection coverage.

More importantly, if you are in a situation where a student, parent, or administrator has falsely accused you of violating ethics and filed a complaint with the PSC, it is absolutely important that you obtain legal representation. Contacting the PSC investigator (who is often former law enforcement) and providing a statement without an attorney present is similar to speaking to the police after you have been arrested. Anything you say can be used against you. Thus, insure that you are represented by a competent education lawyer that has expertise in handling PSC matters.

Fortunately for Mrs. Williams she was able to secure three victories in a row. This most recent win insured that her employment and teaching certificate was protected. For more information on joining the Georgia Association of Educators, contact 678-837-1100. If you have questions about a PSC charge, you may contact our law firm at 404-754-0288.