by Sam Hieb
That’s the central question as attorneys made their respective cases in court yesterday. The issue? The Guilford County Board of Education’s lawsuit challenging the state’s teacher tenure policy:
Attorneys for both sides appeared in court Wednesday for a hearing on whether to grant a preliminary injunction. An injunction would protect the plaintiffs until the broader complaints about the law are resolved.
Districts have until June 30 to award new contracts to certain teachers who agree to waive the extra layer of job protection.
The plaintiffs say the law’s wording is too vague and that implementing the law as written leaves school officials vulnerable to litigation.
They also argue revoking tenure from vested teachers violates the state and U.S. constitutions.
…The state, represented by Special Deputy Attorney General Melissa Trippe, wants the lawsuit dismissed.
For a preliminary injunction, the plaintiffs have the burden of establishing that the law is unconstitutional, Trippe said. There is a high standard for doing that — one the plaintiffs did not meet, she said.
She also said school boards are not part of a protected class, like teachers, so they can’t sue.
Next week’s ruling from Special Superior Court Judge Richard Doughton will decide whether or not to grant a preliminary injunction which would allow GCS to further delay awarding new contracts to certain teachers who agree to waive tenure.