Lafayette School Board sued by non-tenured teacher's claiming wrongful termination

Kyle Barnett Aug. 20, 2012, 12:00am

Superintendent Dr. Pat Cooper

LAFAYETTE – Two Lafayette teachers have filed suit against the local school board alleging they were wrongfully terminated.

Stephani Rogers and Shanita Scott filed suit against Lafayette Parish School Board and Dr. Pat Cooper in the 24th Judicial District Court on Aug. 15.

Rogers and Scott claim they were employed as non-tenured teachers for the Lafayette Parish School Board during the 2011 school year and received letters of termination before a new law took place allowing the superintendent to not provide reasons for the teachers' termination or an appeals process that would allow them seven days to provide a defense to the school board which would have ultimate authority on personnel matters.

Cooper, as superintendent of the local schools, is alleged to have applied the amended personnel law that allows him to act solely in the termination of employees before its effective date of July 1, 2012.

The defendants are also accused of employing the law retroactively to the teacher's performance in the 2011 school year rather than acting under the law in place during that school year and providing a reason for the termination or an appeals process as provided for in the previous law before its July 1 amendment.

The plaintiffs ask that the judge rule the law may not be applied to the previous school year and that they be recognized as current employees of the Lafayette Parish School Board without interruption in service.

Rogers and Scott are represented by J. Isaac Funderburk of Abbeville-based Funderbunk & Herpin.

The case has been assigned to Division J Judge Kristin Earles.

Case no. 2012-4460.

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