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Posted by: Landry Butler on Sep 6, 2017

Head Comment: Corrected as follows: On page 4 of the filed opinion, in issue #2, the word "insufficiency" was replaced with "inefficiency"

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Richard L. Colbert and Kelley E. Strange, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Carlisa Elmi.

Attorneys 2:

Allen Woods, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Cheatham County Board of Education, David Bibee, Brian Chase, James Gupton, John Louallen, Kimberly Messer, and Dan Moore.

Judge(s): CLEMENT

This is an appeal of the termination of a tenured teacher’s employment pursuant to the Tenure Act, Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 49-5-501 and -515. The Cheatham County Director of Schools initiated these proceedings by filing a notice of charges recommending the termination of the tenured teacher on the grounds of insubordination and inefficiency. Following an administrative hearing, the hearing officer recommended dismissal. When the Cheatham County Board of Education voted to sustain the hearing officer’s decision and to dismiss the tenured teacher, the teacher sought review of the decision in the chancery court. The chancery court affirmed her dismissal, and this appeal followed. We have determined that the evidence preponderates against the chancery court’s factual findings and its conclusion that the teacher was insubordinate and inefficient as those terms are defined in the Tenure Act. We have also determined that the record fails to establish any basis for the dismissal of a tenured teacher. Therefore, we reverse the judgment of the chancery court and remand with instructions for the chancery court to determine the relief to which the tenured teacher is entitled for being dismissed without justification. This includes whether the teacher is entitled to back pay pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-5-511(a)(3) and, if so, in what amount.