Georgia Association of Educators (GAE) member and former bus monitor, Miss MaeDell Clark is suing Floyd County Charter System for violations of the Georgia Whistleblowers Act after they wrongfully terminated her for her objecting to their actions in cheating bus monitors out of their fair wages.
Miss MaeDell is a kind senior lady who spent the last fifteen years dedicated to serving the children of Floyd County. Most recently in the past decade, she has worked as a bus monitor in her capacity as a licensed certified nurses aide providing care and supervision to children on the special needs bus.
During this time, Miss MaeDell raised multiple concerns that the bus monitors were being cheated out of their fair wages by not being paid for the time they were working. Last year, a student on the bus who suffered from severe behavioral disorders attacked Miss MaeDell, bruising her entire face and breaking her hand. In spite of her injuries, the school district told Miss MaeDell she had better not file a workers compensation claim and even tried to demand she stop wearing the hand cast that was healing her broken bones.
Last fall semester, Miss MaeDell continued to complain that she was still being cheated out of her fair wage and that they were shorting her on her timesheet. As a result, her supervisor called her into the office. Fearful she would be retaliated against, Miss MaeDell tape-recorded the conversation. At the meeting her supervisor informed her that they had checked her timesheet and that sure enough her paycheck had been short over one-hundred forty one dollars and fifty six cents. In the same breath, her supervisor also told her “But because of budget we are going to have to let you go.”
Said GAE Legal Services Director Mike McGonigle (or Miss MaeDell’s attorney Julie Oinonen)…. ”If they can cheat a bus monitor out of her fair wages and then wrongfully terminate her after she complains, what are they going to try to do to a teacher since the Superintendent’s law firm is arguing that charter systems shouldn’t have to follow the Fair Dismissal Act? This is exactly what happens when accountability gets thrown out the window. Fair dismissal hearings don’t protect bad teachers, they protect good teachers from being falsely accused, retaliated against, and wrongfully terminated. The fact that this charter system is trying to do away with fair dismissal hearings, salary requirements, class size restrictions, and teacher certifications—spells out even more trouble in the attack on public education.
We urge the community to contact your local elected officials and legislature to protect our educators and stop these wrongs from occurring.”