Lawsuits filed against the Lafayette Parish School System are mounting, with more filed this week. About five current and former employees claim they were let go or evaluated unfairly. Joyce Haynes is the president of the Louisiana Educators Association. Haynes says the lawsuits are about employee rights. “What they said to us that we wouldn't lose anyone to act one this first year,” explains Haynes.
Legislation Act 1 Is a new state evaluation guideline that evaluates by test scores and observation. Haynes says if the district is using that to terminate and cancel employee contracts, then they're wrong.
“The new one started in July and it has a whole year to run. It's just wrong. So we have to right the wrong. We must protect the rights of our students and employees,” says Haynes.
Lafayette School Superintendent Dr. Pat Cooper agrees that if he's wrong then he'll make it right. “If we've gotten legal advice that wasn't as good as we wanted it to be and we made some mistakes then we'll correct that. We're going to give everybody their due process,” says Cooper.
Cooper says the new evaluation process has changed things, but not the overall philosophy behind a good education.
“We have 4,500 employees we've done remarkably well. We have 3 or 5 issues in terms of lawsuits. I'm going to let the lawyers tend to that. I think we made good decisions in terms of what's best for the children,” says Cooper
“The lawsuit is necessary because someone has used the new law,” adds Haynes.