Teachers Who Blow the Whistle in Tennessee Deserve Protection
Attorneys advocating for teachers who expose governmental fraud in Nashville, Chattanooga, Memphis, and Jackson
Federal and state whistleblower laws are the prime way that the government encourages individuals to expose fraud against the government. Whistleblower laws were started to help disclose fraud in the defense department, but the laws have now been expanded to encourage revealing fraud in many sectors, including the education sector. Teachers who disclose fraud may be entitled to substantial financial recovery. At a minimum, they are helping to keep costs down and helping to protect our most valuable asset – our students.
At Gilbert Russell McWherter Scott Bobbitt, PLC, our Tennessee teacher whistleblower attorneys have over eighty years of combined experience helping individuals assert their rights. Our skilled lawyers know the relevant federal and state whistleblower laws. We also understand how important it is to make sure teachers are protected from any retaliation by schools or other parties for disclosing fraud. When teachers suffer retaliation, our firm brings retaliation lawsuits to protect them and to deter future misconduct.
Issues in disclosing education fraud
The law on whistleblowing in education is evolving. The Tennessee teacher whistleblower lawyers at the Gilbert Firm keep abreast of the changes in laws and relevant court decisions. Some of the education issues we advise whistleblowers on include:
- The right to bring a claim. It is not enough to assert that fraud occurred. The fraud has to be part of a whistleblower law. We understand the relevant federal and Tennessee whistleblower acts and provisions. For some whistleblower claims, such as those under the False Claims Act, additional procedural steps involving notifying the United States is required.
- Data manipulation. In recent cases, public school districts were accused of changing the scores on standardized tests. Some schemes were small and confined to one cheater. Others, such as in Atlanta, Georgia, involved a whole school district. The manipulation of the scores was a misrepresentation by the school districts of the levels of achievement of the students. These misrepresentations resulted in government resources being misallocated and fraudulent payments. Teachers and others in the education system may have the right to bring a whistleblower claim that reveals data manipulation.
- For-profit schools false assertions. Some schools make false promises about the successes of their students and other factors, such as the ability to transfer credits from another school. If it can be shown that the claim violates a federal or state law, the whistleblower that discloses the false claim may be entitled to a percentage of the recovery under the False Claims Act. Some of the laws that our Tennessee teacher whistleblower attorneys review for violations include:
- The Higher Education Act
- The No Child Left Behind Act
- The Race to the Top Program
- The Americans with Disabilities Act
- Retaliation. School districts and schools may be tempted to retaliate against educators who blow the whistle. The False Claims Act and other whistleblower laws protect whistleblowers by authorizing direct lawsuits against anyone who retaliates. Retaliation claims may also be brought under Section 504 and the ADA. Retaliation includes being fired, suspended, failing to get a promotion, or any adverse action not related to performance.
In Tennessee, the Gilbert Firm has recovered substantial sums on behalf of special educators who sought to protect the rights of children with disabilities.
Tennessee attorneys offering protection for teachers and educators who blow the whistle
The Gilbert Firm fights for any educator who takes a stand when schools report dishonestly or misrepresent their services. We help residents of Nashville, Chattanooga, Memphis, Jackson, and across Tennessee get advice and protection when they discover school-related fraud. To review your case with an experienced Tennessee teacher whistleblower lawyer, please call 888.996.9731 or complete our contact form.