Originally created 05/20/05

Teacher's suspension appeal is denied



A former Richmond County educator who was fired for refusing to teach a typing class has lost an appeal to prevent the suspension of her teaching certificate.

Brenda Wynn, who said the school district's actions left her homeless, will not be allowed to teach again in Georgia until May 16, 2006.

She was fired from her job as a business teacher at the alternative school in 2003 after refusing to teach a keyboarding class to sixth-graders. She also became irate in front of pupils and teachers, and she told the sixth-graders to call school board members to complain.

The Georgia Professional Standards Commission ordered a one-year suspension of her teaching certificate, which Ms. Wynn appealed as illegal.

But the teacher's actions were a violation of her contract, unethical and unprofessional, Administrative Law Judge Catherine Crawford said in her decision.

"Her unwillingness to admit the inappropriateness of her conduct toward her supervisors, co-workers and students supports the imposition of a serious sanction," the judge stated.

Despite being repeatedly informed by many authorities, including the commission itself, that she was certified to teach middle-grades keyboarding, Ms. Wynn continued to contend that she was not certified and refused to teach the assigned courses, the judge stated. Ms. Wynn was not persuasive in arguing that she had not refused to teach the course but was not given proper supplies to do so, Judge Crawford stated.

"She raised the issue only after asserting repeatedly and unsuccessfully that she was not certified," the judge said.

Ms. Wynn's appeal this year forced top Richmond County school leaders to appear in court in February to rehash the circumstances of the teacher's termination.

Ms. Wynn had said she was traumatized by the "illegal" firing in September 2003, robbed of unemployment benefits and left homeless. She testified that she was certified only to teach grades 7-12 and was not given proper classroom materials by Principal Wayne Frazier.

The principal said Ms. Wynn constantly was "disrespectful, abrasive and uncooperative."

Ms. Wynn missed a deadline to appeal Judge Crawford's decision.

She was granted indigent status last month for a second appeal, but she failed to file an application for review within 30 days.

Reach Greg Rickabaugh at (706) 828-3851 or greg.rickabaugh@augustachronicle.com.