Hearing Date Set in Teacher Intimidation Suit

melanie lemon
Melanie Lemon

The first meeting before a judge in the Melanie Lemon v Williamson County Schools lawsuit has been set for August 10.

Melanie Lemon, a former third-grade teacher at Walnut Grove Elementary, who resigned in May, filed a lawsuit against WCS alleging bullying, intimidation and forced resignation by Superintendent Dr. Mike Looney, Walnut Grove principal Kate Donnelly and assistant superintendent Denise Goodwin, who are named as defendants also.

Judge Joseph Woodruff will hear a pretrial conference at 9 a.m. on August 10 for the purpose of “setting this matter for trial, and setting appropriate deadlines for case management.”

Lemon filed her suit on June 2, and the defendants responded on June 21. The response notified the court that Lisa Carson and Andrew Preston of Buerger, Moseley and Carson would represent both the school district and the individuals named in the lawsuit. The defendants’ response, however, did not address any allegations yet that Lemon made in her filing. Constance Mann of Nashville represents Lemon.

Mann laid out more than 40 points, in support of her claim that Looney, Goodwin and Donnelly “bullied, stalked, intimidated and defamed [Lemon] into a forced resignation.” And that Lemon’s “livelihood, career and passion were stripped away from her in a painful, humiliating and illegal manner.”

The suit also alleges defamation and breach of contract.

In the past, Williamson County Schools has settled out of court. Court records show no recent suits going to trial. Lemon said she is preparing and “working every day” on her case, but she hopes to one day take the issues her suit raises to a larger level and audience.

“My family and I got together and talked and we all agreed to fight for the truth,” Lemon said. “I have never been through something like this before so I am doing my best to educate myself, I do not think I would settle the case.”

“We totally agree that if they offered money without offering to clear my name or admit they were wrong or that they lied, we would not touch it with a 10-foot pole. But I don’t get the feeling that is something [WCS] is interested in.”

WCS did not respond to request for comments.

For a full rundown of the allegations in the suit, read more here.



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