Brian Link spends his days helping his students chart the corners of the justice system. Now he’s taking his subject beyond the classroom as he joins five teachers and the N.C. Association of Educators in a lawsuit opposing the demise of teacher tenure.
“I teach civics and economics and spend a lot of time helping my kids to understand what their rights are — not only knowing them, but looking for avenues and opportunities to speak up for themselves,” Link said. “It would be very hypocritical of me as a teacher to expect that of my kids and not engage in that standard myself.”
The lawsuit, filed last month on the heels of an NCAE challenge to private school vouchers, furthers the divide between N.C. teachers and state policy. The issue of tenure, halted by the 2013-14 state budget, is fueling statewide discontent — but proponents say the policy fosters mediocrity.
A joint statement by Republicans N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger called the lawsuit “frivolous.”
Link is in his fourth year teaching at East Chapel Hill High School — when he would have been eligible for tenure. With tenure, teachers with four years of experience and positive evaluations are not required to renew annual contracts as long as their evaluations remain satisfactory, he said.