Sumner County Schools Named in Lawsuit
Despite Prior Warnings

Chase Matheson - February 15, 2024
SUMNER COUNTY, TN -- Between the months of March and May of 2023 two different stories broke about serious concerns within the Sumner County School System. The first of these stories was broken by the Tennessee Star and discussed Whistleblower accusations about policy violations perpetrated and/or ignored by the then “Chief Academic Officer” Scott Langford as well as pay discrepancies. Then, in May of 2023 we here at the Patriot Punk Network dug deeper. We obtained a copy of documents that revealed even more allegations of a Hostile work environment including one high-level staffer apparently referring to educators as “shit birds.” 

According to a lawsuit filed in the Chancery Court of Sumner County, Tennessee this was only the beginning. 
The lawsuit, filed by Former Instructional Coordinator for Sumner County Schools Stephanie Miller alleges that Sumner County Schools breached their contract. Outlined in the lawsuit are several “Facts” that seem to mirror the articles written by the Tennessee Star and by the Patriot Punk Network.

The suit states that Stephanie Miller was not the Whistleblower from the Tennessee Star article, but that she was asked by a Star Reporter to verify the pay scale issues the whistleblower outlined--which she did.
The suit also claims that Mrs. Miller was one of the top 3 finalist for a position vacated by Christy Wall, the position of "Instructional Supervisor." Mrs. Miller learned this on May 19, 2023 according to court filings. On May 20, 2023 the Patriot Punk Network released its story on the “imminent lawsuits” facing the school systems. 
On May 26, the position for Instructional Supervisor was filled by Dr. Chris Causey and on June 20, 2023 Mrs. Miller met with Frankie Skinner who was taking over a new position as Assistant Director of Instruction. According to the lawsuit this meeting was about how to make Mrs. Miller’s job better. 

Only 8 days later Mrs. Miller was told that her contract, which was set to expire in just 48 hours, would not be renewed. That day, June 28, Mrs. Miller lost access to her email and Google drives files. 

According to the “Continuing Contract Law” in the state of Tennessee (TCA 49-5-409(b)1):

“notice must be sent within 5 business days following the last instructional day for the school year to be applicable to the next succeeding school year…”

TCA 49-5-409(B)
The last instructional day for the 2022-2023 school year was May 26, 2023—over 1 month prior to the date that Mrs. Miller was actually notified she would be without a job. It seems that Mrs. Miller, represented by Richard L Colbert & Sarah Ingalls from Thompson Burton PLLC, believes that Sumner County Schools retaliated against her because she had expressed similar concerns those published by multiple media outlets. This aligns with statements we’ve received from other educators in the school system who have said that Mrs. Miller is NOT the only person who did not have their contract renewed after expressing concerns about the work environment. What do you think?

We hate to say it, but We Told You So. If the Director and others within leadership at the Sumner County School system would have listened to the warning about imminent lawsuits, perhaps the taxpayers of Sumner County could have avoided funding this mess. Instead, now they get to engage in a long and drawn out legal battle—possibly more than one if any of the other educators were treated in a similar manner. 

If you have any information regarding updates to this case or other instances of retaliation by the Sumner County Schools or any other government agency, please document EVERYTHING and reach out to us here at