Cleveland, GA asked in Education Law and Employment Law for Georgia

Q: Principal has pulled audio from library surveillance camera to support discipline actions against employees for venting

In our library after school, there was a venting conversation about things going on in our school and the frustration that another group of people will be resigning. This was wrong. I know that. This was on a day where the space was closed. Just providing background information.

The next day, our admintrator called each of us in, one by one, for our end of year evaluation. The Deputy Superintendent and Assistant Principal were in the meeting. She began by going over the evaluation. Then she started reading comments back. She played the audio recording (same for each meeting). Some people were written up for "unprofessionalism" and one person was placed on a Professional Development Plan.

This took place in the state of Georgia. No one knew they were being audio recorded. There is no signage for the video cameras. No person involved gave consent. Do we have rights? Should we pursue a course of action or take the discipline and learn to keep quiet?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Todd B. Kotler
Todd B. Kotler
  • Education Law Lawyer
  • Canton, OH

A: While i'm not a Georgia attorney, this sounds like an employment issue rather than an education issue. You should contact your union, you should also review your employment contract or collective bargaining agreement to see whether or not you have already consented to recording through your acceptance of the employment agreement. In general, places of work have lower expectations privacy.

Tim Akpinar agrees with this answer

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