CHEROKEE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) -- A Gaffney teacher of 13 years is firing back at her former school system.

"I am not making a quantum leap thinking that there are just a couple--I think it's a lot of school teachers that are dealing with this issue," said attorney John Reckenbeil. He's representing former Cherokee School District teacher Shannon Burgess.

Burgess used to teach at Granard Middle School, and claims in a class action lawsuit that she was required to do non-academic work she was never paid for.

It's work that she says fell beyond her job description and her contract--doing things like working the concession stand at district sporting events.

"Cherokee County first off is gonna have to have a real hard look at what they were making teachers do...Change the policy on that," said Reckenbeil.

He adds this suit is unprecedented, because it could extend statewide to any teacher with a similar case.

"There's not been any lawsuit filed in South Carolina like this," he told Fox Carolina.

In the lawsuit , Burgess also says she was required to pay for items like a gift basket for a PTO auction out of her own pocket.

"These portions of monies that they're spending out are wages...and these wages, they should be kept by the teacher," Reckenbeil said.

The lawsuit goes on to claim the supplies Burgess purchased for her students--since what she says was provided by the district was not enough--cut into her pay.

"The Payment of Wages Act says there must be a 7-day advanced notice that 'we're going to lower your wages,'" said Reckenbeil. He and Burgess are claiming she wasn't paid what she was owed, since the money she paid out of pocket for things like supplies cut into her wages.

Procurement documents provided by Burgess's attorney indicate the Cherokee County School District paid out overtime to school resource officers working outside of school hours, something that her attorney wants extended to educators.

"Then there should be money paid to these school teachers that are working positions outside of just being a teacher," Reckenbeil said.

And he adds that while this case only concerns the school district, it reflects a larger issue at the state level.

"We're counting on the goodwill of people to fund our schools, instead of the General Assembly doing their jobs."


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