DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) --A landmark case that could change the rules regarding how tenured teachers can be fired reached the court of appeals in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday.
The case of Vergara v. California questioned whether laws that protect teachers' jobs actually hurt students.
"The political system is broken down. It's protecting adults at the expense of children," attorney Theodore Boutros Jr. said.
The plaintiffs, who were freshmen when the case started almost four years ago, argued the tenure and seniority system hurts minority students because bad teachers end up at poorly performing schools.
A lower court agreed, stating bad teachers are almost impossible to fire.
"Having bad teachers was thought of as just a fact of life, but I didn't see it that way. I thought and now know that every student in every school should have awesome teachers," plaintiff Brandon DeBose Jr. said.
"We're finally talking about the critical importance of great teachers and the need to have great teachers in the presence of all of our children," David Welch with Students Matter stated.
California teachers unions argued tenure doesn't mean a lifetime job, it simply gives teachers due process.
"It prevents teachers from being fired for no reason at all because they are disfavored for personal reasons. It gives protections to teachers so that they can teach the way they've been trained how to teach," Michael Rubin, attorney for the teachers unions said.
The unions said the legislature needs to deal with the issue, not the courts.
"The remedy is not to strike down the entire set of statues as a constitutional matter," Rubin said.
The court has 90 days to issue a decision. No matter the outcome, both sides said they will appeal to the California Supreme Court.