Tenured teachers in California may soon have to defend that status in court.

Nine students from the L.A. and Bay areas say California's tenure laws keep bad teachers in the classroom.

They're challenging the union-backed protections for teachers in an effort to hold them more accountable.

Tenure was created in the early 20th century to prevent firings based on gender, nationality or political beliefs.

The plaintiffs are students supported by a nonprofit organization called "Students Matter" that says it fights for education equality.