A Richmond, Virginia middle school principal has filed a defamation lawsuit against parents at her former school. Denise Lewis, the former principal at Lucille Brown Middle School, said several parents defamed her when they wrote a letter complaining about the circumstances at their children’s school and asking for new leadership. According to NBC12 in Richmond, the letter was published in Style Weekly.
The letter included this list of allegations:
• During the 2011-’12 school year, a Brown teacher reported a student brought a gun to school. It took 30 minutes for the principal to find out who made the report. In the meantime, there was no school lockdown, despite media reports. Parents contend former school district officials lied and said the weapon wasn’t loaded.
• During a school field trip, students were left unchaperoned on a bus and a child was assaulted.
• There’s no toilet paper or soap in the bathrooms. Students must ask for these items, which are kept by the teachers in the classroom.
• Not all teachers are adequately qualified to teach advanced students, “or to teach at all,” specifically in the science and English departments.
Lewis says accusations that she knowingly sent parents incorrect schedules are also false and that the defendants acted with malice and injured her reputation with their letter. Named in the lawsuit are Wendy and Todd Martin and Yvette and Anthony Conte and the names of the others on the letters could be subject to legal action as well.
Lewis has been moved to another school while the lawsuit is underway. Lewis wants a jury trial along with $3 million in damages.