Charter school administration responds to lawsuit from former employee

Charter school administration responds to lawsuit from former employee
An advertisement mailing from Coastal Preparatory Academy. (Source: WECT)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Leaders of an embattled charter school have filed a response in the superior court lawsuit lobbed against them by a former school social worker.

In December, Kim Nelson filed suit against Coastal Preparatory Academy, claiming she had been wrongfully terminated by the school and her protections under the state’s Whistleblower Act violated.

The lawsuit highlighted complaints from other parents of a culture of mismanagement and retaliation at the charter school, which is finishing its third academic year.

Nelson claims she was fired after reaching out to the state when she became concerned over the school’s handling of absent students after Hurricane Florence.

On March 6 the defendants in the case — Wilmington Education Organization, the board of directors for CPA, board chair Chris Millis and former head of school Jamie Getz — filed an answer with the court to Nelson’s complaint after the court granted them more time.

In their answer, the defendants deny Nelson’s allegations, stating: “it is denied that Nelson was engaging in activity protected by the Whistleblower Act when she contacted the Office of Charter Schools.”

Nelson also alleges in her complaint that the school has a history of violating federal law, which the defendants’ answer also refutes.

“It is denied that Getz has a history related to refusal to follow certain federal laws and regulations.”

The answer denies most other aspects of the complaint, admitting only to certain factual points and the existence of documents.

WECT has reached out to attorneys for the school’s leadership, but as of publication has not received a response. Nelson’s attorneys told WECT it is against their firm’s policy to discuss ongoing litigation.

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