A former football coach and teaching assistant has filed a $1.1 million lawsuit against Oak Ridge school officials alleging that his firing in February was based upon a single “false complaint” from a student who alleged inappropriate contact—and he never had a chance to respond to the charges.
Coach Donald Colquitt suggested his reputation has been sullied by the unspecified complaint of “inappropriate contact with an Oak Ridge High School student,” and his local football career has been ruined. He filed a wrongful termination lawsuit in Anderson County Circuit Court on August 4.
“The ‘unanswered’ cloud of secrecy over the vague complaint allegedly filed against the plaintiff by an Oak Ridge High School student has caused him to effectively lose his career as a football coach in the Oak Ridge community, where he has engaged in that activity for some 19 years, and has further affected his reputation and character as a civic leader and football coach in the Oak Ridge school system,” the lawsuit said. “He will be unable to engage in such activity in the future and has sustained damages for loss of his career and future as a football coach, with damages resulting from the adverse imputation to his name, as well as his reputation in the community.”
The defendants are Oak Ridge Schools Superintendent Bruce Borchers and the Oak Ridge Board of Education.
Colquitt said he has never acted inappropriately or made any inappropriate contact with an ORHS student while employed by Oak Ridge Schools, but both the superintendent and school board have denied his right to be heard, including through a grievance hearing before the board. [Read more…]