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Former custodian withdraws lawsuit against City Schools of Decatur

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Former custodian withdraws lawsuit against City Schools of Decatur

Fifth Avenue Upper Elementary, City Schools of Decatur, located on Fifth Avenue.

Decatur, GA — A former City Schools of Decatur custodian who was suing the district in federal court, alleging the district didn’t pay him overtime wages he was owed, has withdrawn his lawsuit.

The move, along with a ruling in the district’s favor in a different lawsuit, has left the district facing three federal lawsuits, down from the five the district faced at the beginning of the year.

Andrew Yates, an attorney for the school district, told Decaturish that the school district did not settle with the custodian and said the lawsuit was withdrawn for unknown reasons.

“We started discovery and sent them some documents and after receiving those documents, the lawyer for the plaintiff informed me they would be willing to dismiss the case,” Yates said.

A message to the custodian’s attorney was not immediately returned.

According to the suit, around Dec. 6 2018, the district’s custodial supervisor asked the custodian to clean Fifth Avenue Elementary, Westchester Elementary and Glenwood Elementary. The custodian would clean Fifth Avenue first and would alternate between the other schools so he would clean two schools daily. He was told he’d receive overtime pay, according to the suit.

But the suit alleged the district refused to pay him. The school district denied the allegations.

Here are the remaining lawsuits against the district:

– David Adams, the district’s former Executive Director of Staff Support, filed a federal lawsuit on Jan. 19, 2021. Adams alleges that former Superintendent David Dude’s public statement about his departure from the district hampered his ability to find work and breached a non-disparagement clause of his severance agreement with the district. He alleges a central office shakeup in December 2019 occurred because employees expressed concerns that Dude took more vacations than his contract allowed. Decaturish investigated these claims and found evidence to substantiate them. The School Board launched its own independent investigation of the claims, but declined to release the results, saying only the investigator found no evidence of criminal conduct. Following our investigative reporting, the Decatur School Board announced on April 27 it was parting ways with Dude.

– Cheryl Nahmias, formerly a Decatur High Instructional Coach/International Baccalaureate Coordinator, filed a lawsuit in federal court on Dec. 23 alleging racial discrimination and retaliation. Her son was filmed making racist comments and the video became public in May 2020. She sued the school district after she was demoted and reassigned to a job within CSD’s central office. She claims the demotion was the culmination of a months’ long campaign of retaliation against her for sticking up for her son’s rights and for years of whistleblowing activities within the district.

– The mother of a girl allegedly assaulted in an Oakhurst Elementary bathroom is suing the district, alleging the district violated her Title IX rights.  The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights in 2020 concluded its investigation prompted by an allegation that a gender-fluid boy assaulted the girl in an Oakhurst Elementary school bathroom. The investigation, which began in 2018, could not substantiate that an assault ever occurred. It did, however, note that City Schools of Decatur did not follow the proper investigative procedures under Title IX, the federal law that protects students from discrimination.

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