Racial discrimination claim leads to lawsuit against LS R-7 School District

A racial discrimination claim has resulted in another lawsuit being filed against the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District.

The filing stems from a complaint from Danielle Nixon, who says she was not considered for the role of Executive Director of Public Relations because of race. Nixon, who currently services as director of communications and community relations for the Raytown C-4 School District, was allegedly one of three finalists for the position in Lee’s Summit, which was eventually awarded to Kelly Wachel.

As of this posting, the suit has not been processed and served to the defendant.

In the suit, filed in July in the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Mo, Nixon alleges the district, specifically then Superintendent Dr. Dennis Carpenter, violated the Missouri Human Rights Act by telling members of the hiring committee he would not hire another African American for this position.

A portion of the allegations in the petition read as follows:

26. “On or about February 21, 2018, at approximately 4:00 p.m. Ms. Nixon received a call from Dr. Carlson. He notified Ms. Nixon that the District had selected another candidate for the Executive Director of Public Relations Position.

27. Upon information and belief, Ms. Nixon was selected as a finalist for the position.

28. Upon information and belief, Dr. Dennis Carpenter told the selection committee that he would never hire an African American female for that key role.

29. Upon information and belief, Dr. Dennis Carpenter stated that the District could not have African Americans in two key roles and being the face of the District.

30. Upon information and belief one of the individuals involved in the interview process was present when Dr. Carpenter announced that he would not hire an African American for the position of Executive Director of Public Relations. Furthermore, Plaintiff believes that the individuals present when the statement was made have been interviewed by representatives of the District who have confirmed that Dr. Carpenter publicly admitted that he had disqualified Plaintiff based upon her race as an African American. That despite this unrefuted evidence, the District has failed to take any remedial action in violation of their stated EEO policy.

31. Shortly thereafter, the District announced that Kelly Rachel had been selected for the Executive Director of Public Relations Position. Ms. Rachel is Caucasian.”

The full petition can be read here.

As part of the process, the Court has ordered a Case Management Conference to be held Dec. 9. Additionally, the judge has ordered the parties to participate in mediation.

The full Case Management Order can be read here.

Part of his buyout document included an agreement Dr. Carpenter would participate in any litigation to come from his tenure as superintendent.