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Collins v. Jackson Pub. Sch. Dist.

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division

September 30, 2014


Charles D. Collins, Plaintiff, Pro se, Riverdale, GA.

For Jackson Public School District, Defendant: JoAnne N. Shepherd, JACKSON PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT, Jackson, MS; KaShonda L. Day, JACKSON PUBLIC SCHOOLS, Jackson, MS.

Page 706



Before the Court is Defendant Jackson Public School District's Motion for Summary Judgment, Docket No. 68. The Defendant supports the motion with its exhibits, Docket Nos. 69-1 to 80-8; memorandum of law, Docket No. 69; and rebuttal, Docket No. 80. Pro se Plaintiff Charles Collins opposes the motion with his response, Docket No. 76; exhibits, Docket Nos. 76-1 to 81-3; memorandum of law, Docket No. 77; and surrebuttal,[1] Docket No. 81-1. Plaintiff has also filed a Motion to Admit Defendant's Statements Into Evidence. Docket No. 83.[2] After careful consideration of the submissions of the parties and the applicable

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law, the Court finds that the Motion for Summary Judgment will be granted.


Charles D. Collins, a former math teacher and baseball coach for Jackson Public School District's (" District" ) Callaway High School, filed suit against the District on April 23, 2012, alleging three (3) counts of retaliation in violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq., and 34 C.F.R. § 100.7(e), and one (1) count of breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. Docket No. 1, at 7-9. Defendant filed its Answer and Affirmative Defenses on May 11, 2012. Docket No. 4. On June 3, 2013, Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss or in the Alternative for Summary Judgment. Docket No. 33. That same day, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Leave to File Second Amended Complaint. Docket No. 32.

An order granting Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File Second Amended Complaint was entered on August 6, 2013, by United States Magistrate Judge Keith Ball. Docket No. 43. On August 6, 2013, through a Text-Only Order, this Court denied Defendant's Motion to Dismiss and its Motion for Summary Judgment without prejudice. Plaintiff filed his Second Amended Complaint on August 9, 2013. In it he refined the allegations set forth in his original Complaint and added state law claims including: breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, defamation, negligent misrepresentation, fraudulent misrepresentation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Docket No. 44. Defendant filed its Answer and Affirmative Defenses to the amended Complaint on August 23, 2013. Docket No. 45.

Collins alleges that he was subjected to harassment and retaliatory practices by employees of the District following the discovery of his participation in a Title IX complaint filed against the District. Docket No. 77. He asserts that on November 12, 2008, he attended a meeting with several parents and school officials including Dr. Lonnie Edwards, the former superintendent of the District. At that meeting, the parents discussed and spoke out against disparities between opportunities offered to male and female student athletes. Also at that meeting, Collins made a power point presentation, which he had prepared, examining the disparities between the athletic facilities for males and females. In addition, during the meeting he gave to Dr. Edwards a report, which he composed, titled " Unfair Playing Fields: an investigation of Sports-Programs, Facilities, and Funding in the Jackson Public School District of Mississippi." Docket 76-7, at 5.

Subsequent to the meeting, Collins drafted a complaint alleging discrimination against female athletes. The complaint, filed with the United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (" OCR" ), was signed by James Richardson, a parent of a student enrolled in the District, not Collins. Id. Collins was not listed as a complainant either. Docket No. 69-1(Dep. of Charles Collins), at 88-89.

On October 20, 2009, OCR notified Dr. Edwards, that it was conducting a Title IX investigation. Docket No. 76-8, at 2. On February 2, 2010, Collins stepped down as Callaway's head baseball coach, proffering " continued harassment, retaliation, and a general loss of administrative support" as the reasons behind his resignation. Docket No. 76-1, at 5.

On February 19, 2010, Dr. Pamela Self, former assistant principal of Callaway High School, conducted a post observation assessment of Collins as part of his annual performance evaluation. Id. at 6. Collins considered the results unfavorable and un

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just, so he filed an internal grievance with the District's Human Resource Department (" HR" ) on March 22, 2010. Docket No. 76-10, at 11-21. On April 20, 2010, a meeting at the District's administrative office was held between HR Director, Carol Dorsey, Deputy Superintendent Wilbur Walters, and Collins to address the complaints in his internal report. Docket No. 76-1, at 7.

At the end of the 2009-2010 school year, Collins was transferred to Capital City Alternative School (" CCAS" ) by former Callaway High Principal, Clinton Johnson. Docket No. 69-7. He filed a complaint with the OCR on June 10, 2010, alleging the District retaliated against him for his participation in the previously submitted OCR complaint. On December 6, 2010, OCR closed its investigation of Collins's complaint, concluding that there was insufficient evidence to support a claim of retaliation.[3] Collins appealed this decision on February 11, 2011.

On January 24, 2012, he received notice from the OCR that his appeal was denied and that he had exhausted all avenues of reconsideration with the United States Department of Education. Docket No. 69-8.

On January 19, 2012, Collins filed an Equal Employment Opportunity (" EEOC" ) Charge of Discrimination against the District, alleging harassment and retaliation. Docket No. 1-2. Upon his request, on March 16, 2012, the United States Department of Justice (" DOJ" ) issued to Collins a notice of right to sue. Docket 34, at 28.[4] On April 13, 2012, he received a notice of non-renewal of his employment contract from former District Superintendent Dr. Jayne Sargent, Dr. Edwards's successor. Docket No. 76-13, at 3.[5] Collins filed the instant lawsuit on April 23, 2012. Docket No. 1. On ...

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