Kalamazoo schools: Lawsuit filed against Principal Rodney Prewitt has no merit

Rodney Prewitt is the principal at Loy Norrix High School in Kalamazoo. (Courtesy of Kalamazoo Public Schools)

In a statement issued this morning, Kalamazoo Public Schools administrators said the sexual harassment lawsuit filed against high school Principal Rodney Prewitt has no merit.

The district also said, through its attorney, Craig Noland, that Prewitt is certified to do his job in the state of Michigan.

“Mr. Prewitt has been working in the State of Michigan as a school administrator since 2006, first at Beecher Community School District until 2013 and at Kalamazoo Public Schools since," Noland said in the written statement. "He holds an active administrator certification issued by the Michigan Department of Education. We believe the case has no merit and will not comment further on pending litigation.”

Prewitt has been working as a principal since joining the Kalamazoo district in 2013. But he previously worked as a teacher in Florida, Georgia and Alabama. In all three of those states, however, his teaching license was either revoked or put on probation and is no longer valid. At the heart of each of those cases were allegations of sexual harassment in Florida.

Prewitt's teaching license in Florida was revoked in 2001 and at the same time, the state ordered Prewitt to attend sexual harassment awareness training. Florida education department documents state that his license was revoked in that state because he failed to respond to the sexual harassment complaints from staff members.

Then, in Alabama, his certificate was placed on probation for two years due to his failure to report the complaints and in Florida. And again in Georgia, his certificate was revoked for failure to report the Florida issue.

In a final order from the Florida Education Practices Commission, obtained by the Newschannel 3 I-Team, investigators claimed that Prewitt engaged in a pattern of sexual harassment of women teachers and staff at his school. According to the order, Prewitt was accused of asking the women for sex and inviting them to "come over and do him."

The Kalamazoo-based allegations, detailed in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids on behalf of a former Kalamazoo school counselor, claim that Prewitt sent the counselor unwanted text messages of a sexual nature, and publicly humiliated her. After she told him that she had no interest, she alleges in the lawsuit, he told her he had power in the district.

The plaintiff's attorney, Joel Sklar of Detroit, said in a telephone interview that his client also suffered retaliation for rebuking Prewitt's advances. When his client was under review for a promotion, Sklar said, Prewitt was on the evaluation team and blocked that promotion.

Read more:

Loy Norrix High School Principal facing sexual harassment lawsuit

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