BATON ROUGE – A
Lafayette Parish resident and an Iberia Parish nonprofit allege their
charter school application was denied because of comments made on the
television show "America's Supernanny" in 2013.
Clarkston and Kingdom Builders Community Development Corp. filed a
complaint on March 3 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District
of Louisiana against Superintendent of the Louisiana Department of
Education John White, alleging retaliation.
According to the
complaint, Clarkston is the CEO of Kingdom Builders and submitted a charter school application in 2015. The plaintiffs allege their application was reviewed by third-party SchoolWorks, which found the application met every standard applicable. The suit states the charter school was never opened.
The plaintiffs holds White responsible because the
defendant allegedly changed the evaluation process for the plaintiffs' charter school and required that a
new evaluation to be conducted on Clarkston. The suit states White allegedly disagreed with
Clarkston's opinion on "America's Supernanny" regarding corporal punishment of
her own children and recommended the application be denied.
The plaintiffs request a trial by jury and
seek compensatory, special and punitive damages, plus interest,
litigation expenses and such other relief as the court deems necessary
or proper. They are represented by J. Arthur Smith III of Smith Law
Firm in Baton Rouge.
U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana Case number 3:17-cv-00125