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Principal told to work at home sues CCSD for slander

A Las Vegas high school principal placed on work-from-home status last year is suing the district for defamation, alleging that Clark County School District officials slandered his character and fitness for the job in statements to outside parties.

In a lawsuit filed Thursday, Eldorado High School Principal David Wilson states that district officials have made “materially false, misleading and harmful statements” about him to local media outlets, including accusing him of criminal activity and engaging in improper relationships with co-workers and stating he was unfit for the role of principal.

Wilson also alleges he was improperly notified of the discipline being taken against him when he was placed on work-from-home status in August.

The lawsuit does not name any district officials, identifying them only as “those under (the district’s) control and direction,” or Does 1-10.

Neither Wilson nor his attorney, Kirk Kennedy, returned requests for comment Friday.

The CCSD did not return a request for comment on the lawsuit or on Wilson’s work status. The complaint refers to him as the principal of Eldorado in the present tense. However, Wilson is no longer listed on the Eldorado staff website, having been replaced by interim Principal RoAnn Triana.

Wilson and the CCSD also declined to comment on a reason for Wilson’s work-from-home status.

But district records provided in response to a request by the Review-Journal indicate that district officials were looking into the school’s use of APEX, an online course that allows students who fail classes to “recover” those credits.

Associate Superintendent Jillyn Pendleton asked in October about the school’s usage of the APEX for the 2018-19 school year, according to one document. In a later email to Region 3 Superintendent Karla Loria, Pendelton said, “They were abusing the system. The average number of days to complete a course was 10.”

The district did not reply to questions about whether the APEX concerns were related to the disciplinary action taken against Wilson. Other records obtained from a request for complaints against Wilson were related to incidents with specific students, including one who wished to transfer and another who faced expulsion.

In his lawsuit, Wilson is seeking compensatory, special and punitive damages, each in excess of $15,000, as well as attorney’s fees and and any other relief deemed appropriate by the court.

Contact Aleksandra Appleton at 702-383-0218 or aappleton@reviewjournal.com. Follow @aleksappleton on Twitter.

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