Deadline extended for School Board of Lee County to respond to lawsuit

Reporter: Peter Fleischer
Lee County School Board (CREDIT: WINK News)

The School Board of Lee County now has more time to respond to a lawsuit filed by a former assistant principal.

The original deadline for the District to respond to a lawsuit came and went on Monday, Nov. 1.

The suit centers around claims of wrongful termination and discrimination, but now, the District has nearly three more weeks to respond.

Former Manatee Elementary Assistant Principal Peggy Slichter first raised concerns with WINK News in mid-September, claiming the School District of Lee County did not follow safety incident reporting protocols, potentially putting students and staff in danger.

MORE: School’s reporting of potentially violent incidents could lead to student safety issues

She claims Manatee Elementary administration failed to report several incidents in the state’s School Environmental Safety Incident reporting system (SESIR) – incidents she feels should have been reported.

“Everybody needs to follow protocol. Everybody needs to know what’s going on, eyes open at all times., Slichter said.

She also claims her contract was not renewed because she insisted the school follow proper procedures.

In the past, Slichter’s legal team has said her actions were for the greater good.

Her attorney, Ben Yarmak, said it “is inappropriate to have an educator fired for seeking compliance with the law. This is somebody who should be getting a pat on the back if not a promotion.”

She also wants her job back. Her attorney filed a motion for temporary reinstatement after not having her contract with the School District of Lee County renewed earlier this year.

“She wants to continue in education,” Yarmak explained. “It is her love; it is her passion.”

MORE: Lee County Schools superintendent responds to claims of underreporting ‘disruptive, violent’ incidents

The deadline for the District to respond to the lawsuit has been extended to November 19.

The Florida Department of Education is still investigating Slichter’s claims against the District.

WINK News reached out to the school board for an update but has not heard back as of the time of publishing.

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