Last week, Denise Soileau filed a lawsuit in the 15th Judicial District Court naming Schexnayder and the School Board as the defendants.
In the lawsuit, Soileau is asking the School Board to reinstate her as a principal in the parish and she be awarded damages that she has
“sustained as a result of Schexnayder’s and the School Board’s conduct.”
The lawsuit was filed after the School Board demoted Soileau from her principal position at Eaton Park Elementary to a teacher at Erath Middle School last year.
Soileau was named the principal at Eaton Park in July 1 of 2009 and signed, according to the lawsuit, a “Contract of Employment for Promotional Appointment.” She would remain principal at the school until June 30 of 2011.
The lawsuit states that Soileau was informed the School Board would discuss, in executive session, “her character, professional competency, physical and mental health” in a special meeting on May 10, 2011. She was made aware of the meeting on May 4, 2011 in a letter.
Soileau said in the lawsuit that she also received another letter from Schexnayder requesting she meet with him on May 9, 2011 to “discuss her end-of-the-year evaluation.”
Soileau met with Schexnayder and Charlotte Waguespack, the assistant superintendent. The lawsuit says Schexnayder made “false, misleading and defamatory statements” about her as principal in that meeting.
She went to the May 10, 2011 School Board meeting to defend those allegations made about her, but the School Board put off talking about her until the May 16, 2011 meeting.
In the lawsuit, Soileau accuses Schexnayder of visiting school board members to discuss Soileau’s employment with the School Board as principal, and according to the lawsuit, “to convince them to terminate her employment contract.”
Soileau states in the lawsuit that Schexnayder used “false, misleading and defamatory information” and made “false, misleading and defamatory” statements to members of the school board in order to convince them to “wrongly terminate the employment contract” and violate the Teacher Tenure Law.
Because of Schexnayder’s “misleading” words about Soileau, the School Board voted not to renew Soileau’s employment contract, the lawsuit states.
Soileau, in the lawsuit, is arguing that she was not provided a description of the evidence supporting Schexnayder’s claims. She was also not given time to respond in writing as why proposed action should not be taken by the School Board, the suit states.
The lawsuit states Soileau has “sustained serious damages” as a direct result of Schexnayder’s and the School Board’s “defamatory statements.”
Her damages include lost of earnings, lost business opportunities, harm to her business and personal reputation, severe mental anguish and emotional distress
Soileau hired Kyle M. Keegan from Baton Rouge as her attorney. The School Board and Schexnayder will have attorney Woody Woodruff defend them. Woodruff elected not to comment about the suit.