FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – Two Flagler County teachers say they are suing the school board for discriminating against them because they are African American.
Jawanda Dove and Travis Lee, two educators in the Flagler County school district, say they were denied promotions because they are Black.
Attorney Randy Reep, who is not affiliated with the case, says these are potentially damaging claims against the Flagler County School Board.
“They are tremendously serious. They are coming at an interesting time culturally for our nation. But putting that aside for a moment, the issue is still, in 2020, there are people who are feeling that they are not getting promoted or they’re not getting educational opportunities because of their race,” said Reep, president of the Law Offices of Randy Reep.
News4Jax reached out to Flagler Schools for an interview about the accusations, but the district declined and Flagler Schools Community Information Specialist Jason Wheeler sent the following statement:
"The District was served on June 26th. We will file our response in Federal Court. We do not comment on active litigation."
According to one of the federal complaints, Dove -- who has 20 years of experience, multiple degrees and educational endorsements -- applied for an assistant principal position and other non-competitive positions 18 times but was denied. Dove claims white colleagues with less experience were chosen.
“If she’s able to prove that up, that can have significant financial exposure to the school system,” Reep said.
Lee says he, too, was overlooked for promotions despite 21 years of experience. Lee says he was not chosen for a Palm Coast High School position. He says, instead, a white man, who was fired from a superintendent position, was chosen.
If true, the act could violate federal and state laws.
Attorneys for Dove and Lee will have the burden to prove that this happened.
The community is also watching this case. The Flagler County NAACP says it “urges community support of these honorable public servants dedicated to the education of our children who are merely seeking equitable treatment in their workplace.”
Lee and Dove are requesting trials by jury.