VALDOSTA, Ga. (WTXL) — The former head football coach at Valdosta High, Alan Rodemaker filed a new lawsuit on against the City of Valdosta Board of Education.
Filed on June 18, 2021, the lawsuit alleges African-American school board members racially discriminated Rodemaker, choosing not to extend his contract because he is white.
Rodemaker previously raised in his EEOC charge the same allegations of race-based discrimination.
In early June, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals decided that Rodemaker’s EEOC case did not have sufficient facts to prove his claim of racial discrimination.
As stated in the new claim, "As both a high school football coach and teacher, Coach Rodemaker’s reviews and reputation were exemplary. Coach Rodemaker’s personnel file reflecting his service at Valdosta High School was exemplary. It contained no complaints or evidence of misconduct."
Rodemaker’s contract as the Head Football Coach for the 2019- 2020 school year was set to expire on June 30, 2020. 24. In January 2020, Dr. William “Todd” Cason, the Superintendent of the Valdosta City Schools, recommended that the School Board renew Rodemaker’s contract as Head Football Coach for another year.
The claim states at that time, the make-up of the Valdosta Board of Education had recently changed from a majority-white board to a majority-black board.
Rodemaker's claim states when the Board was asked to approve Dr. Cason’s recommendation to renew Rodemaker’s contract, it was defeated by a vote of 4-5, and "those opposed to the motion to renew Coach Rodemaker were the five African American members of the School Board," and none "provided a reason for that vote."
The claim also alleges that the five African-Americans participating in public comment who spoke against renewing Rodemaker's contract made "racially motivated" speeches.
Rodemaker is seeking the following as stated in the claim:
- an appropriate sum to compensate him for the injuries and damages sustained as a result of Defendants wrongful and/or tortious acts;
- awarded for his past and future loss of wages and benefits, plus interest;
- awarded liquidated damages incurred in connection with this action, equal to the sum amount of backpay and interest;
- awarded attorneys’ fees and costs of litigation pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 13-6-11 and 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(k).
- awarded punitive damages; For a trial by jury comprised of twelve persons; and -20- Case 7:21-cv-00076-HL Document 1 Filed 06/18/21 Page 20 of 21
- and for such other and further relief as this Court deems just and proper.
The full claim can be read below: