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No decision reached by Valdosta Board of Education on Rodemaker lawsuit

Posted at 11:27 PM, Apr 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-21 23:27:33-04

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WTXL) — The lawsuit against the Valdosta Board of Education was filed last March by Leah Rodemaker, the wife of former Wildcat head football coach Alan Rodemaker. Wednesday night, members of the community spoke against a settlement with the Rodemakers, with many saying they want the Board to move on.

Speaker after speaker, members of the community showing their support for the five Black members of the Valdosta Board of Education.

"I think it's fundamentally a shame that would even be brought forward," said Kasey Carter, who's lived in Valdosta his entire life.

When Rodemaker's contract was not renewed as head football coach, it was decided by a 5-4 vote with Black school board members voting against the renewal. The lawsuit alleges the decision was "racially motivated."

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission did investigate those claims of race discrimination -- that investigation closed in March.

"We were really just concerned with the fact the school attorneys and leadership sat on those results for almost six weeks now," said Mark George with The Mary Turner Project.

The EEOC saying the commission was not going to pursue the matter further. A settlement decision was not reached Wednesday night. During public comment, no one spoke on behalf of the Rodemakers. The next school board meeting is next Tuesday.