Maxwell names the district’s superintendent, Melanie Beard Reed, as a defendant in the suit and accuses her of failing to support the district’s obligations to special needs students under federal law and state regulations.
Court documents allege a principal once attempted to assign 75 students with individualized education programs to one case manager — the Georgia Department of Education limits case managers to 26 students. Maxwell said she attempted to intervene, but district leaders sided against her until the school district’s attorney stepped in. In other situations, Maxwell said the district was slow to act when she informed them of student or program needs.
After Reed became superintendent in January, Maxwell said her job was threatened and administrators would speak negatively about her to other employees.
Maxwell’s attorney sent the district a letter stating her rights were violated under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Georgia Whistleblower Act.
Maxwell was later demoted from director of student services to a student services specialist, a move that shifted her work from the central office to a day care center and caused a “loss of title, prestige, responsibility, reputation,” according to court documents. Maxwell said deputy superintendent Amy Chafin, the other named defendant in the lawsuit, told her she would “not correct her unsuitable work situation” unless Maxwell retracted her claims about the district’s services for special needs students.
Maxwell’s attorney Anita Bala said she had no comment on the lawsuit. She filed the complaint late last month, and court records do not show a future hearing scheduled.