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Alicia T. Troutman, an assistant principal at Mabelvale Middle School, has sued the Little Rock School District for retaliating against her after she reported what she said was the misuse of federal grants and destruction of records related to after-school and summer programs.

Superintendent Mike Poore is also named as a defendant in the Pulaski County Circuit Court lawsuit filed on Troutman's behalf by attorney Matthew D. Campbell.

Troutman said in the suit that she has been placed on administrative leave based on an allegation that she failed to report to the state's child-abuse hot line the Jan. 30 striking of a student by then-Principal Rhonda Hall.

Hall was fired last month from the district in the wake of a video this summer that appeared to show her hitting a student.

Troutman said in the lawsuit that she had not personally seen the incident in January, that police had arrived at the school that day and taken charge of the situation, and that she had no reason to suspect that there was injury to the student.

At the time, the only injury reported to Little Rock police was to the principal, Hall, according to the initial police report.

"On Aug. 26, Plaintiff was informed by Defendant Poore that he had decided to suspend Plaintiff for three days without pay, absurdly stating that Plaintiff's failure to notify the child abuse hotline 'resulted in an untimely receipt of the altercation details by the [Arkansas Department of Human Services] approximately 5 months later.'"

Troutman said in the lawsuit that she was told she would remain on leave if she appealed the suspension but could return to work the following day if she did not appeal.

Typically employees are put on administrative leave only if there is a recommendation for termination, she said.

Troutman and her attorney argue that Troutman "suffered these adverse actions because of her whistle-blowing activities," regarding the use of federal grant money and destruction of related records at Mabelvale Middle School. She said she had first reported the irregularities to Hall last February, then on June 25 to Ron Self, the district's director of safety and security, and on June 26 to Randy Rutherford, the district's executive director for secondary education.

Metro on 09/12/2019

Print Headline: Assistant principal at Little Rock middle school sues, cites retaliation

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