LEAD Academy reacts after former principal, AEA file lawsuit

LEAD Academy reacts after former principal, AEA file lawsuit
LEAD Academy, Montgomery’s first public charter school, is being sued by the AEA over the termination of its first principal. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Alabama Education Association is suing Montgomery’s first public charter school over the termination of former principal Dr. Christian Nicole Ivey-Price.

The lawsuit against LEAD Academy accuses the charter school of multiple counts of fraud, breach of contract, retaliation, and denial of due process of law regarding the termination of Ivey-Price, according to a statement released by the AEA Friday afternoon.

Dr. Nicole Ivey was the principal at Montgomery's LEAD Academy for approximately a month before the charter school announced she was no longer an employee.
Dr. Nicole Ivey was the principal at Montgomery's LEAD Academy for approximately a month before the charter school announced she was no longer an employee. (Source: LEAD Academy)

Reached for comment on the lawsuit, the LEAD Academy Board issued this statement to WSFA 12 News:

“It comes as no surprise that the Alabama Education Association is once again filing a lawsuit seeking to prevent LEAD Academy from being able to provide students with a high-quality educational option in Montgomery. This time they are doing it on behalf of a disgruntled former employee who is providing false and misleading information in order to try and salvage her reputation. We look forward to bringing the facts to light in this matter.”

AEA’s suit claims promises were made to Ivey-Price but were subsequently broken by Lead Academy founder and Board Chairwoman Charlotte Meadows, as well as Soner Tarim, who is contracted to run the school. AEA also claims the school has violated state laws multiple times.

“Meadows asked me to resign shortly after I engaged in a series of discussions with officials at the State Department of Education about LEAD’s lack of compliance with multiple state laws applicable to charter schools regarding student health, safety, and financial accountability,” Ivey-Price previously stated through the AEA.

LEAD Academy officials have denied being out of compliance.

"We are in full compliance with state and federal laws and any compliance issues that she felt had arisen over the course of the last few months, she never brought to our attention,” said LEAD Academy Treasurer Ryan Cantrell shortly after Ivey-Price was terminated.

Ivey-Price had been on the job for only a short time before LEAD confirmed it was parting ways with her in late September. It made an official termination in a five-minute board meeting held on Oct. 2.

Before being hired by LEAD back in April, Ivey served as the principal of Park Crossing High School in Montgomery as well as Central Middle School in Coosa County.

The AEA lawsuit seeks monetary damages.

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