District wants part of harassment suit tossed

Rodney Prewitt
A 2013 photo of Rodney Prewitt. (Courtesy Loy Norrix Knight Life student newspaper)

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Kalamazoo Public Schools wants a federal judge to throw out part of a sexual harassment lawsuit against the district and former Loy Norrix High School Principal Rodney Prewitt.

The district’s attorneys filed a motion Friday asking for two of the four counts in the suit to be dismissed. The defendants also want a federal judge to make the plaintiffs pay their costs and attorney fees.

The district is arguing the counts should be tossed because the woman who filed it, a school counselor, didn’t previously file complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. It also says two of the counts don’t apply because the counselor and Prewitt had previously been involved in a relationship.

The suit was filed in December 2016. In it, the counselor said Prewitt sexually harassed her and other women at the school and that he retaliated against her when she rejected his advances.

Prewitt, who was hired by KPS in 2013, was placed on administrative leave in October and resigned from his post as principal last week.

He previously lost his teaching certificate in Florida after similar allegations surfaced there. The Kalamazoo superintendent said he didn’t know about that until about two years ago.