Lightfoot v. Richmond Public Schools et al

Filing 36

MEMORANDUM OPINION. See for complete details. Signed by District Judge Robert E. Payne on 08/11/2017. (nbrow)

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rr IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA Richmond Division u rr ~ FERNANDO LIGHTFOOT, Q; 11 v. Civil Action No. 3:16cv910 RICHMOND PUBLIC SCHOOLS, et al., Defendants. MEMORANDUM OPINION This matter is before the Court on the MOTION TO DISMISS Board for the (ECF No. City of 25), filed by Defendants the School Richmond ("RPS") and Dana T. Bedden For the reasons set ( "Bedden") (collectively the "Defendants") . forth below, the motion will be granted. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND Fernando COMPLAINT several ("Lightfoot") Lightfoot (ECF No. claims 1) on November 14, against multiple filed 2016. individuals his original Lightfoot alleged affiliated with Linwood Holton Elementary School. The parties in this conference on April 19, the COMPLAINT 2~~-l~j _ _J CLERK, U.S. DIST;-=t!CT COURT RICHMOND, VA Plaintiff, AMENDED COMPLAINT ~ r-n~ 1 (ECF No. case 2017. 2), attended the initial pretrial Based on the Court's review of DEFENDANT DAVID HUDSON'S MOTION TO DISMISS ( ECF No. 7) , the MOTION TO DISMISS 1 and the supporting and opposing memoranda, that the Complaint did were presented against not adequately which defendants (ECF ( ECF No. 12) , the Court determined set nor forth which did the claims Complaint set forth plausible claims within the meaning of Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2009). (2007); Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 550 U.S. 662 Therefore, the Court granted the Defendants' motions to dismiss, and dismissed the Complaint without prejudice. Lightfoot refiled an AMENDED COMPLAINT 10, 2017. (ECF No. 23) on May The Amended Complaint names the following individuals as defendants 2 : Richmond Public Schools ("RPS") 3, Dana T. Bedden The Motion to Dismiss was filed by the School Board for the City of Richmond ("RPS") , Kimberly Gray ("Gray") , individually and in her official capacity as a member of the RPS Board, Kristen Larson ("Larson"), individually and in her official capacity as a member of the RPS Board, Donald Coleman ("Coleman"), individually and in his official capacity as a member of the RPS Board, Jeffrey Bourne ("Bourne"), individually and in his official capacity as a member of the RPS Board, Derik Jones ("Jones"), individually and in his official capacity as a member of the RPS Board, Glen Sturtevant ("Sturtevant") , individually and in his official capacity as a member of the RPS Board, Dana T. Bedden ("Bedden), individually and in his official capacity as Superintended at Richmond Public Schools, and Anthony Leonard ("Leonard"), individually and in his official capacity as Executive Director of Elementary Schools at Richmond Public Schools. 1 Lightfoot did not include in the Amended Complaint several individuals whom he had previously included as Defendants in the original complaint. 2 In the original Complaint, Lightfoot incorrectly identified one of the Defendants as Richmond Public Schools ("RPS"). The 3 2 ( "Bedden") , individually, Amended Complaint violation of sets Title and David Hudson, forth VII, six and, individually. COUNT claims. although it 1 is The asserts described a as "Hudson's Sexual Harassment of Lightfoot," the count is alleged only against RPS. (AC, Title although VII, and, Retaliation Against <JI COUNT 2 asserts a violation of 23) • it Lightfoot described is Because He Rejected described as Lightfoot' s against RPS. Hudson for "Retaliation Assistant (AC, Hudson's Employment Contract. Hudson Principal <JI Tortious COUNT 5, 4 it Interference Nonrenewal is asserts <JI 31) . al though it is Recommends Position," COUNT 36) . and, Hudson's (AC, Sexual Overtures," it is alleged only against RPS. COUNT 3 asserts a violation of Title VII, "Hudson's as a of only alleged claim against with Lightfoot's RPS and Bedden, alleged against challenges Bedden's Decision to Nonrenew Lightfoot's Contract as a violation of Lightfoot' s Due Process Rights. COUNT 6, also alleged against RPS and Bedden, asserts Bedden's Failure to Give Lightfoot an Opportunity to Respond as a denial of Lightfoot' s Procedural Due Process Rights. Defendant corrected the Plaintiff's error in the original motion to dismiss, highlighting that the proper name for the Defendant is the School Board of the City of Richmond. Lightfoot has continued to identify that Defendant with the improper name and the acronym RPS. For purposes of this Opinion, the Court will continue to refer to that Defendant as "RPS". 3 All By Defendants separate filed their respective motions to dismiss. Memorandum Opinion and Order, the Court granted DEFENDANT DAVID HUDSON'S MOTION TO DISMISS (ECF NO 27). In the summer The Amended Complaint provides as follows: of 2014, Lightfoot worked as a school counselor for the Richmond (AC, ! 12). Public School ("RPS"). David Hudson ("Hudson") was and remains the Principal of Linwood Holton Elementary School. Id. at ! 11. In the summer of 2014, during a track meet, Hudson approached Lightfoot and stated that Lightfoot looked familiar. Id. "Lightfoot told Hudson that he was currently seeking an administrative position and Hudson responded that he was seeking to appoint an assistant principal at Holton Elementary and that Lightfoot should send him his resume." Id. at ! 14. "Hudson told Lightfoot that his lack of experience and training did not matter to him because he would mentor and teach him everything that he needed to know and that he would develop Lightfoot into a principal in two to three years." Id. at ! 17. Hudson subsequently recommended Lightfoot for the assistant principal position ("Leonard") , Bedden at Holton the Assistant ( "Bedden") , the Elementary to Superintendent of Superintendent of Anthony RPS, RPS. Leonard and Dana T. Id. at ! 19. "Leonard and Bedden did not agree with Hudson's request pointing out to Hudson that Lightfoot lacked classroom and supervisory 4 experience "Hudson during was his resolute employment and with Id. RPS." insistent 20. and Id. at ':II':II 21-22. "During the first week of September 2014, start of the 2014-2015 school year", ':II Bedden [and] Leonard reluctantly approved the appointment." which was at the Lightfoot noticed "Hudson was intently gazing at his crotch." to Lightfoot, at Id. Hudson said at ':II 24. "I have expensive taste - you need to take me to the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, DC." Id. decided not to respond to Hudson's comment, response would have Lightfoot at ':II 25. for fear that "any Id. jeopardized his position." at ':II 27. Lightfoot alleges that Hudson made at least ten or more sexually suggestive comments to him after the first incident, 'when are you going to take me to dinner?'" Id. at ':II 29. "When it became clear to Hudson interested in his sexual overtures, punish Lightfoot's rejection of that Lightfoot was not Hudson began a campaign to his sexual overtures created for Lightfoot a hostile work environment." "In the last week of August, "such as, which Id. at ':II 33. 2014, Hudson gave Lightfoot a list of i terns to complete but did not specify the time in which he expected the list Lightfoot did not to be finish completed." the Id. tasks by the at ':II 36(a). next week, When "Hudson responded that he felt that a week was ample time to complete the list. When Lightfoot explained that he needed more time and help to complete the list, Hudson replied, "I can't evaluate you 5 if I don't know what you can do." of 2014, Lightfoot Id. at asked Hudson museum field trip but "Hudson for <J[ help In November 36(c). regarding a refused and told Lightfoot that he, Hudson, needed to see what he, Lightfoot, could do." <J[ 36(e). the Id. at On another occasions, Hudson told Lightfoot "to revise cafeteria schedule and adjust the lunch times." tenure science in his position, rearrange Id. at <J[ the cafeteria tables 36(f). and Because of his short Lightfoot did not know the details to complete this task and "Hudson offered Lightfoot no assistance with regard to this task." On February Lightfoot, 9, Id. Hudson 2015, delivered a letter to regarding an "IEP" meeting on February 4, 2015 "which Lightfoot inadvertently failed to attend because he was at the University of Richmond attending a Leadership Academy meeting." (Amend. Compl. <J[ 3 7) . The letter indicated that Hudson was concerned about Lightfoot's performance as assistant principal. Id. In response to the letter, Lightfoot requested a meeting with Leonard in order to "advise him of Hudson's treatment and to seek his advice." Id. at <J[ 38. Lightwood did not reveal to Leonard the alleged harassment by Hudson but instead described the "other" treatment by Hudson. Id. at <J[ 41. Leonard advised Lightfoot that Hudson had already spoke with him prior to the meeting and Hudson told Leonard about Lightfoot missing the IEP 6 meeting. Id. at explained that Leonard subsequently called Hudson and 40. <JI "Hudson had fought to get Lightfoot hired" therefore "Hudson now had to mentor and train Lightfoot . Id. and ff . 42. <JI The next day, Hudson made a comment to Lightfoot stating, "[o]h, you went to Dr. Leonard to tell on me" to which Lightfoot did not respond. Id. Lightfoot he was at going to The following day, 43. <JI "non-renew" him, "[t]rust me, I will get you." Id. at Hudson told and told Lightfoot 43-44. <J[<J[ In March 2015, Hudson recommended to Bedden that because of "alleged performance problems" Lightfoot be Id. assistant principal for the 2015-2016 year. support his nonrenewal recommendation, several time letters which he dated September "Lightfoot productivity Lightfoot 2014, 9, was not was at need that his of he 46. <JI gave 47. <JI to One of the reflected meeting in "concedes Id. at as Lightfoot letter, Hudson's timelines evaluation." received" Hudson "saw performance". falsely from November certain Id. at 24, the 2014, deficiencies <JI Lightfoot 50. represented" Lightfoot' s 7 "To at concerns and Id. letter; that his that at 48. <JI however, Lightfoot's alleged signature on this that he Id. warned Lightfoot in the letters, alleges that "Hudson falsely claimed Lightfoot signed it." Another an Hudson turned over to HR claimed he they were written." non-renewed that job "Hudson letter, and that Lightfoot only saw the recommendation in March. dated February 9, 2015, letter after Id. at <][<][ 52, Hudson's 41. 4 nonrenewal A similar letter, from Hudson, was also turned over to HR and included Lightfoot's signature. Id. at<][<][ 53-54. The AC alleges that Hudson's nonrenewal to Bedden violated Leonard's instructions to mentor Id. Lightfoot. at <][ 55. Furthermore, given the close proximity of the recommendation for nonrenewal and Lightfoot's meeting with Leonard, Leonard should have known that the "nonrenewal recommendation by Hudson clearly constituted Lightfoot' s Lightfoot retaliation meeting alleges on with that March 23, Leonard 2015, part Leonard." communications with Hudson". "On the of Id. did not at Hudson <][ because Further, 56. "advise of Bedden of his Id. at<][ 57. Lightfoot submitted a grievance to Bedden challenging Hudson's recommendation for his nonrenewal to the position explained of "in assistant his principal." rebuttal that Id. at 37. although he was Lightfoot given the September 9, 2014 letter, he never signed it" nor did he see the letter from November 24, 2014 until Hudson's nonrenewal recommendation. after he was noticed Lightfoot also told Bedden At this point in the Amended Complaint, i.e. paragraph Plaintiff chose to re-start his numbering at paragraph 36. purposes of this memorandum, the Court will reference paragraphs as numbered in Plaintiff's Amended Complaint. 4 8 of 57, For the that the signatures on both the September and November letters were false. Id. at Lightfoot's signature. On April 16, first time 23, would sexual Bedden 2015, Id. continue at <JI 43. counselor charges position a principal to on for the For the upcoming school Lightfoot would be not decision Bedden determined that assistant as Bedden "decided that school harassment "submitted remainder of the 2014-2015 school year. year, forged 51. <JI Lightfoot's grievance." Lightfoot having 42. <JI Leonard his Id. at April denied Lightfoot met with Leonard and for the "shared with against Hudson." On Id. at 2015, Hudson 41. <JI another reassigned to a assistant principal position and that he could apply for and be considered for any positions Bedden that also he was granted qualified Lightfoot' s to hold." request to Id. be at further 43(b). transferred another school location for the remainder of the year. Bedden ordered a <JI to Finally, investigation of the nonrenewal issue by Leonard. Id at his decision, Bedden did not address Lightfoot's allegation that <JI 47(b). Lightfoot alleges that in making Hudson forged Lightfoot's signatures on the letters. "On May 18, 2015, Lightfoot met with Bedden and Leonard and reiterated his harassed him." claims Id. at that <JI 53. Hudson sexually propositioned and At some point, Bedden retained the law firm of "Sands Anderson to conduct an investigation of the 9 sexual harassment charges Id. against Hudson." at On 54. <JI June 4, 2015, the law firm issued a report to Bedden, concluding that "there was insufficient evidence to support claims of sexual harassment against Hudson". Id. at Lightfoot's <JI 55. On June 12, 2015, Bedden and Leonard met with Lightfoot and Bedden did not gave him a copy of the Sands Anderson Report. provide any Lightfoot details had Lightfoot an about the opportunity alleges, "was to report respond or to explain the especially a [sic] whether report critical which, because Lightfoot was the first person interviewed by the investigators who shared with other persons interviewed including Hudson, Lightfoot's claims and statements; and the investigators did not go back to Lightfoot to the other persons share with him the interviewed, especially version was at odds with his version." alleges that respond, he because was denial evidence he "denied was the not given opportunity from telephone records showed that between June 7, Id. statements made by those at the to <JI persons 60. Lightfoot opportunity counter [] ." Id at <JI [] to Hudson's in his possession which 2014 and August 15, 2014 there were numerous telephone calls made from Lightfoot's cell phone Holton Elementary School whose [] to and to and from Hudson's cell phone 62. Lightfoot requests relief in the form of reinstatement to his former position as assistant principal, 10 back pay, front pay and five million dollars for pain and suffering, humiliation, embarrassment, and inconvenience. ANALYSIS AND APPLICATION OF LAW A motion challenges to the dismiss legal under sufficiency Alternative Resources Corp., Fed. of R. a Civ. P. Jordan complaint. 458 F. 3d 332, 338 12(b) (6) v. (4th Cir. 2006). When deciding a motion to dismiss under Rule 12 (b) ( 6) , a court must "draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff." Nemet 250, Chevrolet, 253 pleader's that Ltd. (4th Cir., While 2009). description can be v. of reasonably what drawn the court happened" therefrom," and the Inc., 591 F.3d "will accept the "any conclusions court "need not accept conclusory allegations encompassing the legal effects of the pleaded facts." Charles A. Wright Federal Practice and Procedure§ 1357 Old Dominion Sec. *4 (E.D. Va. 2014). Co., L.L.C., No. & Arthur R. Miller, (3d ed.1998); Chamblee v. 3: 13CV820, 2014 WL 1415095, The court is not required to accept as true a legal conclusion unsupported by factual allegations. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678-79 (2009). RPS and Bedden challenge Lightfoot's claim as to the counts asserted against them, specifically COUNTS 1, Each will be addressed in turn. 11 2, 3, 5, AND 6. A. The Amended Complaint Does Not Present a Plausible Claim for a Hostile Work Environment in Violation of Title VII as Alleged in Count 1 In COUNT 1, Lightfoot alleges that "Hudson's sexually explicit overtures unreasonably interfered with Lightfoot's work performance and created an intimidating, work environment." unlawful employment discriminate against compensation, terms, because of such ~ (AC, any for conditions, 42 U.S.C. "To establish a an individual individual's national origin." Title 30) . 5 practice hostile, or race, was unwelcome, sufficiently severe or it "an to with respect privileges color, of to [his] employment, religion, sex, or 2000e-2(a) (1). § Title VII (2) renders employer hostile work environment based on sex, a plaintiff must show that (1) VII and offensive was based pervasive to on claim 'the offending conduct h[is] alter the sex, (3) conditions was of h[is] employment and create an abusive work environment, and (4) was imputable to h[is] employer.'" Sonnier v. Diamond Healthcare Corp., 114 Ocheltree v. F. Supp. 3d 349, Scallon Prods., 355 Inc., (E.D. Va. 335 F.3d 325, 2015) (quoting 331 (4th Cir. The conduct, as alleged in the Amended Complaint, provides that Hudson, a male, created a hostile work environment for Lightfoot, another male, through his sexual overtures. The Supreme Court has explained "that nothing in Title VII necessarily bars a claim of discrimination [] merely because the plaintiff and the defendant (or the person charged with acting on behalf of the defendant) are of the same sex." Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Servs., Inc., 523 U.S. 75, 79 (1998). 5 12 2003)) . RPS and Bedden first argue that the conduct complained of in the Amended Complaint is not sufficiently severe or pervasive to constitute a violation of Title VII. In analyzing Complaint, it the is allegations necessary to presented keep in in the that mind Amended "[t]he prohibition of harassment on the basis of sex requires neither asexuality nor androgyny in the workplace; it forbids behavior so objectively offensive as to alter the of the Servs., victim's Inc., Oncale employment." 523 U.S. 75, 81 v. 'conditions' Sundowner Further, (1998). only Offshore "the objective severity of harassment should be judged from the perspective of a reasonable person in the plaintiff's position, considering all the circumstances." Supreme Court (internal Id. has directed citations district courts frequency of the discriminatory conduct; its omitted) . to consider severity; The "the whether it is physically threatening or humiliating, or a mere offensive utterance; and whether it unreasonably Faragher v. employee's work performance." 524 U.S. 775, 787-88 (1998) As meeting alleged in Lightfoot' s early the - D.C." with an City of Boca Raton, (internal citations omitted). Amended September crotch and, expensive taste Washington, in interferes 2014, Complaint, Hudson while so doing, in looked a one-on-one intently Hudson said: at "I have you need to take me to the Ritz-Carlton in (AC, <][<][ 24-25). 13 Notwithstanding the Defendants' contention considered at the to the pleading contrary, stage as this a comment sexually must be suggestive remark. The only other particulars offered in support of the hostile work allegation environment that "Hudson claim on at appear least in ten the conclusory or more subsequent occasions made several sexually suggestive comments to Lightfoot such as, 'when are you going to take me to dinner?'" One sexually suggestive remark is not enough to constitute See Smith v. First Union Nat. Bank, a hostile work environment. 202 F.3d 234, 242 (4th Cir. 2000) ("A work environment consumed by remarks that intimidate, ridicule, and maliciously demean the status of women hostile as [or men] an sexual.") (emphasis can create an environment that is as environment added) . And, that a contains unwanted conclusory allegation that there were "ten or more other sexually suggestive comments" does not satisfy either Twombly 6 or Iqbal 7 especially when that conclusory allegation is modified by the non-sexually suggestive phrase such as, "when are you going to take me to dinner?" 6 Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007). 7 Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009). 14 The Twombly and Iqbal demand for plausibility cannot be satisfied by such summary and conclusory allegations. For the foregoing reasons, COUNT 1 is legally insufficient. Lightfoot has been afforded leave to amend and has presented a viable hostile work environment claim. not yet He now must suffer dismissal. B. The Amended Complaint does Not Present a Plausible Claim for Any Title VII Relation Violations as to COUNTS 2 and 3 As Violated Lightfoot to COUNT Title 2, VII because Lightfoot because he was not which environment." a and Bedden sexual against overtures." "[w] hen it became clear to Hudson that interested created in his sexual Hudson rejection of his sexual Lightfoot for overtures, a hostile work (AC, ! 33). Under Title VII, relation, RPS retaliate[ed] Hudson's began a campaign to punish Lightfoot' s overtures that "Hudson[] rejected Lightfoot alleges that, Lightfoot alleges in order to plaintiff must demonstrate engaged in protected activity, action was taken against show a prima facia ( 2) that [him], and (3) that "(1) an adverse case of that []he employment that there was a causal link between the protected activity and the adverse employment action." Laughlin v. Metro. Washington Airports Auth., 149 F.3d 253, (4th Cir. 258 1998) . "Protected activities fall into two distinct categories: participation or opposition. 15 [] An employer may not retaliate against an employee for participating in an ongoing investigation or proceeding under Title VII, nor may the employer take adverse employment action against an employee for opposing discriminatory practices in the workplace." Id. at 259. The Amended Complaint does not participated in a protected activity. not engage Furthermore, in an plead Lightfoot It is clear that he did investigation ongoing that proceeding. or Lightfoot did not oppose a discriminatory practice in the workforce. Opposition activity encompasses utilizing informal grievance procedures as well as staging informal protests and voicing one's opinions in order to bring attention to an employer's discriminatory activities. []. To determine whether an employee has engaged in legitimate opposition activity we employ a balancing test. [] We balance the purpose of the Act to protect persons engaging reasonably in activities opposing discrimination, against Congress' equally manifest desire not to tie the hands of employers in the objective selection and control of personnel. Laughlin, Amended Instead, 149 F. 3d at Complaint it Lightfoot's 259 does describes (internal not conduct performance, describe citations any omitted). protected by Hudson whereby he including Lightfoot's complete a list of items in August 2014, activity. criticized inability Lightwood' s The to inability to organize a science museum field trip in November of 2014, and 16 j -- - Lightfoot' s lack of experience in organizing the cafeteria and lunch schedule. plausible For these reasons, the Court cannot find that a Title Lightfoot's VII claim rejection of for retaliation Hudson's exists alleged based sexual on overtures. COUNT 2 therefore will be dismissed. As to 3, COUNT Lightfoot alleges that RPS and Bedden violated Title VII based on Hudson's retaliation by recommending non renewal In of Lightfoot 2015, inadvertently missed Leonard, the assistant Lightfoot February for explains Assistant During the this an meeting, treatment of him as "IEP" Superintendent "Lightfoot Lightfoot further stated, responded, 2015, 'I he was never at going lose, I recommended that the recommendation (AC, win!' Id. of of c:!I about at with 37). leaving Hudson Hudson him. Lightfoot c:!I he Hudson's 1-36], 'non-renew' always nonrenewal meet "The next day, 41. to to RPS. [paragraphs c:!I after went Leonard 'Do what you got to do'." Hudson believes that Id. position. that, he of told set forth above out the sexual overtures." told meeting, principal then In March 44. Lightfoot. Lightfoot nonrenewal constitutes retaliation. Even if Hudson did in fact "retaliate" against Lightfoot by recommending nonrenewal about Hudson's treatment, and Bedden, not against after Lightfoot complained to Leonard Lightfoot alleges Count 3 against RPS Hudson. 17 Therefore, it is irrelevant Nowhere in whether Hudson was acting in a retaliatory manner. the Amended Complaint does Lightfoot allege that RPS or Bedden retaliated admits in against the him Amended for his Further, conduct. Complaint that he did complain to Under the state of Leonard about Hudson's "sexual overtures." these pleadings, not Lightfoot Lightfoot has failed to plead a key element of a retaliation claim: engagement in a protected activity. Thus, COUNT 3 is legally insufficient. C. The Amended Complaint does Not Present a Plausible Claim for Any Due Process Violation as to COUNTS 5 and 6 In COUNT 5, Lightfoot Nonrenew Lightfoot Reliance on alleges Lacked Substantial Questionable Process Rights." that Documents In COUNT 6, "Bedden' s Evidence Denied Decision to and Bedden's Lightfoot's Due Lightfoot alleges that "Bedden' s Failure to Give Lightfoot an Opportunity to Respond to the Sands Anderson Report and Relying on Procedural Due Process Rights." the Report Denied Lightfoot' s In both instances, Lightfoot is claiming a violation of his due process rights. "In order to make out either a subs tan ti ve or procedural due process claim, a plaintiff must allege sufficient facts support that liberty, a finding or property, Smith, 120 F.3d 500, the by 502 [he/she] "[was] governmental (4th Cir.1997). interest cannot be created by the 18 deprived action." of to life, Beverati v. A protected property Fourteenth Amendment itself, but rather must be created or defined by an independent source." Equity In Athletics , (4th Cir. 2011). Inc . v. De p ' t of Educ . , 63 9 F . 3d 91 , 10 9 Public employees may have a constitutionally See Cleveland protected property interest in their employment. Bd. of Educ. v. Loudermill, 470 U.S. 532, 542, 546 (1985). In Virginia, a public school administrator has a property interest in the job only once the employee "obtains continuing contract status." App'x 203, that an (4th Cir. assistant principal person 206 has continuing as is Va. not in the a principal, including contract Buchanan Cty. 2011). principal served employed supervisor, Hibbitts v. a status who as a Bd., Code 221.294(A) under position person Sch. contract for three assistant has F. provides until the years. ("A principal, or previously teacher, 433 shall achieved serve probationary term of three years in such position in the a same school di vision before acquiring continuing contract status as principal, assistant principal, or supervisor."). Based on Va. Code 221.294(a), Lightfoot, as a new assistant principal in a probationary interest in his job. status, did not a property He was neither tenured nor contracted for a period longer than the 2014-2015 school year. Amended Complaint have fails to allege process violation in COUNTS 5 and 6. 19 Therefore, cognizable claims for a the due CONCLUSION For DISMISS and 6. the reasons (ECF No. 25) set forth above, DEFENDANTS' MOTION will be granted as to COUNTS 1, 2, 3, These counts will be dismissed with prejudice. It is so ORDERED. Isl fl!_~ Robert E. Payne Senior United States District Judge Richmond, Virginia Date: August ---l-t-' 2017 20 TO 5,

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