Appeals court keeps former superintendent’s suit ongoing

Dr. Phyllis Edwards discusses school consolidation plans in this 2019 photo.
Dr. Phyllis Edwards discusses school consolidation plans in this 2019 photo.(GrayTV)
Updated: Nov. 18, 2023 at 7:59 AM CST
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Years after her not-so-friendly departure, a lawsuit brought by former Dothan City Schools Superintendent Dr. Phyllis Edwards is ongoing.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently reversed a lower court’s ruling dismissing claims Edwards brought against school board members.

Seeking $580,000, she alleges those members wrongfully terminated her, though she resigned after working less than three years of her five-year contract.

Edwards submitted a resignation letter dated September 8, 2020, and six days later, the school board accepted her resignation, effective immediately.

Her lawsuit claims she should have been allowed to work a 120-day notice called for in her agreement.

After a U.S. District judge in Alabama’s Middle District dismissed her claims, Edwards took her case to the 11th Circuit.

Dr. Edwards’ tenure in Dothan was turbulent.

The closings of several schools and the elimination of popular magnet schools irritated some parents.

She also had run-ins with band boosters that resulted in Edwards’ administration attempting to arrest one champion, but police refused to file charges.

Related: Principal’s allegations could have landed band boosters in jail

Before coming to Dothan, she was a finalist for Georgia Superintendent of the Year after spearheading sweeping changes that increased Decatur’s public-school enrollment.

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