‘You’re putting these kids in danger:’ 5 GA school districts accused of violating Title IX

ATLANTA — At least five Georgia school districts are accused of violating Title IX.

An attorney says he plans to file federal lawsuits against the districts on behalf of students.

Attorney Mel Hewitt is bringing Title IX allegations of six different cases of teacher-on-student and student-on-student assaults in Georgia public schools, some of which occurred in metro Atlanta.

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“You’re putting these kids in danger,” Hewitt said.

At a news conference, Hewitt discussed cases involving Carroll, DeKalb, Douglas, Gwinnett, and Washington County school districts.

Title IX is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination, including sexual abuse, assault, and coercion in educational institutions that receive federal funding.

“It’s time more folks knew about the situations going on in our schools,” Hewitt added.

This is how the six cases layout:

According to Hewitt, the first case surrounds the alleged hazing of a Douglas County high school student.

The second, centers around the reported hazing of a McNair Middle School student.

Hewitt told Channel 2′s Audrey Washington he’s representing alleged victims in two different cases in DeKalb County, one involving a student with autism.

“This is a middle school student being sexually assaulted by another student,” Hewitt explained.

Hewitt said he is also suing Gwinnett County schools after police arrested school bus driver, Jayson Lyons, for the alleged sexual assault of a 15-year-old student.

“I did receive a response [from Gwinnett County Schools] from this particular notice and it said ‘hey, call our lawyer’,” Hewitt said.


In a statement, a Gwinnett County Schools spokesperson wrote:

“Given the possibility of future legal action against Gwinnett County Public Schools, on the advice of our attorneys, the district has no comment at this time.”

Hewitt said he also sent a notice to Carroll County schools after police arrested former guidance counselor Alonzo Wyatt.

Wyatt is accused of sexually assaulting a Villa Rica High School student.

“Everyone is shocked about it because Mr. Wyatt always had a smile on his face. He was just happy to be there,” one Villa Rica High School student said.

Hewitt said the case with perhaps the most alleged victims, involves the indictment of former Washington County Schools drama coach Michael Allan Dendy.

Dendy faces 20 counts of sexual misconduct, that involved at least 16 students.

“There were reports of misconduct. The school knew about that and hired him anyway,” Hewitt said.

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Washington County schools did not respond to Washington’s request for comment.

In a statement, a DeKalb County Schools spokesperson wrote:

“It is the longstanding practice of the DeKalb County School District not to comment on potential or pending litigation.”

A Carroll County Schools spokesperson wrote:

“...We do not comment on pending litigation.”

A spokesperson for the Douglas County School System shared a statement that read,

The Douglas County School System is committed to providing all our students a safe, inclusive, and nurturing environment. We take allegations of misconduct or violations seriously and have policies and procedures to address them promptly.

While we cannot comment further on pending litigation or ongoing investigations, we remain dedicated to fostering a culture of respect and inclusivity. The protection of our school community is our top priority. Therefore, we will continue investigating all allegations and cooperate fully with authorities to ensure compliance with all laws and regulations.


Channel 2′s Audrey Washington

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