Former Colquitt Co. principal files complaint after contract not renewed

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Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 11:17 AM EST
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MOULTRIE, Ga. (WALB) - A former principal in Colquitt County Schools has filed an open records complaint against the school district, claiming his contract was not renewed because of racism.

Dr. Leamon Madison said after 17 years with Colquitt County Schools, his contract was not renewed this year after sounding off about social justice and the George Floyd case.

Principal at Cox Elementary School, Madison and his lawyer said after he sent an email to faculty in reference to the death of George Floyd, he was secretly recorded and even told he would be lynched.

Madison said he sent an email encouraging Colquitt County Schools staff to speak out against injustice and have open conversations about law enforcement and interactions with people of color.

“People of color, especially Black males, usually have some bad interactions with law enforcement for one reason or another,” said Madison.

Dr. Leamon Madison is the former principal at Cox Elementary School.
Dr. Leamon Madison is the former principal at Cox Elementary School. (WALB)

Soon after that email was sent, Madison said in his complaint filed against the school district that “several board members were upset by his email and calling for his job.”

“I was speaking out against that. You know we had the superintendent, and the HR director came over and met with me several times after that. Even one of the teachers that was on my staff, she even made a statement that they were gonna lynch me,” said Madison.

According to the complaint, the teacher in question had become very angry and denied the allegations. And said quote, “that she had been speaking to a board of education member, the HR Director, and the superintendent who had instructed her to tape record him, making it clear to him that his employer was not taking his complaint of discrimination seriously, or the racist threat to his life.”

A few days after reporting the incident, Williams was met with more news about his position.

“I was told that I was non-renewed that they wouldn’t be bringing me back as principal,” said Madison.

Madison and his lawyer Julie Oinonen have requested a release of open records for messages exchanged between public employees after he says the Colquitt County Board of Education voted on his dismissal in an executive board meeting.

His lawyer did give a statement to WALB News 10 in part saying: “It wasn’t until he spoke out against racism that he first encountered retaliation by the district. And that is an illegal violation of the Title VII Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits employers from discriminating and retaliating against workers in Georgia.”

Julie Oinonen is Dr. Leamon Madison's attorney.
Julie Oinonen is Dr. Leamon Madison's attorney. (WALB)

Madison is still looking for employment since he was let go.

“I’ve applied to several surrounding counties and even out of state. And nothing has transpired, so kind of seems like I’ve been blackballed for whatever reason,” said Madison.

The NAACP of Moultrie said it stands in solidarity with Madison and hopes his complaint is justly heard.

“We are here to make sure that, that same amount of consideration is given regardless of your skin color,” said Patrick McCray, vice president of the Moultrie Colquitt County NAACP.

WALB did reach out to the Colquitt County School District. They said they could not give us a statement because of the fact that the complaint is in litigation.

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