A former Horizon Christian Academy teacher is suing the school for gender discrimination after he was allegedly fired for physically stopping a female student while directing traffic.
According to lawsuit filed in a North Georgia District court on Nov. 12, 2018, Frank Latimer Jr., a former teacher and facilities director at Horizon Christian Academy in Cumming, was allegedly terminated from his position at the school on April 26, 2018, one day after he “accidentally came into contact with” a female student while he was directing traffic.
The suit states that on April 25, 2018, Latimer held his arm out to “keep the female student from going the wrong way and the female bumped into him.”
Latimer was notified the next day that he was being terminated “for cause” and was accused of “inappropriately touching students” during the April 25 incident as well as two other unspecified interactions with students that occurred “over four years prior,” according to the suit.
In a signed statement of the events, Latimer suggested that these incidents were all innocuous and his firing was retaliatory.
“I did nothing to create this event. Nor did I intend for it to occur,” the statement reads. “Yet, the principal (female) subsequently took affirmative steps to seek out any past alleged grievances that anyone affiliated with HCA had against me.”
The suit claims that Latimer’s firing was gender discrimination because in the past Horizon Christian Academy has not disciplined or terminated female employees who have had accidental, or intentional and non-harmful physical contact with students.
“HCA terminated Mr. Latimer for a student accidentally bumping into him,” the suit states.
Furthermore, the suit states that Latimer’s actions during the April 2018 incident did not violate Horizon Christian Academy rules or any terms of his employment.
Latimer also stated in the suit that after alerting Horizon Christian Academy that he would be retaining an attorney, he was allegedly told by a school lawyer that if he proceeded with his claims “the school will tell any future prospective employers that I ‘was discharged for improperly touching young girls.’”
According to Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office records, no reports have been filed against Latimer regarding any incidents that have occurred at Horizon Christian Academy.
Latimer’s attorney, Robert McDonald, of Norcross, declined to comment on the suit for the FCN.
Attempts to reach a Horizon Christian Academy spokesperson for comment were unsuccessful.