Jasper County School District involved in lawsuits, federal inve - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Jasper County School District involved in lawsuits, federal investigation

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JASPER CO., SC (WTOC) -

Jasper County Schools Superintendent Dr. Vashti Washington is suing a school board member, alleging he slandered her name, and she's claiming he's part of the reason behind the federal investigation of the school district.

This is just the latest in a number of the lawsuits the district is dealing with this year.

The school district is wrapped up in at least four lawsuits on top of the federal investigation into the district.

The first suit was filed by school board member Randy Horton in June 2013.

He claims the district violated the state's Freedom of Information Act by refusing to give him documents he requested, like credit card statements and background checks of school employees. A judge has that case and has yet to rule.

The school disctrict itself filed a lawsuit in July 2013 against the school board and county council over the school district's 2013-2014 budget, saying the board and council took money out of their budget and shouldn't have.

In March, the district filed another lawsuit, this time against the construction companies that build the Ridgeland and Hardeeville school campuses.

The most recent lawsuit was filed earlier this month: Superintendent Vashti Washington v. Board Member Randy Horton. Washington claims Horton is trying to ruin her reputation by making false claims about her.

Washington and other district officials said they could not comment on Wednesday because all of the cases are ongoing, but parents are talking.

"It is a lot," said parent Cynthia Ford. "Because as parents, I feel that this process, it all comes from not communicating, and that's the honest truth, and that's what's causing so much chaos."

Ford's daughter is a sophomore at Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School. Depsite the fact that Ford said she and 16 other parents are planning to sue the district themselves, she said everyone needs to find a way to work together for the sake of the students.

"If we can get together as one, it'll be so much better," said Ford.

The judge did rule against the district in the budget lawsuit against the county council, but district officials have decided to appeal that ruling.

But with all of this going on, district officials maintain their number one priority is the students and their education.

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