TROUP, TX (KLTV) - A settlement has been made regarding the lawsuit against Troup ISD, made by former Athletic Director and Head Coach Dennis Alexander of Troup ISD.
On Feb. 14, 2018, a settlement agreement was reached and the lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice, meaning the judgment is final. Alexander was awarded $100,000 from Troup ISD and $100,000 from the insurance company.
In March of 2016, the Troup school board voted to end Alexander's contract after allegations rose that Alexander struck a student during football practice.The termination followed a hearing conducted by a Dallas judge, hired by the Texas Education Agency. The judge recommended that Superintendent Stuart Bird and Troup Independent School District terminate Alexander's contract and the school district followed through with that decision.
Alexander filed a lawsuit in November of 2017 seeking $1.16 million in compensatory and punitive damages and to be reinstated to his former position. The district filed a response to the allegations on Dec. 2.
Alexander's suit alleged the board violated his rights, called his reputation into question and created a stigma that "foreclosed his freedom to take advantage of other employment opportunities."
According to the lawsuit, on Oct. 20, 2015, Troup ISD Superintendent Stuart Bird received a complaint from a football player's parent who alleged that he slapped "a football player in the face with his open hand at a practice held on Oct. 19, 2015." The suit alleges that the parent and his father were both members of the school board.
Days later, a second player claimed to have been struck on the back of the head at practice. However, Alexander's lawsuit claims that player was not interviewed until after he was suspended.
"Another coach who was at the practice testified that Alexander did not slap or strike any of the football players. Any contact by Alexander with the boys was not malicious or harmful," the document reads.
In their response, the district denied that claim. They also denied that the district violated Alexander's rights "intentionally, maliciously, and with conscious disregard" of his rights, entitling him to recover damages.
The district stated in its response that the former director "failed to exhaust administrative remedies" prior to filing suit.
Alexander had requested a jury trial.
The superintendent of Troup ISD, Stuart Bird, told KLTV today that the district is glad this is behind them and the books are closed on it.