Archie Allen Poplin, former Baldwin High School principal, has filed a lawsuit against the city's school district for unlawfully terminating him.
He is seeking damages in excess of $100,000.
According to the lawsuit, filed July 12, Poplin, a Lawrence resident, was injured in an accident at his home in June 2004. The accident required hip surgery and a three-week recovery. Nearly a year later, Poplin claims in the lawsuit that he was informed that members of the school board "had concerns about his health, medicine, thought processes and lingering effects of his fall."
In December 2005, Poplin began to experience problems from his injury, and he learned he needed additional surgery and therapy to correct his problems. According to the lawsuit, it was discovered through routine medical testing after Poplin's last day of work, April 28, 2006, that he had a blood disease, which required a bone marrow transplant.
The lawsuit says Poplin had no indication that his job was in jeopardy. He received a positive job evaluation from former Superintendent James White on March 27, 2006. That evening at a special school board meeting, it was decided by a vote of 6-1 to not retain Poplin as principal.
Poplin filed a request for reconsideration of the board's decision in accordance with Kansas law.
Poplin maintains that his privacy was violated when an e-mail referencing health care plans and costs of his treatments were circulated through the school district.
In response to Poplin's request for reconsideration, the school board reaffirmed his termination and cited leadership and professional development as reasons, according to the lawsuit.
Poplin alleges violations against the Americans with Disabilities Act, Employment Retirement Income Security and the Privacy Act.
Bob Bezek, who is representing the school district in the case, said he plans to file an answer in two weeks.
"We believe we have acted lawfully, and I'm vigorously litigating that," Bezek said.
Superintendent Paul Dorathy and Poplin's attorney, Alan Johnson, were unavailable for comment Friday.