Former basketball coach claims she was sexually harassed at East Texas college

By John Suayan | Sep 11, 2018

LUFKIN – The former head women’s basketball coach of a historically black liberal arts college in East Texas asserts the school terminated her after she pushed back against hostile work environment.

In a 24-page lawsuit filed against Jarvis Christian College, Inc. on Sept. 10 in the Lufkin Division of the Eastern District of Texas, Akia Stanton explains that she was subjected to sexual harassment.

Court records show that Jarvis employed Stanton from August 2014 to a couple of months ago.

The South Carolina resident and mother of one claims one of the defendant’s vice presidents sent her an inappropriate text message following a game during her first year of coaching the Lady Bulldogs.

She also states that her immediate supervisor, Jarvis Athletic Director Bobby Ladner, “would adjust or scratch (his) crotch” during their conversations and commented about her appearance to her chagrin.

Stanton further argues that what would turn out to be her final season at Jarvis was clouded by the fallout purportedly resulting from a player’s comments about her. Meanwhile, the respondent received her complaints about sexual harassment, but failed to take appropriate action, the original petition says.

Stanton’s health reportedly declined following the conclusion of the 2017-2018 academic year at Jarvis. As the plaintiff was awaiting approval for her FMLA leave, the suit says, she cleaned her office and took her personal belongings home, which the college misconstrued as workplace theft.

Jarvis fired Stanton on allegations of theft and destruction of property, charges she refuted in a phone call with the Wood County Sheriff’s Office. She returned to her native Georgia with her elementary school-age daughter prior to securing the head women’s basketball position at Allen University in Columbia, S.C.

Her suit insinuates her termination was a culmination of unlawful employment practices targeting her.

Consequently, Stanton seeks unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

Katherine Britton of Dallas is representing the complainant.

Lufkin Division of the Eastern District of Texas Case No. 9:18-CV-0159

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