Former teacher files race-related suit against Metro Schools

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 2:22am

Local political activist Thomas Kovach filed a federal lawsuit Monday against Metro Nashville Public Schools over an incident that occurred in February 2007 when he, working as a special education teacher at Whites Creek High School, was involved in a physical scuffle with a student.

In the aftermath of the Feb. 20, 2007, incident, criminal charges were filed against Kovach, who Metro Schools later terminated. The suit filed in U.S. District Court alleges that the actions taken against him were racially and politically motivated.

Kovach, who is white, claims in the suit that the incident — in which he was allegedly repeatedly assaulted by an unruly black student — reveals an 'unwritten rule' at Whites Creek High School that white teachers are not allowed to dispense discipline to black students.

In the incident, Kovach claims he was typing in the school's library when an unruly student attempted to slap him in the face. He grabbed the student's arm to prevent the assault, and then escorted the student to the school's office for disciplinary action, according to the suit.

Kovach claims school resource officers would not allow him to file an assault charge following the incident, and instead he submitted a formal statement of what had occurred to the school's principal.

The suit names Metro Nashville Police, Whites Creek Principal Dr. Jamie. S. Jenkins, as well as the father of the student involved in the 2007 altercation as co-defendants.

The school record of the event was later released to the student's father who used it to file criminal charges against Kovach, which have since been retired.

Central to Kovach's claim is that “the political aspirations of the Plaintiff have been severely damaged as a proximate result” of the situation, the suit says. Kovach, who is the Tennessee state chairman of the Independent Party, ran an unsuccessful bid for Jim Cooper's seat in 2006.

The suit also alleges the school system failed to protect the plaintiff from "violence in the workplace.”

Kovach seeks $2.3 million in actual damages from each of 10 defendants. His demands are broken down as follows: $875,000, the amount he would have earned as a career employee of Metro Schools; $1.3 million, the annual salary of a congressman multiplied by eight years; $125,000 for physical pain, mental anguish and stress.

He also seeks a public apology from the Metro Nashville Police Department and Metro Schools, the suit says.

When contacted for comment on the lawsuit, Metro Schools’ spokesperson Noelle Mashburn said school administration had yet to see the suit and could not comment.

22 Comments on this post:

By: artsmart on 9/25/09 at 5:07

And the hits just keep on coming. Why not just do the right thing for everyone and most of these problems go away. I'm guessing Metro is doomed to be taken over by the State, because they are not capable of doing the right thing.

By: frank brown on 9/25/09 at 5:49

Go get Kovach! We all know your claims are the truth. Let's just hope you can get them to an objective jury.

By: govskeptic on 9/25/09 at 6:45

Another story on Nashville's never ending political
correctness! We should get an award from somebody.

By: Loso on 9/25/09 at 7:12

lol this is funny

By: real_frank_brown on 9/25/09 at 8:39

To the fake frank brown above. Stop using my name. You do not have a brother with that name, as you have tried to claim. You are using my name for some weird sick reason. You have admitted you are not frank brown. Since this is doing damage to my name and reputation and I constantly am getting asked "why did you post that?" (those are only those who have bothered to contact me), I have repeatedly asked you to stop. You have not. I have contacted attorneys. Enough is enough. Stop hiding behind my name. Man up and post under your own name.

By: frank brown on 9/25/09 at 4:02

REAL FRANK BROWN

I have no particular romance with the monicker of "frank brown" If you think your views represent all the frank browns in this country by all means I will retire the name "frank brown"

By: real_frank_brown on 9/25/09 at 8:46

In this case, I do.
I will hold you to your word. At least my attorney will and will be watching.
Thank you. I dont expect to see any more posts under this name, or one that you conjure to represent me.
Again, thank you, and I hope you are a person of your word.

By: frank brown on 9/26/09 at 6:42

REAL Do you actually believe that your views represent all of the frank browns in this country? You realize that frank brown is a very generic name of course. Why don't you let me know your entire name ( let's say Frank Doswell Brown) and I will be sure and mention that any views by frank brown are not those of Frank Doswell Brown.

By: Time for Truth on 9/26/09 at 9:23

Kovach is a nut case. Just recently he sabotaged an apolitical appearance by Rep. Cooper at an area school by trying to turn it into another 'clown hall' meeting. On that day, when even Cooper wasn't there, Kovach was the only 'teabagger' present. Remember that Kovach ran against, and lost badly to, Cooper in the '06 election.

This lawsuit is another stunt and legally seems to have no merit. 'Unwritten rule'? Really?!? He should have, and could have, filed assault charges at the nearest precinct. There are two sides to this question however and Kovach's version is what we are seeing here. Just another attempt to appeal to the nutty side of the conservative spectrum while possibly picking up some spare change.

By: real_frank_brown on 9/26/09 at 11:48

fake frank brown,
You said that if I did, you would stop posting under a name that is not yours.
I said I do. Yet you still post with my name.
So you are a liar as well as a coward, hiding behind my name?
Post under your own name. Not mine, one that is well known in Nashville, where your posts using my name are doing damage. Quit being a jerk, you said you have no romance with the moniker, and yet you cant stop using it. So you are making it obvious your continued use has some purpose, and you have been made aware multiple times that your continued use is doing damage to my reputation.

By: A_Frank_Brown on 9/26/09 at 7:12

To both of the "Real" Frank Browns..
Stop using my name. I don't have a brother with that name. You two are using my name for some weird sick reason. One of you has admitted you are not frank brown. Since this is doing damage to my name and reputation and I constantly am getting asked "Frank! - why did you post that?" (those are only those who have bothered to contact me), I am now asking both of you to stop. I will not contact any attorneys. Enough is enough. Stop hiding behind my name. Man up and post under your own name.

By: real_frank_brown on 9/26/09 at 7:20

New Fake A Frank Brown
Your man crush is quite disturbing. You can never be me. You can never have me. Further posts using my name just makes you more pathetic and more perverse.

By: Im In Love With... on 9/26/09 at 7:36

want to continue?

By: A_Frank_Brown on 9/26/09 at 7:51

real_frank brown

Stop using my name!

You can never be ME!

BTW "...can never have..." You? How conceded!

I'm the real A Frank Brown - !'m well known here in Nashville.

Enough is enough. Stop hiding behind my name. Man up and post under your own name.

By: Frank Brown WannaBe on 9/27/09 at 6:07

I am in love with frank brown. I want him. I need him. I love pretending be him.

By: A_Frank_Brown on 9/27/09 at 7:17

Thank you Frank Brown(es)(et al)
Or is it "Thank me?."

Please note my fellow "Frank(es)" in your future postings, remember that the name is shared and not the thoughts, and that what you say is sometimes affecting my name in a negative way.

To drive my (A Frank Brown) point home - "Frank(es)", your comments have caused me(A Frank) some problems. I am aware of the commonness of my name, but apparently others are not. I am well known in Nashville and I am a very well known "frank brown." When you make a comment, both here and in other publications, I receive calls and emails, especially when they are a little off color or not fitting with what others know about me, but not the other Frank Browns that are not bloated. Please read my 2005 bio during my very short stay @ Pearl High School, I (A Frank Brown), included below.

I promise that if you take the time to read it all, you'll see that the real Frank Brown is very much the envy of America's youth and that it's not a list of bloated job assigments vs any actual accomplishments. Lastly, it will be you the reader, daily brush with greatness.

"...I am a fourth generation educator in a family that has had everything
from classroom teachers to Directors of Schools. Presently, my
father is principal at Mt. Juliet High School, my mother is a teacher
at JFK Middle School, and my brother is an assistant principal at
Hillsboro High School. We are very proud of our family's history
and dedication to public education. I was born and raised in
Nashville and graduated from McGavock High School. At the time
I graduated from McGavock I was the only person in the state of
Tennessee to receive two Congressional Nominations to The
United States Military Academy. I received a B.S. degree in Biology
with a minor in Education from Freed Hardeman University. I hold
a M.Ed. from Trevecca University, where I am also working to
complete a doctoral degree. I began teaching in Nashville in 1992
at Stratford High School where I coached baseball and football and
taught Biology. I later taught at LaVergne High School where I
taught Biology, Algebra, and Physics. In 1996, I returned to
McGavock to teach Biology, Physical Science, Chemistry, and
AP Biology. In 2001 I was hired as an Assistant Principal at
Glencliff High School. At Glencliff, I was supervisor of the
Science, Foreign Language, ELL, Vocational, Business, and Math
departments. I was also in charge of security, building and grounds
and buses. I have served on SACS accrediting committees
thoughout the Middle Tennessee area. Education has been the focus
of my life, the education of others as well as my own. While I am
involved in many physical activities such as baseball, weight
training, and triathlons, my true passion has been the educating our
our youth. My core philosophy as an administrator is to treat all
children as my own. I believe that is it my responsibility to provide
the best example and education possible as an administrator
through love, compassion, hard work, and discipline..."

By: real_frank_brown on 9/27/09 at 9:01

Ahhh...so now we are to the root cause of you using my name. Petty jealousy.

Its a bio, not a resume. And this was from MLK Magnet, not Pearl. It was a short introduction to the parents of the MLK students.

You are a sad, sick little person. Since you know that your postings under my name are an issue and yet you continue, this also makes you a bad person. Since you hide behind my name, this makes you a coward as well.

Your posts prove everything I have just said. Cowardly, petty, and bad. You are of no substance and no contribution.

I pity you. No wonder you keep hiding behind my name. It is obviously much better than yours.

By: A_Frank_Brown on 9/27/09 at 2:52

real_frank_brown - it's pretty clear you don't own "frank brown" - so much so that's a rather common name - let’s be clear, no one is hiding, you can' grasp that using frank brown as your screen name makes you one of many frank browns. Your name calling “…sad, sick, cowardly and bad...” is not very nice or professional and your insistence that you alone are right and that all of the other frank browns are wrong is silly.

The real frank brown is a gifted person whose athleticism has been displayed through his many triathlons, is an inspiration to all of us frank browns, certainly me “A Real Frank Brown.”

BTW - the bio I contributed to frank brown - who you may be or not, is missing many key examples of frank brown's general awesomeness, it's a wonder Pearl High School didn't keep “real frank” or “frank” or “a frank” on as a administrator for long with so many publicly proclaimed selfless acts - no one can deride frank brown's commitment to love, compassion, hard work, and discipline. No one, not even you "real_frank_brown"

What really hurts is your elitist dismissal of how my writing opinions as a frank brown, is for you to suggest it’s petty. Not so, more like appreciation. Because at end of it all, all of us frank browns (many of which don’t have inflated egos or boring bios) are real, and that is an education in itself.

As for my substance and contribution's - the public's willingness to listen to just one frank brown will be the final score.

By: frank brown on 9/27/09 at 4:11

frank brown is the man of the hour and the day and the year. Hip Hip Hooray for Frank Brown . A Frank Brown and the Real Frank Brown. Everybody gets an opinion in this country. We all have that privilege.

By: real_frank_brown on 9/27/09 at 4:44

You dont have an opinion that you are willing to express from yourself. You assign your mundane blatherings to all the frank browns of the world, but you are not man enough to post your opinions under your own name.
So it is agreed everyone including the cowards of the world get an opinion, especially if they are willing to hide behind a computer and someone else's name.
That makes your opinions as weak as the person posting them.
Pathetic indeed.

By: frank brown on 9/27/09 at 7:24

REAL

You are just another frank brown in a sea of frank browns. I for one am impressed with not only the resume of A_Frank Brown but the manner in which he expresses himself. The rest of us will always be considerate of your postings,

By: real_frank_brown on 9/28/09 at 6:01

As I said before.
Pathetic.
You have admitted you are not frank brown. Enough said. Swim and post in the sea of your own name.