Fired Detroit charter high school principal fights back with lawsuit

Posted at 4:34 PM, Dec 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-17 18:40:44-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — It started with a fight between two high school students and a school security officer. Now the former principal of Detroit Cornerstone Health and Technology High School says in a new whistle blower lawsuit that he was fired not for his handling of that incident but for speaking out about a no-work, no-bid employee.

The lawsuit claims Jared Davis objected and threatened to go to state officials. The suit was filed today in Wayne County Circuit Court.

The school released the following statement:

Mr. Davis was terminated from his position at Cornerstone Schools. Our first priority is the safety of our students. Mr. Davis has threatened to file a lawsuit and is making wildly inaccurate and slanderous accusations about Cornerstone. We are committed to our students’ safety, and will rigorously protect and defend that value.

Davis is speaking only with 7 Action News and says the day after the fight, he was suspended with pay and he called it “humiliating.”

“All I have is my name. I’ve dedicated my entire career to helping young people in the City of Detroit become successful.”

According to the lawsuit, the “bogus” reasons given to Davis for his firing are safety, standards of conduct and workplace harassment.

Davis was fired on Dec. 3, three days after two female students at his school got into a fight with a security guard captured on cellphone video.

On Monday, Dec. 9, hundreds of students in the school staged a protest over his firing that was also captured on video. Parents and students were not told why Davis was fired.

“I love them and they love me,” Davis said.

The lawsuit says Davis, 50, became Principal at Cornerstone High School in June of 2015 after 27 years as an educator and 13 years in leadership positions.

The lawsuit says he was credited with a 100% graduation rate since becoming Principal and that his students have received more than $20 million in scholarships in the first four graduating classes.

The lawsuit says in July of 2018, Mr. Davis was pressured to approve a no-show contract for a close personal friend of the head of the Cornerstone group. The lawsuit says the basis for the whistle blower action is that Davis threatened to report violations to the Michigan Attorney General.

The lawsuit states Cornerstone was founded in 1991 by Clark Durant “to provide a quality Christian-based education for Detroit children.”

It goes on to say, “Mr. Durant has transformed the independent school into a network of public charter schools (that received millions of taxpayer dollars) by developing a web of nonprofit entities that he controls” and Durant “receives significant personal gain,” including compensation of $500,000 in 2018.

The lawsuit states that Mindy Berry serves as CEO of CEG despite failing to hold an administrator certification as required by the state.

The lawsuit also states, “It is clear, Mr. Durant is the puppet master for the entire Cornerstone operation and Ms. Berry carries out the orders.


Jared Davis Complaint 2 (1) by WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit on Scribd