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Jury finds ex-charter school principal not liable for emotional distress

Stanley Green's attorney said he is looking forward to 'to becoming a principal again'

NEW ORLEANS — A federal civil jury decided Wednesday that a former charter school principal did not intentionally cause a teacher emotional distress with conduct the principal admitted was “inappropriate” and a “mistake” that got him fired for sexual harassment.

Stanley Roy Green, a former principal at now-defunct charter schools William J. Fischer and Sylvanie Williams, gave his attorney a bear hug when the verdict was read. The attorney, Ted Le Clerq, read a statement saying Green “looks forward to becoming a principal again and participating in the extraordinary school improvements within this great city.”

But getting such a job may be more difficult than it has been in the past for Green. As WWL-TV exposed last week, Green had two felony convictions in the 1990s and had his Louisiana teaching certificate revoked by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) in 2012 for failing to disclose his criminal record.

He managed to get hired anyway in 2016 by Algiers Charter Schools Association to serve as principal at Fischer. An FBI background check performed for Algiers Charter and filed in the court record turned up seven arrests in Louisiana alone between 1994 and 2011, but Green had all of them expunged, including a 1998 conviction for access device fraud.

But since then, a new state law passed in 2018 that expressly forbids schools from hiring teachers and administrators with felony convictions, even if those cases have been expunged.

RELATED: Charter school hired principal with criminal past, then fired him for sexual harassment

Green was also able to get hired by another local charter organization, even after Algiers Charter fired him for sexual harassment in 2017. He completely omitted his time working for Algiers Charter as Fischer principal when he applied to New Orleans College Prep, which hired him to run Sylvanie Williams.

New Orleans College Prep admitted to WWL-TV that it didn’t check Green’s record and accepted his claim that he didn’t work during the 2016-17 school year after returning from serving as a principal in St. Louis.

Lindsay Garcia, one of two former Algiers Charter employees who recorded accusations of sexual harassment against Green, sued him for intentional infliction of emotional distress. As the jury prepared to issue its verdict after a three-day trial Wednesday, Garcia confronted Green as they entered the courtroom.

“I don't care what the jury says,” Garcia told Green. “I know who you are and what you are, and I will expose that every chance I get.”

Garcia used her cell phone to secretly record Green when he spoke to her in the hallway at Fischer on Sept. 12, 2016. The recording was played for the jury and went like this:

Green: “I want to snatch somebody.”

Garcia: “You want to snatch someone?”

Green: “Yeah, snatch someone and keep 'em for a period of time. I'm not going to hurt them, mark them up or bruise them or anything. I just want to be gentle, you know?”

Garcia: “Whoa, ho, ho, wait. You're not supposed to put your hands on anyone.”

Green: “No, not a kid. Not a kid. It's definitely not a kid.”

Garcia: “Who's that?”

Green: “I don't like kidnapping kids.”

Garcia: “You don't like kidnapping kids? Who you trying to kidnap then?”

Green: “Somebody we both know.”

Garcia: “Somebody we both know? OK. All right. Good to know. Good to know.”

Green: “Just kind of plan it out.”

Garcia: “Plan it out? Well, you're saying ‘snatch up' and stuff like that, so I don't know.”

Green: “Snatch up, kidnap, subdue.”

Garcia: “'Subdue'? Oh, Lord Jesus.”

When Algiers Charter hired an attorney to investigate the claims against Green in 2016, Green denied it was him on the recording. But Green admitted it was indeed him on the witness stand Tuesday. He claimed he was just being flirtatious, similar to when he left Garcia a Post-It note saying “Hello Beautiful.”

He said he made mistakes, but argued Garcia liked the attention and his come-ons did not cause her severe emotional distress.

Garcia testified she sought counseling after telling Algiers Charter about Green’s conduct and claimed it broke her emotionally. She testified that she sought counseling and thought about killing herself.

“Something that was very personal, that I was very passionate about had been infected by something very vulgar and perverted,” she told WWL-TV in an interview.

But other teachers who worked for Green at both Fischer and Sylvanie Williams testified in court that Garcia liked Green and welcomed his flirting. Green’s attorney, Le Clerq, said there were “mistakes on both sides” and he “isn’t defending sexual harassment,” but argued Garcia was already dealing with emotional family issues and Green couldn’t be held liable for her distress.

U.S. District Judge Sarah Vance did not allow the jury to hear anything about Green’s criminal history or the revocation of his teaching license. She told jurors they could only hold Green liable if they all agreed that his actions were “outrageous,” caused Garcia “severe” emotional distress and that Green intended to cause her harm.

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