Discrimination lawsuit against Big Brothers Big Sisters dismissed with prejudice




  • In Business
  • 2022-05-25 22:57:50Z
  • By Tallahassee Democrat

This story was updated to reflect the Friday dismissal of the lawsuit.

A discrimination lawsuit against the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Big Bend that named a school board member has been dismissed.

The plaintiff filed the lawsuit May 18, but it was voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiff, Dakota Deyent, with prejudice Wednesday afternoon.

Dismissal with prejudice means the plaintiff cannot refile the same claim again in that court.

In the suit, Deyent said he was a victim of retaliation from Leon County School Board member Alva Striplin, who was the CEO at the time.

School board member Alva Striplin speaks during the first meeting of the Leon County Children
School board member Alva Striplin speaks during the first meeting of the Leon County Children's Service Council on Thursday, May 6, 2021.  

Deyent alleged Striplin held him to a different standard because he reported unlawful employment activities and was fired in the summer of 2020 in retaliation. The lawsuit also alleged he was treated differently for being a Black man.

Striplin was not listed as a defendant in the suit, but she was named throughout.

Last year: Leon County School Board member Alva Striplin will leave Children's Services Council

2015 flashback: Alva Striplin named CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters

The complaint was filed in Leon County in Florida's 2nd Judicial Circuit Court.

Deyent initially sued Big Brothers Big Sisters for private whistleblower retaliation, race discrimination, gender discrimination and retaliation.

Striplin, who left the organization in June 2021 to accept a new administrative position at the Florida State University, told the Democrat the "false allegations are ridiculous."

"It's a shame someone would intentionally try to tarnish the good name of an organization that does such good work in our community," Striplin said.

The Democrat reached out to Deyent's lawyer, Marie Mattox, but has not yet received a response.

Contact Ana Goñi-Lessan at AGoniLessan@tallahassee.com and follow her on Twitter @goni_lessan. 

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