Former teacher files lawsuit against Carencro Middle principal

Source: KATC

A former teacher at Carencro Middle has filed a lawsuit against Carencro Middle Principal Spurgeon Banyard, alleging several instances of sexual harassment and retaliatory behavior.

The lawsuit, first reported by The Daily Advertiser, is similar to a lawsuit filed against Banyard by a former assistant principal at Carencro Middle last year.

Lafayette Parish Schools Assistant Superintendent Sandra Billeaudeau said the school system has not been notified about the lawsuit.

Sandra Stevens, a former special education teacher at Carencro Middle, accuses Banyard of repeatedly asking her out for drinks and asking her where she lived, despite her telling him over and over that she was married.

She also alleges in the lawsuit that Banyard often retaliated against her for refusing his sexual advances, including denying her request for time off when she asked for it.

On one occasion, according to her lawsuit, Banyard inappropriately touched Stevens.

Stevens claims in the lawsuit that she reported the behavior to former Superintendent Pat Cooper and later met with the administration, but that the administration found no wrongdoing on Banyard’s part.

She attributes the lack of action against Banyard to his alleged friendship with Cooper.

A lawsuit filed by former Carencro Middle Assistant Principal Ada Thomas against Banyard in March 2014 accuses Banyard of massaging Thomas’ shoulders and repeatedly asking Thomas to let Banyard rent a room from her.

She alleges in the lawsuit that Banyard often humiliated her in front of other teachers, reprimanded her for requesting time off and asked her out to dinner on one occasion.

Thomas’ lawsuit against Banyard is still pending. No court dates have been set yet in Stevens’ lawsuit against Banyard.

A 2011 report from reveals that Banyard was fired from his post as a principal in Moss Point, Miss., and accused of bullying, extortion, insubordination and abuse of authority.