RBA’s slander lawsuit against ex-Brunswick Supt. Pruden to proceed to trial
New Hanover County Superior Court recently denied a motion by Edward H. Pruden, former Superintendent of Brunswick County Schools, to dismiss a lawsuit brought against him by Baker A. Mitchell, Jr. and The Roger Bacon Academy, Inc. (RBA). Mitchell and RBA allege that Pruden slandered them by maliciously publishing misrepresentations and false statements about both of the Plaintiffs in a failed effort to prevent the opening of the public and tuition-free South Brunswick Charter School near Southport. Despite Pruden’s efforts, the school opened in 2014 and currently serves approximately 200 students in its second academic year. The school is the fourth and most recent client school of RBA, whose clients also include the top scoring elementary and middle schools in each Brunswick and Columbus counties.
Mitchell credits the schools’ outstanding academic records to the educational model RBA provides to each of its client schools, describing the model as “classical curriculum delivered by the Direct Instruction teaching method.” As public charter schools, the schools receive less taxpayer funding in exchange for the freedom to select an alternative curriculum to that mandated by the state, which is Common Core in North Carolina. Each of RBA’s client schools is operated identically and is a public, tuition-free charter school that any NC student may choose to attend during an open enrollment period held annually during the month of January. Mitchell founded RBA in 1999 after a career in academia and engineering to provide a “research proven, results driven” public education program through public charter schools. In addition to South Brunswick Charter School, client schools include Charter Day School in Leland, Columbus Charter School in Whiteville, and Douglass Academy in downtown Wilmington. All schools will begin enrolling new students for the 2016-2017 academic year in January 2016.
Dan Boyce, attorney for Mitchell and RBA explained that, “The Court’s ruling means both of the Plaintiffs are entitled to their day in Court.”
“We look forward to vigorously prosecuting this case in the malicious slandering of Baker Mitchell and RBA by Pruden” Boyce concluded.
The hearing took place on November 17, 2015.