COVINGTON -- The Alcovy High School principal suing web commenters for defamation and libel says she hasn't called anyone named in the suit or threatened anyone.
Principal LaQuanda Carpenter defended herself Friday in an email sent to Newton County School System Superintendent Gary Mathews, each member of the Newton County Board of Education and NCSS Deputy Superintendent of Operations Dennis Carpenter, who also is her husband.
Mathews had forwarded to each on Friday a copy of a letter sent from Shannon Black, who claims she has made posts under the names of "KBeet" and "MsLoy" on the Newton Citizen website. "KBeet" and "MsLoy" are named in Carpenter's lawsuit.
Black, a Conyers resident who filed a report with the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, claims she has been harassed via several blocked phone calls and two visits to her home since coming forward as the web posters.
In a letter Friday, Black asked that Superior Court Judge Eugene Benton not allow any release of additional information about her to the plaintiff for fear of greater threats. Benton is scheduled to hear a motion to quash a subpoena seeking information from the Citizen about web commenters at 9:30 a.m. June 19.
Black claims that the threats mention the Alcovy lawsuit and that a caller identified herself as LaQuanda Carpenter in a call to her and another call has been traced to Alcovy High, while others have been traced to disposable cellular phones, according to her letter. In the RCSO report, she did not state those claims.
LaQuanda Carpenter told Mathews and the others in the email that she has not called Black or made any threats to anyone.
"It is very unfortunate that Ms. Black has received threatening phone calls. However, please note that I have not placed any phone call to any person including Ms. Black that has been named in the lawsuit," Carpenter wrote in the email. "Please be aware that if any calls have been placed from AHS that I am completely unaware. There have not been any reports made to me about phone calls of this nature coming from AHS."
In the email, Carpenter identified an Alcovy teacher who was in the (Alcovy High School) building on the dates that Black noted in her letter that she received the calls, June 6 and 7.
"Although I am in no way accusing him of making such phone calls, it is simply concerning that a person that has stated blatant untruths about my behavior on a school trip was in the building on the dates that Ms. Black references in her letter," Carpenter wrote in the email. "I am in no way accusing (him) of making such calls, I am simply pointing out that the coincidence is concerning to me."
RCSO Investigator Michael Camp said his department will continue to investigate the case, but it doesn't have any phone records to indicate any traced calls and no information has been provided to indicate such claims. He said Monday that Black has been instructed to call 911 immediately if she receives any more visits, so the department can possibly gather more evidence.
In her letter, Black also threatens to file suit against the school board "for allowing a situation to get out of control that has resulted in criminal threats to my person by phone and on my property." She also states that she has contacted the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the American Civil Liberties Union.