A Boone County Court on Monday dismissed a request by Carla London, Columbia Public Schools’ chief equity officer, for court-ordered child protection against a local activist.
However, Judge Kimberly Jane Shaw announced in court that the case was automatically dismissed because of the absence of London and her attorneys.
In an email, CPS spokesperson Michelle Baumstark said London wasn’t in court because her legal team had earlier reached an agreement with Traci Wilson-Kleekamp’s to postpone the hearing and allow for mediation. Baumstark contended that Wilson-Kleekamp’s team reneged on that deal.
“Despite having that agreement in place, opposing counsel requested a dismissal and did not request a continuance, as agreed upon,” Baumstark wrote. “As a result, we were surprised to learn orders of dismissal were issued today. We are reviewing next steps to determine how best to respond at this time.”
Baumstark said lawyers from EdCounsel LLC, a firm used by the school district, are advising London in the case “as this action is the direct result of her role as an employee of Columbia Public Schools.”
London had alleged that Wilson-Kleekamp — who has called for the chief equity officer’s resignation — was stalking and harassing her and her children on social media, the Missourian reported previously.
London sought a protective order for her three children that are under age 17 in a court filing Sept. 23.
According to Michela Skelton, the attorney representing Wilson-Kleekamp, the judge found there was no substantial proof that Wilson-Kleekamp, president of Race Matters, Friends had direct contact with London’s children via social media and email.
“For the record, I don’t know her daughter, never met her and wouldn’t recognize her on the street,” said Wilson-Kleekamp in a news release Saturday. “Neither I nor any RMF board member has access to any email accounts or students who enrolled at West Middle School.”
Wilson-Kleekamp noted in the press release that Race Matters, Friends shared a newsletter calling for London’s resignation on Facebook, which contains a link to the newsletter on an open-access Google Doc.
The emails Race Matters, Friends exchanged with London regarding London’s protective order also included “several other school employees and members of RMF,” according to the news release.
Wilson-Kleekamp told the Missourian in a phone interview Monday that London’s attorneys, Duane Martin and Rachel Meystedt from EdCounsel, contacted one of Wilson-Kleekamp’s attorneys Friday to ask her to sign a document in hopes of settling the lawsuit.
Wilson-Kleekamp said she refused to sign.
Supervising editors are Fred Anklam and Tynan Stewart.