Prince William County Superintendent receives defamation lawsuit; under investigation for Twitter messages with students

Virginia

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — Prince William County Superintendent Dr. Steven Walts is now facing a defamation of character lawsuit, in addition to his Twitter account investigation.

The $2.3 million lawsuit against Walts was made by former school board chairman, Ryan Sawyers. The lawsuit alleges that Walts made defamatory statements about him in a video that was posted to the Twitter account back in May.

Sawyers, who resigned as at-large chairman in 2018, also filed a separate lawsuit against the school division in June asking for the release of Walt’s direct Twitter messages with thousands of Prince William County students.

On July 28, the school board opted to allow an attorney funded by the school division’s legal insurance to defend Walts.

He denied any improper use of his school-monitored Twitter page, which he allegedly used to send over 20,000 private messages to students.

The Prince William County School Board issued this statement: “We undertook this independent review in May after questions were raised about the administration’s use of social messaging to communicate with students. We will now take the information we received and review it with the appropriate administration officials, including the superintendent,” said School Board Chair Dr. Babur B. Lateef.

WDVM reached out to Walts but was not able to reach him for comment.

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