Sonya Dawkins-Whittle, a former Alcovy High School substitute teacher, said Friday she never sent any emails to blogger Shannon Black, countering statements Black made in a Thursday deposition in the ongoing civil lawsuit involving Alcovy High School Principal LaQuanda Carpenter and anonymous online commenters.
Black, a Rockdale County citizen and self-proclaimed blogger on the Newton Citizen's website, said in her deposition she received numerous emails from Dawkins-Whittle, but the latter denies ever sending Black emails or even speaking with her for roughly the past seven months.
According to Black's deposition, she and Dawkins-Whittle met through Black's former roommate,who was Dawkins-Whittle's aunt. While Dawkins-Whittle said Friday that was true, she said she didn't know Black well and didn't realize who she was until she saw her picture. The last time the two spoke was through a Facebook confrontation "that got really ugly" about seven months ago, according to Dawkins-Whittle.
"I don't even know how to get in touch with her," said Dawkins-Whittle. "Since that confrontation, my mother and I no longer speak with her... She has never had a child at Alcovy High School, so I'm not sure why she's attacking Dr. Carpenter."
Dawkins-Whittle did say that she had a falling out with Alcovy High Principal LaQuanda Carpenter, but stopping short of calling it a confrontation. In her deposition, Black said Dawkins-Whittle had "a confrontation with someone." Dawkins-Whittle said that she resigned and had nothing to do with Alcovy High School for more than a year.
She also said that she has not had a computer up and running in about six months and that she has all her emails saved to her phone, and in the 5,000 that she has saved, there are none from or to Black.
"As far as Shannon Black...she's just a joke," said Dawkins-Whittle. "Everything that comes out of her mouth is probably a lie. I'm not going to have my name brought into this because she dislikes me over personal conflicts... I have three kids, a grandbaby and a child on the way. I don't have time for that drama."
Black has become a key figure in the ongoing civil suit filed by LaQuanda Carpenter against several anonymous bloggers on the Newton Citizen's website, and, to date, is the only blogger to publicly admit her identity and said she has used the usernames KBeet, MsLoy and ShannonBlack. Her deposition took place in the office of Stephanie Lindsey, who is representing Carpenter in the case.
In related news, eight more anonymous bloggers were dismissed Thursday from the lawsuit, including MsLoy and KBeet along with blueeyeddevil, amp72, newtoncountyparent, watermelonlover, beautifulblueyes and Satan69. Lindsey did not respond to an email seeking comment about the dismissals as of press time Saturday.
Board of Education District 1 representative Jeff Meadors remains named in the lawsuit; however, he has formally denied blogging on the Citizen's website.
Carpenter originally sued 11 usernames of bloggers on the Citizen's website, accusing them of defamation for libel per se and libel based on harm sustained as the result of defamatory postings on the website.