LAWRENCEVILLE -- The Gwinnett mother suing the Girl Scouts for her daughters' alleged expulsion from their troop is not necessarily alleging racism, her attorney said Tuesday.
Angela Johnson recently filed a lawsuit in Gwinnett County State Court against the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, claiming that her twin 8-year-old daughters were unfairly expelled from Troop 1164 in the weeks following a presentation about their family's involvement in the civil rights movement.
Snellville attorney S. Carlton Rouse, who represents Johnson and her daughters in the civil suit, told the Daily Post Tuesday that the family contends the twins were expelled "as a result" of the presentation but stopped short of calling the actions outright racism.
"Although the presentation involved a discussion of race, in the context of the contributions of Black and White social activists in the 1960s, we cannot speculate on the specific motivation on part of the troop leaders of the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta," Rouse wrote in an email. "That said, we certainly contend the expulsion was unfair."
The Girl Scouts have denied any wrongdoing, calling the situation "a matter of miscommunication and hurt feelings between mothers" and claiming Johnson removed her daughters from the troop herself. In a statement on their website, the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta said they unsuccessfully offered Johnson three options: to keep her girls in their troop, to move them into another troop or to have her lead a troop of her own.
The lawsuit filed on Sept. 30 includes a portion of emails reportedly sent to Johnson from troop leaders, ones citing a concern about the girls' "level of enthusiasm" for scouting and saying it wasn't "fair" to continue on with them in the troop.
Rouse said Tuesday that "at least" two other girls "had complaints about their treatment" in Troop 1164.
"Although we will not offer quotes on their behalf, we can confirm that the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta received notice of the complaints prior to the initiation of this suit," he said.
Rouse said there are no longer out-of-court discussions going on between the two parties. A spokeswoman for the Girl Scouts could not be reached for comment Tuesday.