Former Carmel coach claims district fired her in retaliation for reporting ‘abuses of students’

Clay Middle School (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)

CARMEL, Ind. – A former girls basketball coach and teacher at Clay Middle School has filed a federal lawsuit against Carmel Clay Schools.

In the suit, filed on June 26, Cynthia Nemeth claims she was fired for reporting allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior by a male assistant basketball coach at Carmel High School.

Nemeth says she received information that the coach, identified as Carl Ennis by the Indy Star, “was making sexual overtures toward the female student-athletes he coached and was in possession of pictures depicting females in various states of undress,” according to the lawsuit.

Nemeth said in the lawsuit that she reported the information to Carmel’s athletic director and the school investigated. She claims the district terminated her in retaliation for reporting “abuses of students and student-athletes by CCS employees” and for “requesting and taking medical leave for FMLA-qualifying conditions,” the lawsuit says.

Nemeth also claims in the suit that the district failed to grant her appropriate medical leave under federal law for a head injury she sustained in the classroom.

Ennis denied any wrongdoing when he spoke with the Indy Star Friday, calling the lawsuit “sour grapes” and a “witch hunt.” He told the newspaper that the photos in question were emailed to him from an old Army friend, and were not explicit. He claims the players looked at his phone while he was coaching during a 2015 summer shootout.

Also in the suit, Nemeth claims she was penalized for reporting inappropriate conduct by the head coach of Carmel High School’s girls basketball coach, identified by the Star as Tod Windlan. Nemeth says she received information that Windlan was being “verbally and physically abusive” toward his players.

Windlan denied the allegation when he spoke to the Star. He was recently dismissed from his position in Carmel and now works as Greencastle’s girls basketball coach.

Nemeth is seeking damages for lost wages, benefits and other compensation.