DENVER (KDVR) — A school cofounder and father was banned from all Denver Public Schools property last year, which prompted him to sue the district. This week, a federal judge ruled in favor of Brandon Pryor for a second time.

Judge John Kane with the U.S. District Court of Colorado ruled to lift the ban keeping Pryor off school grounds months ago, while the court process plays out. DPS appealed the decision, but just days ago, Kane came back and denied their request with some harsh words.

Pryor said this is a small win in court that gives him hope to keep pushing forward, sharing with FOX31 that he won’t give up.

“We’re going to hold them accountable for everything that they do,” Pryor said.

Denver Public Schools banned school cofounder, coach

The ongoing and complex civil court case is exposing the turbulent relationship between a school cofounder and the school district. The Robert F. Smith STEAM Academy is modeled after HBCUs — short for historically black colleges and universities — and it’s the first of its kind in Colorado.

Pryor is dedicated to helping students of color succeed and providing them with equal opportunities. But what some see as Pryor’s passionate push for equity, DPS administrators see as explosive.

In October, Pryor received a letter notifying him that he was banned from DPS property and dismissed from coaching football, effective immediately. The letter stated Pryor’s behavior had the intent to “intimidate, harass, bully and threaten district employees,” citing Pryor’s social media posts calling for administrators to be fired. Also, DPS cited other incidents, including school board meetings, alluding to similar behavior.

Pryor pushed back and filed a federal lawsuit against the district, claiming retaliation and a violation of his First Amendment rights.

“The goal of this lawsuit is justice, to get this system to understand that they can’t silence people and that it’s wrong for retaliating against people who speak up,” Pryor said.

Pryor filed a preliminary injunction asking the judge to lift the ban while the lawsuit plays out in court. Kane granted the injunction in December, which lifted the ban.

However, DPS filed a motion asking the judge to reconsider his ruling. On Tuesday, Kane sternly denied the request and the ban remains lifted.

“Definitely a small win. It gives me hope moving forward. The writing is on the wall for DPS,” Pryor told FOX31. “People don’t have to accept the abuse, the oppression, the retaliation, the discrimination that DPS serves out and we’re not going to take it anymore. We’re going to fight, and I hope that these wins that we continue to rack up in court give somebody else hope.”

Denver Public Schools now in ‘big legal battle’

FOX31 legal analyst Christopher Decker weighed in after reading the judge’s fact-finding.

“This is a big legal battle DPS has gotten themselves into,” Decker said. “They’re under orders, which essentially have been clearly affirmed not to enforce these restrictions, and further, not to retaliate against him during the course of his civil lawsuit.”

In the 14-page document, Kane states, “The defendant’s (DPS) obtuse arguments show a complete failure to comprehend my Order,” and, “Defendants’ attempts to portray themselves as victims are negated by the thoughtlessness of their censorious behavior.”

“I think there needs to be some reassessment on DPS,” Decker said. “He’s calling their behavior thoughtless. He’s calling them out for portraying themselves as the victims when they themselves are the defendants in an important civil lawsuit. I’m concerned that some of the legal decisions DPS continues to make expends huge amounts of money on areas that don’t relate to the education and safety of our children.”

FOX31 reached out to DPS for comment on the recent ruling and was provided a statement.

“Denver Public Schools disagree with the plaintiff’s allegations and the Orders of the District Court. We intend to continue litigating Before the District Court and the Court of Appeals,” the statement reads.

The legal battle between Pryor and the district is far from over and will likely take months to resolve.