California Superintendent Axed Over Student Intimidation Claims, Bullied Students who were Against her Daughter

California Superintendent Axed Over Student Intimidation Claims, Bullied Students who were Against her Daughter

A California school district fired its superintendent following an investigation into her conduct. There was a review into the superintendent’s behavior, and on Tuesday, the school board voted to fire her.

In November, Del Norte High School softball players said that Poway Unified School District Superintendent Marian Kim Phelps threatened to keep them from graduating because she thought they had done something bad to her daughter, who was on the team.

At the time, NBC San Diego reported that they told the school board that Phelps thought the group had not cheered loud enough for her daughter.

The students say that Phelps called and texted some of them late that night after a softball awards dinner last May, accusing them of not cheering for her daughter at the event, NBC San Diego reported. The kids said Phelps then told them she would take away their graduation rights if they didn’t say sorry to her daughter.

In a meeting with the school board last year, Coach Tom Peronto said that he told them about Phelps’ “abuse of power” and that his job was in danger because of it.

Michelle O’Connor-Ratcliff, president of the school board, said that the board voted in closed session on Tuesday to end Phelps’ contract. This came after an investigation that began on November 15 and finished on April 18. Investigation looked at a lot of papers and statements from 41 witnesses that didn’t match what Phelps said.

In November, a lawsuit was also made in San Diego County about the same thing, but the student was only named Jane Doe. People who filed the case say that Phelps “fabricated a narrative falsely suggesting” that the student bullied her daughter and set up an unfair internal investigation against the girl.

The lawsuit also said that Phelps saw a “intense rivalry” between her daughter and other softball players “unilaterally.”

The girl couldn’t play softball or go on dances, field trips, join student clubs, do events, or go to graduation her senior year because of this, the lawsuit said. The girl and her parents had less than a day to sign a “Other Means of Correction Contract” supporting the punishment, which Phelps was accused of doing.

The family lawyer for the girl raised worries about the situation, but Phelps made things worse, according to the lawsuit. That’s why the girl took Phelps’ investigation to the Board of Education and gave more than 20 witness statements that contradicted Phelps’ claims.

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