Ex-Poway Superintendent Fights for Reinstatement

Former Poway Unified Superintendent Dr. Marian Kim Phelps is suing to get her job back. 

In a legal claim filed Thursday, Phelps asked a court to have her reinstated, calling the termination inappropriate. She is also seeking to stop a public records request filed by the San Diego Union-Tribune. The publication wants to see the notice that informed her of her potential termination. 

Phelps was fired in May after an investigation into allegations that she bullied and harassed students.

The controversy began at a high school softball banquet, which was attended by Phelps’ daughter. According to another Del Norte High School softball player, Phelps became upset when players failed to adequately clap for her daughter at the event. The superintendent allegedly went scorched earth on the girls, threatening to bar them from participating in school sports and commencement activities.

One of the players sued, and the district launched an investigation. 

“Based on her conduct, as revealed to the Board through the investigation, the Board has lost all confidence and trust in Dr. Phelps’ ability to continue to serve as Superintendent,” PUSD Board President Michelle O'Connor-Ratcliff said after the review.

In her complaint, however, Phelps paints a different picture of the way things transpired. She claims her child was relentlessly bullied and “disparaged” by the girl who filed the original lawsuit — a fact she says was confirmed by the district’s investigation. She contends her daughter is still being bullied to this day. 

Read more about Phelps’ legal filing here


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