A white schoolteacher in Maryland has won a $350,000 discrimination award after his black principal abused him for years due to his race.
Jon Everhart, 65, sued the Prince George’s County school board, claiming Angelique Simpson-Marcus, principal of Largo High School in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, forced him out of his job because he is Caucasian.
“She called me ‘poor white trash’ and ‘white b—-,’ ” Everhart told the Washington Post.”Her behavior was so outlandish.”
She also reportedly told students the “only reason a white teacher teaches in [Prince George’s] County is that they can’t get a job elsewhere.”
The jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland agreed with Everhart’s assertion he was discriminated against, but found in favor of the school board on his claim of a hostile work environment. He had originally sought $5 million.
“Justice was served,” Everhart said. “I do feel as though I have been vindicated.”
Meanwhile, Simpson-Marcus maintains the claims made by Everhart are baseless.
Though she refused to specify the reason for the teacher’s ouster, she called his allegations of poor treatment and retaliation “unfounded.”
The $350,000 award is for compensatory damages, as Everhart says he has suffered from high blood pressure and heart problems because of the harsh treatment on campus.
It’s now up to U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte to determine how much money Everhart should receive in back pay and benefits.
The Post says the school system has 30 days to show why Everhart should not receive retirement and health benefits and why his teaching certificate, which was revoked when he was fired, should not be restored.
Everhart originally came to Prince George’s County in 2003 from Baltimore and was assigned to teach English at Largo. Simpson-Marcus was a physical-education teacher at the school at that time.
After the racially abusive comments began, Everhart filed a union grievance against her, and said she told him if she ever became principal, he’d be the first person she’d fire.
Bryan Chapman, Everhart’s attorney, said once Simpson-Marcus became principal, Everhart, who was named the school’s Teacher of the Year and who received stellar evaluations, began to receive unsatisfactory evaluations.
Everhart says he was yanked from teaching honors English to juniors and seniors and was placed in a freshman class, where Simpson-Marcus allegedly told students that Everhart was going to be axed.
Chapman says Everhart’s formal complaints were ignored, and his efforts to switch to another high school were blocked.
“I just think it was a disgrace, and I think that’s what the jury saw, too,” Chapman said.