$350,000 awarded to Maryland teacher racially abused by African-American principal
WORLD / U.S. – The Prince George’s County of Maryland school board faced a civil lawsuit filed by an employed teacher. 65-year-old Jon Everhart, an English teacher at Largo High School since 2003, won the suit and was awarded $350,000 in damages. He said, “Justice was served. I do feel as though I have been vindicated,” after the jury sided with him in the case.
Harassed since first year
Everhart began to be harassed in his first year at the school. Angelique Simpson-Marcus, a black woman and then gym teacher told students that, “The only reason a white man teaches in P.G. County is that they can’t get a job elsewhere.” But it only got worse from there when Simpson-Marcus became the school principal in 2007.
Simpson-Marcus’s first act of business was moving Everhart to teaching freshman English students when he had previously been teaching juniors a seniors honors English.
Before Simpson-Marcus became principal, Everhart had been receiving high performance ratings and even won the “Teacher of the Year” award.
She went on to call him “poor white trash” and “white b****”. Everhart’s attorney, Bryan Chapman said that Everhart’s complaints were “often ignored, and the school system failed to investigate any further.
“I never said any of those things. I don’t use that kind of language,” was Simpson-Marcus’s response when interviewed. The school system did not comment.
Not the only one claiming racial abuse
After being fired in 2010, Everhart sued. He was not the only who sued because of racial discrimination at the school. In fact there were several. One of these was when a light-skinned African-American teacher was turned down a promotion by Simpson-Marcus because she preferred dark-skinned people.
Everhart originally sued for 5 million because there is no limit on cases that violate the Civil Rights Act that states that organizations can’t discriminate race, color or national origin when receiving federal financial aid. In 2008, the Prince George’s County school board was given federal stimulus money.
When the case was handed over to the jury, they agreed with Everhart’s discrimination claim, but did not agree with his claim of a hostile work environment. Everhart now experiences heart problems and high blood pressure, which he says were caused because of the horrible treatment that he endured. He received $350,000 because of this.
This is not the only case of discrimination in schools. Just back in July, black protesters in Fresno, California opposed the hiring of Peter Beck, a white man, to teach students about African-American, Latino, and Souteast Asian studies.