Matthew Edmondson, was a beloved middle school science teacher who had worked at The Pegasus School in Huntington Beach, California for four years before leaving to teach in Texas, and was asked to return to the school to teach 8th grade science in the spring of 2007. Past administrators and staff at the school were aware that Matthew was gay and HIV positive and were all very accommodating and friendly.
But that changed in October 2011, when Matthew’s doctor changed his medication which caused some adverse side effects. But Matthew kept on teaching never using than his allotted personal time off and in fact, throughout his tenure from 2002 on, he rarely used personal time off.
Matthew reported the side effects of his new medication to recently appointed Head of School, John Zurn and Joseph Williamson, the middle school director and that was when things changed drastically for Matthew at The Pegasus School .
According to court documents both Zurn and Williamson waged a discrimination campaign against Matthew starting in February 2012, including a series of randomly scheduled meetings under the guise of discussing Matthew’s curriculum plans for the coming year even though no other Pegasus teachers were asked to do so . It was during these meetings that Zurn and Williamson harassment grew demanding to know Matthew’s reasons for personal time off while criticizing his teaching methods for the first time in his career, despite Matthew’s glowing 9-year teaching evaluations.
The Pegasus school is now being sued by Matthew for multiple reasons, including workplace discrimination due to sexual orientation, medical condition and physical disability; creating and/or knowingly permitting harassment and a hostile work environment; breach of contract; wrongful termination; and violations of business and professions codes.
Said Brian Chase, partner at Bisnar | Chase Personal Injury Attorneys who are Matthews lawyers: This is a textbook case of workplace discrimination. What’s tragic is that this is a respected teacher, friend and colleague who has spent his entire professional career educating children and helping others. Simply put, Matthew was forced out of his job due to egregious verbal abuse, derogatory comments, insults and threats of criminal prosecution for no other reasons than his sexual orientation and medical condition.”
I hope that Matthew wins from them every penny have
But in the meantime, you all know what to do.
The Pegasus School
19692 Lexington Lane
Huntington Beach, CA 92646