Former PAISD principal sues for discrimination

David Yates Feb. 14, 2008, 7:56am

In 1974, Dr. Edna Edwards began her career with the Port Arthur Independent School District as a special education teacher. Twenty-five years later, she became the principal of Stephen F. Austin Middle School. Presently, Dr. Edwards has been "demoted" to a position with the District Wide Alternative.

Despite her spotless career, Dr. Edwards contends the school district retaliated against her because she was "mentioned favorably" in a deposition in regards to a 2006 lawsuit filed against PAISD.

Confident her record speaks for itself, Dr. Edwards filed a discrimination suit against PAISD on Feb. 7 in the Jefferson County District Court.

"After Dr. Edwards' name was mentioned favorably in (the) deposition, she was repeatedly and publicly harassed and berated by members of the PAISD administration for her alleged failure to support (the school district)," the suit said.

On April 23, 2007, Dr. Edwards responded to her co-workers "harassment" by filing a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Dr. Edwards also contends that after she was demoted she was replaced with someone less competent than herself, the suit said.

"The multiple demotions have halted the upward advancement of Dr. Edwards' career, which she has been establishing for decades," the suit said. "She has been forced to work in positions for which she is overqualified and over-experienced and which do not utilize her training and education."

Dr. Edwards is suing for punitive damages, "since PAISD's actions were committed intentionally," plus lost wages and mental anguish.

She is demanding a trial by jury and is represented by attorney David Bernsen.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd Judicial District, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. E181-196

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