Poway Unified School District

Poway Unified School District and former superintendent being sued again

Amanda Marshall, the superintendent’s former executive assistant, is suing for several things including harassment, discrimination and retaliation.

NBC Universal, Inc.

Amanda Marshall worked under former Poway Unified School District Superintendent Marian Phelps for four years. During that time, Marshall said Phelps tormented her so badly that she had to retire early.

The lawsuit claims between that 2018-2022, Phelps severely harassed, intimidated and verbally abused Marshall, making her the fourth assistant to leave. It went on to say Phelps used her personal phone to message Marshall about work, rather than her district-issued phone, then later deleted the messages.

The lawsuit says Phelps told Marshall, “If I were your age, I would retire,” which the lawsuit claims was a reference to Marshall's age as she neared retirement. It also said Phelps accused Marshall of planning to poison her.

This suit adds to a growing pile of other lawsuits the district faces over Phelps.

Back in November, a former Del Norte High School softball player filed a suit against Phelps and the district, claiming Phelps threatened to pull the seniors’ graduation privileges because they didn’t clap loud enough for her daughter during their softball awards banquet.

Senior player Miranda Mosqueda spoke up about this with her teammates behind her at a school board meeting.

“I was very excited to represent my school during my senior season and to play with all of my friends for the last time before we had to go to college, but now, many of us are afraid to play this year for fear of being harassed and intimidated," Mosqueda said. “With all that said, I think it's finally time we ask ourselves: Who is the real bully in this situation?"

Dozens of parents filled a district board meeting to discuss what action should be taken. Parents say the superintendent threatened students while at an awards banquet. NBC 7's Amber Frias reports.

Phelps denied all of this before the school board fired her in April.

“I’ve never threatened any student,” Phelps said. “I never would. I’ve never talked to any student about making threats about them not graduating. All of those allegations are completely false and fabricated.”

“Based on her conduct as revealed through the board investigation, the board has lost all confidence and trust in Phelp’s ability to continue to serve as superintendent,” PUSD Board President Michelle O'Connor Ratcliff said.

Marshall told The San Diego Union-Tribune that she filed this suit to expose what she calls a longstanding pattern of intimidation and harassment, even beyond what the softball players experienced.

NBC 7 reached out to the district for a response to the newest lawsuit and are still waiting to hear back.

Phelps has said she plans to sue the district to get her job back.

Former Superintendent Marian Kim Phelps is taking legal action to reinstate her employment. She plans to sue for $1 million, citing damage to her reputation, and claims this was all orchestrated as a takedown over her political policies. The district says it does not comment on pending litigation. NBC 7's Jackie Crea reports.
Contact Us