Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

Beverly Hills High School Principal Carter Paysinger announced his retirement Tuesday and plans to seek a seat on the Beverly Hills Unified School District Board of Education in the November election.

Paysinger, the school’s first black principal, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the district in July, alleging he was the target of a “malicious campaign of discrimination and retaliation” by the district because of his race.

In a statement issued Tuesday night, Paysinger said his working conditions were “appalling” when he filed the lawsuit and have worsened since then.

Paysinger called the school board’s plan to hire a search firm to find a new principal “completely transparent.”

“As I said in my complaint, the board threatened that if I filed a lawsuit, I would lose my job,” Paysinger said.

Paysinger’s attorney, Reed Aljian told City News Service “the board retaliated against Mr. Paysinger in response to each of the complaints he submitted with the district, all of which alleged board misconduct, and it threatened to remove him as principal if he chose to file a lawsuit, so he was prepared for this eventuality.”

Paysinger plans to retire June 30. He does not live in Beverly Hills, but plans to move there, Aljian said.

“The district’s problems are at the board level and cannot be addressed by a high school principal,” Paysinger said. “With the continued support of the community, if elected to the board, I will be in the best position to effect the changes that we desperately need.”

There will be three seats up for election in November. School board President Brian David Goldberg, who plans to seek re-election in November, told City News Service, “I welcome Mr. Paysinger to the political process and look forward to a spirited debate regarding our district and how best to move it forward.”

No black has been elected to the Beverly Hills school board or City Council.

The 58-year-old Paysinger graduated from Beverly Hills High School in 1974 and was a longtime teacher and coach before becoming principal in 2010.

Paysinger’s memoir “Where A Man Stands,” written with Steven Fenton, made The New York Times list of top 20-selling sports books for November.

—City News Service

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