SANTA BARBARA Ed Behrens, former principal of San Marcos High School, filed an appeal Friday after a Santa Barbara County Superior Court dismissed his lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges that Mr. Behrens should get his job back after he was removed by the Santa Barbara Unified School District Board of Education.
Mr. Behrens’ demotion followed an online threat incident involving San Marcos High students. The lawsuit alleges that district Superintendent Cary Matsuoka spread misleading information about Mr. Behrens to the board and to the public.
“In deposition, Matsuoka admitted that strategic public statements he made about Ed were false,” says Leila Noel, partner in the law firm Cappello & Noel, which is representing Mr. Behrens. “We are pursuing this case to ensure justice is done.”
Mr. Behrens was reassigned as a junior high school teacher (a position that pays about $50,000 less per year) after the school board approved the demotion in March 2018.
The lawsuit alleges that by demoting Mr. Behrens, the district violated his rights under the state Education Code and district regulations. In addition to being reinstated to his principal position, Mr. Behrens is seeking back pay.