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Teacher Says He Was Forced to Quit His Job Because He's Gay and Has HIV

Illustration by Brux via Shutterstock
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An Orange County teacher is suing his former employer, a Huntington Beach school, claiming he was forced to quit mid-year because he is a gay man and HIV positive.36-year-old Matthew Edmondson of Irvine says that "he was harassed, verbally abused and forced to resign because of his medical status and sexual orientation," according to the OC Register.

Edmondson was a science teacher, and had been at The Pegasus School for nearly a decade. He says that he had years of "glowing teaching evaluations," and believes he is the victim of discrimination. Edmondson was employed by the independent K-8 school for four years, until 2006, when he moved to Texas. He was asked back "to teach eighth-grade science in July 2007" at Pegasus, and accepted.

When a change in medication led Edmondson to experience side effects, the teacher took days off as allotted, and also had to "leave the classroom to use the restroom or show up tardy to class because he had to use the restroom." He claims he was taken aside under the pretense of discussing curriculum, but was actually chastised for his time off and leaving the classroom; Edmondson counters that he did not exceed the number of allowed days off and had informed his supervisors the medication necessitated "emergency trips to the restroom."

Edmondson said he was subject to several meetings where his behavior was criticized. His supervisors learned he'd tried to record one such meeting, and immediately after, Edmondson says they forced him to sign his resignation.

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The school has not commented on Edmondson's suit.