Former superintendent files claim against Del Mar school district


Former superintendent Sharon McClain has filed a government code claim against the Del Mar Union School District. The claim, dated June 10, gives cause for action against DMUSD for breach of contract, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, failure to pay wages and violation of McClain’s due process rights.

The claim is just the beginning of a process toward a lawsuit.

“This has really been an awful experience for me, I have never had anything like this happen to me in my life,” said McClain. She added that the past few months have been both embarrassing and hurtful.

She said she is taking the lead from her lawyers, but she feels in her heart that what the board did to her was unfair.

“Every day I ask myself, ‘Am I doing the right thing by fighting them?’ But then I think,’They’re wrong.’ How can I walk away from it?” McClain asked.

Since her March 31 firing, McClain has repeatedly asked the board for reasons why she was removed from her position, through phone calls and a personal letter.

“I don’t believe that they can just summarily say ‘We’re firing you because you did something’ and not tell me what that something is,” McClain said.

Through her lawyers, McClain sent an official letter on June 1 asking the board again to name the reasons for her termination.

“I haven’t heard from them at all,” McClain said. “Nothing from anyone.”

The government code claim also refers to money owed to McClain through an employment agreement regarding her retirement.

The letter says the board had agreed to pay an increased salary of $1,223.33 a month, which McClain never received. The board initially agreed but said that the California State Teachers Retirement System deemed the amendment to the contract illegal, which was why it was never paid on.

The claim states that the district is now obligated to pay McClain $22,270.60 as its failure to pay the sum upon her termination involved a penalty of 30 working days.

The school district’s attorney did not return a call for comment by press time for this newspaper.