|A black teacher at the school which inspired Beverly Hills 90210, and where Angelina Jolie was a pupil, has filed a race claim against his employer|
Black teacher at Famous Beverly Hills 90210 Highschool, of which Angelina Jolie attended, claims racial discrimination
The black headteacher of Beverly Hills High School, the educational establishment that has produced numerous Hollywood stars, is suing for damages claiming he has been a victim of racism.
The school was the inspiration for the popular 1990s television series Beverly Hills 90210 about the lives of a group of rich teenagers.
In reality its alumni include a long list of famous names including Angelina Jolie, Nicolas Cage, Monica Lewinsky and Jamie Lee Curtis.
According to legal papers obtained by the celebrity news website TMZ the headteacher, Carter Paysinger, alleges that he has been targeted by the all white school board.
He claims one board member said: "One of the problems that you have is that you don't look like what a principal of Beverly Hills High School should look like."
Mr Paysinger also claims another board member said: "It would be easier if he had lighter skin, and he looks more intelligent when he wears glasses."
Mr Paysinger, 57, was himself a student at Beverly Hills High School, graduating in 1974, and serving as a football coach and physical education teacher before becoming headteacher in 2010.
It is the latest legal wrangle between him and the Beverly Hills Unified School District, which administers the publicly funded school.
In March he was cleared of financial wrongdoing following an investigation into a sports summer camp he ran at the school.
Two months later the school district rejected a complaint from Mr Paysinger in which he accused them of leaking a draft of the investigation report to the media.
In court papers, published by TMZ, Mr Paysinger alleged that he had been the"victim of a malicious campaign of discrimination and retaliation" by the school district.
The head teacher, who is still in post, said he wanted to "make sure no employee or student will ever again be judged by the colour of his or her skin."
Mr Paysinger grew up in the South Central area of Los Angeles rather than Beverly Hills. He is the school's first black head teacher.
He claimed one school district official had declared he could not be trusted because of "where he was from".
According to his claim only two per cent of teachers and administrators in the school district are black and he has been paid less than white employees of a similar rank.
A lawyer for Mr Paysinger was unavailable for comment. The Beverly Hills Unified School District declined to comment.
However, school district sources confirmed to the Beverly Hills Courier newspaper that the complaint against them had been filed.
One member of the school district's board of education told The Courier the case was a "publicity stunt" to promote an upcoming book by Mr Paysinger.
The board member said: "It is unfortunate that with less than one month before school starts our high school principal and his supporters are more interested in profiting from book sales rather than opening our high school."
The makers of Beverly Hills 90210 originally wanted to film the series at Beverly Hills High School, but the school board declined.
It was instead filmed at another school and set in the fictional West Beverly Hills High School.