San Dieguito parents group wants trustee's resignation
Accusations continue to unfold in the troubled San Dieguito Union High School District.
A group of parents is now calling for the resignation of the School Board Vice President, Michael Allman, accusing him of harassment, intimidation, and cyberbullying.
Allman was targeted for recall last year, but opponents failed to collect enough signatures.
“I think Mr. Allman needs to resign,” said Robyn Ruterbusch, a member of the community group making the accusations. “I believe he has brought a lot of political wedge issues and politicized our school district,” Ruterbusch continued.
A news release was distributed by the community group that documented numerous instances of what the group called hostile, unethical and discriminatory behavior that has gone unchecked for months.
The emailed release included links to videos and documents claiming to be examples of Allman using bullying tactics, including yelling and shaming colleagues and staff during public meetings, using homophobic slurs, and discounting input from student board members.
“Our administrators, our principals, and our teachers are protecting our kids right now from the chaos and the Board of Trustees,” said Ruterbusch.
Last week, the school board voted 3-1 to put Superintendent Cheryl James-Ward on administrative leave following racially-biased comments she made at a district diversity equity and inclusion training session. The comments led to severe backlash and calls for her resignation.
Allman supported the move to put Ward on leave. Ward told KPBS she considered that to be retaliation.
Ward joins the parent group in accusing Allman of harassment and trying to get her wrongfully terminated.
Ward said, “If Michael Allman could get rid of me, his hope is the (complaint) and investigation would go away.”
Trustee Allman gave KPBS this statement:
"On February 18th, I called for an independent investigation after Dr. Ward’s remarks in a board meeting the night before. Dr. Ward filed a complaint on March 10. The Board later approved hiring an independent investigator who has been working expeditiously.
"I will have a lot more to say when the investigation is complete.”
He also said, “Dr. Cheryl James-Ward was placed on administrative leave by a vote of our Board of Trustees after hearing mostly Asian parents personally testify to their hurt and disappointment in our Superintendent and their calls for her to resign."
Ward has apologized for her comments and told KPBS she has no intentions of resigning.