No matter where you stand within the political spectrum, this behavior is blatantly unacceptable.
The president of a California school district board appears to have resigned after he was accused of paying high school choir students to perform at a “private adult party” at his residence. During that party, according to the complaining parents, the students were offered alcohol and subject to inappropriate comments from a “dirty Santa,” among other things.
Steven Llanusa was the president of Claremont Unified School District in Los Angeles County, a district representing two high schools, an intermediate school and six elementary schools. He had just been reelected as a school board trustee in the November election after campaigning as a 35-year teacher and a delegate to the state California School Board.
But last week, his track record with the area came to a screeching halt when allegations emerged that he had subjected high school students to an inappropriate situation at his home.
He was accused of hosting a private party at his home the weekend of Dec. 3, for which he allegedly invited high school choir students to perform. But according to the parents of the students who went, the party seemed to be one of debauchery.
“Mr. Llanusa invited the high school choir group into his private adult party in his home,” Sabrina Ho, one of the teen’s parents told the Claremont school board at a special meeting on Friday, according to video shared by CBS Los Angeles. “They were encouraged to take part in food and festivities. The students didn’t begin their scheduled performance until over an hour later and were offered alcohol by party guests among inappropriately dressed adult entertainers.”
Another person who attended the party shared a photo with CBS Los Angeles of shirtless performers in Santa and elf hats.
“I’m heartbroken for my son and his beloved choir group. I’m devastated as a parent,” another parent said at the meeting.
And another, Gabriel Lozano, said his daughter was surrounded by drunken party attendees and that she and other students were interviewed by local police.
“They were offered an open bar and to socialize with the half-naked men, the dirty Santa that offered and made disgusting comments to our children,” Lozano told CBS Los Angeles.
No other current or past school board members were at the party, Kathy Archer, the board’s vice president said at the meeting.
The board released a statement on Friday saying it had met with legal counsel as well as the superintendent to review the allegations. Llanusa was not at the closed session meeting, they said.
“We are appalled by the allegations, which are understandably causing distraction, disruption and pain, as expressed in community members’ messages to the Board and Superintendent. Please know that we receive and read your messages, and we take your concerns very seriously,” they wrote on Facebook. “Though the board cannot require Mr. Llanusa’s resignation, we encourage him to do so in order to begin the process of healing and returning our focus to students and their well-being.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, Llanusa resigned over the weekend. He is no longer listed on the school board’s website, but a previous version of the webpage showed that he first joined the board in December 2005. His school district email is also no longer working. CBS News has reached out to Llanusa for comment through his social media.