Hayward superintendent placed on paid leave over handling of Ray McDonald visit

Stan “Data” Dobbs was place on paid administrative
leave Wednesday evening.

HAYWARD | Embattled Hayward Superintendent Stan “Data” Dobbs was placed on paid administrative leave effective immediately, said school board president Lisa Brunner.

In a statement at the start of Wednesday’s board meeting, Brunner said the school district is investigating Dobbs’ knowledge and handling of former San Francisco 49ers player Ray McDonald’s visit last February to Tennyson High School.

The investigation, according to Brunner’s statement, is ongoing and focuses, in part, on a letter Dobbs sent to Tennyson parents that appeared to shield blame from himself and suggest, instead, the high school’s principal and Hayward Promise Neighborhood were to blame for McDonald’s appearance and its vetting.

Ray McDonald spoke to 200 at-risk Tennyson
students last February.

McDonald was charged for allegedly raping a woman in Santa Clara County and was due to stand trial for the incident just weeks after his visit to address about 200 at-risk students about self-control.

A number of Tennyson parents were upset when word of McDonald’s visit spread after the fact and the story went national, including a debate over the incident on a popular ESPN talk show.

The school board’s investigation appears set to surround on the question of whether Dobbs knew about McDonald’s visit beforehand and whether the former football player was properly vetted in a similar manner to others visiting any public school in Hayward.

When the McDonald story broke last March, a representative for the federally-funded Hayward Promise Neighborhood program, which also sponsored the event, acknowledged to the East Bay Express that Dobbs was fully aware of McDonald and approved it. Later, the same Hayward Promise representative had no comment when a Hayward school district employee told NBC Bay Area that Dobbs had no part in the McDonald visit.

In recent months, Dobbs’ future as superintendent has been seen as threatened, according to many of his supporters. In late May, Dobbs’ attorney sent the school district a letter laying out the specific terms of his resignation as superintendent. However, two weeks ago, when Dobbs was asked publicly by a school board member about whether he plans to leave the school district, he answered no to thundering applause from his backers in the audience.

Dr. Matt Wayne, the school district’s assistant superintendent, was elevated to acting superintendent while the investigation moves forward.

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