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News, Samohi, Santa Monica, Smmusd

SMMUSD Superintendent Sandra Lyon: I Regret My Statements Misconstrued

Posted Apr. 8, 2014, 9:01 am

Mirror Staff

Editor's Note: This is a public statement by SMMUSD Superintendent Sandra Lyon regarding the physical altercation between a teacher and student at Santa Monica High School on Friday, April 4.

I regret that my statements issued on Friday have been misconstrued by many people reacting through social media and the press.

As Superintendent, I have always placed a high priority on maintaining a learning environment that is safe for our staff and students.

The District did not rush to judgment in this case, but others certainly have based on only YouTube postings that show a small portion of what actually happened at the school.

Placing an employee on paid administrative leave following an incident is a standard procedure used by public schools and most other public employers. In no way was our action to place the teacher on paid leave a determination of wrongful conduct or a decision to suspend or discipline him.

The teacher involved is a respected coach and educator.

We owe him due process protections as we further investigate this incident.

The district has launched an independent investigation into the events last Friday at Santa Monica High School.

That thorough, objective analysis will be done prior to the end of Spring Break.

We urge everyone in our community to resist letting rumors and inflammatory statements shape their opinions.

Only when all of the evidence and witness statements have been reviewed we will have a true and accurate accounting of what actually happened.

We urge our community and those outside of the District to let the investigative process work and reserve judgment until all of the facts are in.

Until then, we will continue to work with local law enforcement while we respect the due process and privacy rights of everyone involved.

Sandra Lyon

SMMUSD Superintendent

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Apr. 8, 2014, 10:42:40 am

Mark said...

With all due respect, Ms. Lyon's original statement was not "misconstred" at all. Each statement just adds fuel to the fire. She clearly said that based upon the video, she found Mr. Black's restraint tactics "unacceptable." The person that jumped to conclusions based upon the video was Ms. Lyon herself. She needs to fully take responsibility for her own rush to judgment in this case. Maybe she should just keep completely quiet until the investigation is over because he explanations just make it worse.

Apr. 8, 2014, 10:47:53 am

Jerry Rubin said...

I wholeheartedly agree and would bet Mr. Black, the teacher involved would also agree with that fair process approach.

Apr. 8, 2014, 10:56:01 am

Mark said...

I agree with you Jerry. What Ms. Lyon needs to understand is that she needs to apologize for her statement. This "apology" isn't an apology at all. It is blaming the public for miscontruing. She may be a fine Superintendent. I don't really know. However, she has displays a need to learn how to handle a situation like this.

Apr. 8, 2014, 11:08:21 am

martin marteen said...

It appeas that the existing policy should be changed. Sandra Lyon should be placed on paid leave so the situation is objectively investigated. This action will in no way impugn Ms Lyon. But it will give investigators a chance to assess Ms Lyon's mental status in a fair and impartial manner.

Apr. 8, 2014, 11:09:08 am

Jerry Rubin said...

I know Ms. Lyon to be a dedicated and excellent school superintendent and her statement here is very fair and positive. Again, let's let the process work.

Apr. 8, 2014, 11:13:50 am

martin marteen said...

Jerry Rubin, needs to be palced on leave of absence from whatever employ he or she has, pending clarification of his/her mental staus as an objective mediator. People seem to have lost common sense, and parrot socialist semiotics to promote medicrity.

Apr. 8, 2014, 11:33:13 am

Jimbo said...

Typical Liberal BS

Apr. 8, 2014, 11:37:15 am

Jimbo said...

Let the little bastards do what they want and fire and dicipline and prosecute the teacher trying to protect and teach our kids...You fricken liberals are so foolish. Wait till someone trys to rob, rape or pillage you or your family...

Apr. 8, 2014, 12:26:30 pm

Suzanne said...

Her original comments weren't misconstrued; they were clear and direct. She stated that she was "utterly alarmed" and that the teacher's conduct was unacceptable. Show the media reports that misconstrued those statements. I have not seen any reports that misunderstood what she said.

Apr. 8, 2014, 12:28:16 pm

john hawley said...

If ms. lyon thinks everyone is judging this based on false information then why not give the facts. Did not a teacher try to stop a drug dealer from selling in his classroom, then defended himself after the pusher punched him in the face. The students in the video have much more common sense than the gutless ms. lyon.

Apr. 8, 2014, 12:39:31 pm

Suzanne said...

I appreciate that she's trying to clean up a messy situation, but let's not make it worse my adding more to the pile by blaming those who responded to her original prejudicial statements. The superintendent should take responsibility for the part of the mess she created, and then focus her attention on the investigation and taking the right action based on that investigation.

Apr. 8, 2014, 12:57:00 pm

Scott said...

Oh My! She thinks we're all idiots. She isn't apologizing at all. What an arrogant, out of touch loser. Maybe an independent investigation needs to be done to see if this woman acutally has a brain. Ms. Lyon is a classic politician and clearly not a woman of integrity or a bit of credibility. Ms. Lyon threw Black under the bus. SHE made inflammatory comments and is in NO WAY sorry. I will be shocked if she is not fired. She needs to keep her mouth shut.

Apr. 8, 2014, 5:34:16 pm

John Fischer said...

The school board should put Sandra Lyon on leave and ultimately terminate her employment contract for malfeasance.

Apr. 8, 2014, 6:31:43 pm

Ronald said...

It would be quite a stretch to conclude that Lyon's statements are being misconstrued. If that be the case, though, perhaps she should sign up for a remedial course at her local community college so that she might learn how to communicate more clearly.

Apr. 8, 2014, 6:42:23 pm

Bob Smith said...

What a pathetic liar you are.You were ready sacrifice this teacher so you could be politically correct.You are a worthless human being with no character or dignity. I hope the good people of Santa Monica will see you for the scum that you are.

Apr. 8, 2014, 6:54:48 pm

Albert S said...

The comments made were not misconstrued nor taken off of social media they were reported by the news. KTLA had researched the detailed within a couple of days and clarified by witness account what happened in that classroom. Ms. Lyons made almost immediate comments about the use of restraint without taking into account ALL the facts. Shame on you, did it not dawn on you that a 30 year veteran teacher would never take such action without just cause???????? Make an appropriate apology, there are plenty of people that believe you should be on leave Ms. Lyons!

Apr. 8, 2014, 7:39:17 pm

Eric Haseleu said...

You wonder what is wrong with the youth of today. The original statement by the superintendant says it all. I would ask her if she has any common sense at all to make a statement like that without knowing all the details.

Apr. 9, 2014, 7:50:41 am

James said...

Too bad Coach Black wasn't at Franklin High in Pittsburg today, where 20 students were stabbed by a student with a knife.

Apr. 9, 2014, 5:57:36 pm

TB said...

PC actions and comments by the super.

Apr. 10, 2014, 2:09:41 pm

thomas lewis said...

I am afraid that Ms. Lyon has lost the respect of the community, judging from the avalanche of criticism directed against her. Probably best if she steps down.

Apr. 10, 2014, 6:19:52 pm

Jane said...

I'm sorry, but this whole PR mess started when Ms Lyon rushed to judgement, not the public. Seriously, take responsibility, please! Either you're dillusional or simply lying. It is time to step down.

Apr. 11, 2014, 9:06:45 pm

Gil Hurtado said...

It's scary to know that she was named Regional Superintendent of The Year. Yikes!!!

Apr. 13, 2014, 7:47:05 pm

Mark said...

First lesson Sandra Lyon needs to learn: When one finds themselves in a hole first STOP DIGGING. You prematurely (now falsely)accused a veteran member of your staff. You then back peddled when when people with probably less education (are you even a Dr.? as superintendent) but far more common call you out. Then when you back peddle you don't even have the common decency, respect, or moral compass to actually say "I made a mistake, I'm Sorry". If you are leading this institution of learning. This institution of critical thinking you should display some yourself. You should probably have another job since you haven't learned anything.

Apr. 15, 2014, 7:26:34 am

C W Schindler said...

In my opinion, having experience with both public and private schools, it seems the public school systems should adopt a more strict student (as wall as teacher) discipline system akin to the private schools where 'you behave, or you are kicked-out and turned over to other authorities/punishments for corrective behavior. Parent of the students should also share in the process of being disciplined...regardless of economic, social, or other status.

Apr. 16, 2014, 12:34:21 pm

kzompa said...

My son will be a freshman at samohi in the fall. I feel better knowing that Coach Black is on the staff. I feel worse knowing that Ms Lyon is in charge.

Apr. 19, 2014, 12:33:45 pm

James Kinetz said...

SANDRA LYON MUST RESIGN!!!! Sandra has zero common sense and less than zero skills at managing a school system where students are supposed to have a classroom atmosphere that is fosters learning. Her management style encourages classroom anarchy and poor student performance.

Apr. 21, 2014, 5:11:16 pm

NM said...

Lyon should be fired. She sided with a delinquent student before she had any facts. She also should be responsible for having unsafe schools with students selling drugs and carrying box cutters. Isn't she elected? Time to vote her out. Black should get more days off with pay as a reward.

Apr. 23, 2014, 6:50:04 pm

Frank said...

Superintendent Lyon has clearly been caught up in the political dance du jour. Minority student vs white male teacher... No investigation necessary. Isn't that how it works in this country now? I think Superintendent Lyon should be fired for her rush to judgment. I've no confidence in her leadership whatsoever. Her dropping of the ball, and hasty explanation of her "misconstrued" comments are what I find "utterly alarming".

Oct. 16, 2014, 10:33:33 am

Beverly Bonham said...


Nov. 15, 2014, 2:21:48 pm

Anthony Schneiders said...

How is she involved???? For Real???

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