MAD Academy Director to be Removed from Campus Following Board Meeting
MAD Academy building on Santa Barbara High School (Photo: MAD)
By edhat staff
The Santa Barbara Unified School District voted to immediately remove director Dan Williams from the MAD Academy following Tuesday's public meeting.
In a closed-door session, board member Laura Capps brought forth the motion to remove Williams while board member Kate Ford seconded it. The board voted unanimously to remove Williams from Santa Barbara High School's campus immediately and released the following statement:
"The Board gave direction in closed session to staff and legal counsel to initiate a revision to the Williams' settlement agreement to include the immediate removal from campus."
Prior to the closed-door board member session, current and former MAD Academy parents gave emotional and passionate commentary calling for William's removal and the firing of Superintendent Cary Matusoka.
The ongoing controversy surrounding the Multimedia, Arts & Design (MAD) Academy placed on Santa Barbara High School's campus has led parents asking the SBUSD for transparency.
The public learned earlier this month that Williams was under investigation by the district for matters that were "not criminal." The District then announced Williams will finish the remainder of the school year until June 30 and will retire.
Current and former MAD Academy parents came forward with allegations of misconduct and a video of Williams appearing to party with underage students. Former MAD Academy Operations Director Pablo Sweeney has been accused of inappropriate communication with a former underage student. Sweeney was quietly terminated from his position. Parents expressed Williams and the SBUSD's failed to report the allegations to local law enforcement under California's "Mandated Reporter" law.
During Tuesday's public commentary, a current MAD Academy parent expressed shock in finding Williams recently on campus appearing to wrestle with a student. “I tell you right now, I walked into Dan’s office last week. I had to ask him a question …and there was a boy in there that was wrangling him around from his back, wrestling in the office [...] I was promised that there would be either a principal or an assistant principal or someone…making close observation and that hasn’t happened,” the parent stated as reported by Jerry Roberts of Newsmakers.
Williams is represented by the California Teachers Union. It's unclear what new legal agreement will be made following this decision.