Below is the full text of the letter sent out by Hayward Unified School District Superintendent Stan Dobbs after troubled former 49ers Ray McDonald spoke to a group of at-risk teens at Tennyson High School.
I am writing to provide an update on a recent assembly that took place at Tennyson High School. Tennyson is part of the Hayward Promise Neighborhood (HPN) Grant in partnership with Cal State University East Bay. HPN has supported a Drop Out Prevention program that includes bringing in guest speakers to motivate students at-risk of not graduating. This year the school has had several speakers as part of this program, from the great-great-great-grandson of Frederick Douglass to Arthur Renowitsky, who was shot as a teen and now lives his life as a paraplegic. The HPN Drop Out Prevention Specialist recently invited two professional athletes to speak to Tennyson students as part of the program.
One of the professional athletes, Mr. Ray McDonald, has a legal history that is at odds with the values that we promote in our schools. To our knowledge, he has not been convicted of a crime. However, given his current legal issues his presence at our school may not have been appropriate for our students, even if the message that he shared was a positive one. Please know, though, that like all visitors to our schools, Mr. McDonald and the other guest speaker were accompanied by staff at all times. We have begun an internal review with CSUEB in order to determine what protocols were followed in bringing in the guest speaker.
We greatly value our relationship with our partners in the HPN grant and appreciate that they have helped bring services such as our Drop Out Prevention program to Tennyson. Lastly, I do recognize that the intention of our educators at the school was to try to inspire the students. However, please accept my sincere apologies if you were offended in any way by the selection of Mr. Ray McDonald as a guest speaker at Tennyson High School.
Lastly, I do recognize that the intention of our educators at the school was to try to inspire the students. However, please accept my sincere apologies if you were offended in any way by the selection of Mr. Ray McDonald as a guest speaker at Tennyson High School.
Stan “Data” Dobbs