Last November, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) decided not to take up a motion to censure school board president Richard Vladovic, who has been accused of sexual harassment by former secretary Lily Nunez. Despite his support on the school board, student reaction is mixed.
According to the Huffington Post, Nunez reported eight instances of offensive jokes made by Vladovic about his gay-co worker as well as improper sexual jokes directed at her during her time as Vladovic’s secretary while he was a local superintendent in the South Bay. Nunez, who is now executive assistant to Superintendent John Deasy, says that she aims to end bullying by individuals in high positions within the district.
Vladovic has denied all of Nunez’s accusations and attributes any alleged bad behavior to anger management problems. He claims that his issues with being able to control irate outbursts led him to occasionally use his “outdoor voice indoors,” and he reassures the public that he has been trying to solve this problem by receiving professional help. Nunez has refuted Vladovic’s defense by noting that his justifications are irrelevant to her complaints of sexual harassment.
Some students of LAUSD believe that Vladovic’s actions are hypocritical in light of the bullying campaigns that have been recently launched by the district.
“For years I have been hearing about the bullying issues that many students face in school,” Minjin Altansuhk, a freshman at Fairfax High School stated. “And now, the president of our school district is the one who is bullying his fellow co-workers. If he doesn’t stop bullying, why should we?”
A junior from Fairfax High School, Viviana Garcia, also expressed her discontent.
The president shouldn’t make excuses and try to get out of trouble. He should face up to what he did like all the students have to do.”
However, some students believe that even though Vladovic’s actions weren’t right, they are nevertheless forgivable.
“We have to remember that Mr. Vladovic is also a human being,” Juan Sorto, a senior at Fairfax High declared. “Like all other people, he can have bad days when he will be rude to others. It happens, it’s life.”
The verdict is still out as to whether Vladovic will face any consequences stemming from Nunez’s complaint.