SPUSD Assistant Superintendent: 'I Feel Bullied'

A disruptive parent who initiated a citizen's arrest on Steve Seaford used the system to bully him, the assistant superintendent said Wednesday.

An assault claim against Assistant Superintendent Steve Seaford has left the school official feeling bullied, he said Wednesday. 

"I've spent a lot of time working with schools' anti-bullying policy. I never would’ve imagined that someone could use such a tactic to bully [me],'' Seaford said in a telephone interview with Patch.

The assistant superintendent of instructional services for was arrested Friday, after a parent disrupted the district office by aggressively spewing profanities, officials said. It was the last day of school for the parent's two children, as the family no longer lived in South Pasadena. The parent initiated a citizen's arrest after Seaford allegedly pushed the parent toward the door, trying to get him to leave, according to a police bulletin. As with typical police reports, the alleged victim, in this case the parent, was not identified. 

Seaford denies pushing the man, whom he said the district found had been lying about his residency for a while. If a child doesn't live in South Pasadena, the family must apply for an out-of-district permit. The school district is not issuing any more such permits. 

Friday was to be the last day for the two students in question. Although Seaford scheduled a meeting with the parent for Wednesday (Sept. 12), he came to the office last Friday, arguing for his children to stay in the district.

"Upon becoming aggressive and loud, I asked him to leave. It became apparent that he was not going to leave, so I left the office. That contributed to his leaving, but there was no pushing at all,'' Seaford said.

"He did not get what he wanted. He was very frustrated and chose to make this false accusation to police,'' he added.

Det. Richard Lee said the parent initiated a private person's arrest, claiming assault. Police arrived and administered a ticket to Seaford for a misdemeanor, with a mandatory court date, he said. 

Like a police officer's arrest, Lee explained, the district attorney will either file the case for prosecution, or choose not to file. 

"As educators we do whatever we can to try to respect a parent's concerns over our policies, but this is just incredible. I feel bullied,'' Seaford said.


Betty Jean September 12, 2012 at 11:23 PM
Typical entitled parent. He was caught and now he's pissed. What a jerk!
South Pas Parent September 12, 2012 at 11:53 PM
Those poor kids - if he had been in the district legally - as many are - under a permit, they would have stayed - now they are forced to leave their school and friends...I can certainly understand why that parent is upset, but he is placing blame in the wrong place. The blame belongs squarely on his shoulders. I am so sorry that Mr. Seaford and the SPPD has to waste their time dealing with his childish behavior.
Kim Lesak September 13, 2012 at 02:33 AM
I agree with the comments above defending Mr. Seaford. It is a shame that an administrator who has shown such dedication to his position and to our children to be treated in this manner. I for one can attest to his devotion to stopping bullying in our schools.
JT Hampton September 13, 2012 at 05:14 AM
Were his children in audible proximity of this tirade? While i commend the man's desire to keep his kids in SPUSD, I'm horrified at the way he went about it. If he acts like that in public, to people he barely knows, I can't help but wonder if he berates his family the same way.
Ron Rosen September 13, 2012 at 01:37 PM
When you say he was "arrested," does that mean he was taken to the police station? Handcuffed? Just given some papers? Or what? Under the circumstances, I hope he wasn't detained in any way. Too easy if the police will arrest someone if you just accuse them of pushing you.
Donna Evans (Editor) September 13, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Hi Ron. Thanks for asking, as "citizen's arrest'' can be a bit confusing. Mr. Seaford was not handcuffed, driven to the station and booked, as most folks imagine when they hear "arrest.'' However, he was arrested via private person's arrest, ticketed and released. The ticket mandates court, so I plan to check to see if it gets filed by the DA or thrown out.
Robert Defulgentiis September 13, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Steve is the point person for such disputes. I'm sure he has to put up with more than a few disappointed and angry parents. He's a caring, good guy and dedicated - shame he had to go through this public display.
Tracy September 13, 2012 at 08:00 PM
I have known Steve Seaford for a number of years and he is without a doubt a man of morals and integrity. He truly "walks the walk". What's really a shame is that these types of things get out to the public and names and reputations get damaged unnecessarily. I have no doubt that Steve will be exonerated from any wrong doing and formal charges will probably never get filed but for those who don't know him they will most likely always have a question mark in the back of their mind from here on out every time they hear his name. I watched The Patch "report" a story last year on a Glendora teacher and his "inappropriate behavior" with a student. No charges were ever filed but the firestorm that ensued was horrible. The teacher, the student involved, their families, their lives have been damaged forever in an oh-so ugly way. I don't think things like should ever see the light of day in a newspaper until formal charges are brought and a trial is imminent. Reputations are one of our most important attributes At the end of the day sometimes it's all we have. To have them ruined over a baseless claim is a gross unjustness. Shame on The Patch for reporting this. I seriously doubt a follow up article will be printed when this goes no where in the court system
Donna Evans (Editor) September 13, 2012 at 09:01 PM
Thank you for your comments, Tracy. I assure you, I am following this into the court system (it has been sent to L.A. Superior Court in Alhambra for consideration) and will report whatever happens next.
Emmanuel September 13, 2012 at 09:26 PM
This is the problem with some laws nowadays! Crazy, lying parents like that parent are allowed to "arrest" a proven, caring administrator despite the fact the HE was wrong! I don't get it. A parent can do all kinds of things verbally, legally, allegedly, etc. to educators and we just have to take it -why is that? How does that make sense?
Ann Neville-Jan September 14, 2012 at 04:55 AM
I support you Steve!
Onyx Joanne Henneke September 14, 2012 at 05:59 AM
Stupid, entitled parent. What a great example they're setting for their kids.
Joan and John S. September 14, 2012 at 02:29 PM
I have witnessed Mr. Seafort yelling at parents. I have seen him go from zero to 100 and he has displayed a bad temper with little regard and respect to the person he was yelling at. I frankly was not surprised that he got into this altercation with a family. I hope he learns to contain his anger and temper after this. It is a good reminder for the asst. superintendent.
Sue Jensen September 14, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Mr. Seaford needs to look at his own anger issues. He is known to yell and be disrespectul to parents. Maybe he got a bit of his own medicine and will think twice about how he speaks to people.
Rae Luce September 14, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Perhaps it is time for the residents of South Pasadena to reflect on whether any one of them is enabling this situation by allowing friends and relatives (and friends of relatives and relatives of friends) to use his address to allow an out-of-district child to attend your schools. Until that practice is halted, your tax dollars may continue to be wasted on draining a district administrator's time and energy on gatekeeping. This problem preceded Dr. Seaford by decades - speculation about his prior behavior is a red herring, in my opinion. Years ago, I had a high school studens break down in tears because she had been taught since the age of 5 to lie about where she lived. No childhood birthday parties at her house, difficulty in participating in S.P. community or school activities, transportation issues, constant fear of being 'caught'. What a shame.
layla otto September 14, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Mr. Seaford has a horrible temper. Kudos to the parent. I hope those who have been harrased by Mr. Seaford let it be known so the school district / DA know this is not an isolated incident. His comment that he feels "bullied " to me is ridiculous considering how much bullying he does.


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