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.


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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