A school board president in California has tendered his resignation after reports surfaced that members of a high school choir were invited to perform at an adult-themed Christmas party held at his home.
On December 3, Steven Llanusa, who was then the president of the Claremont Unified School District Board of Education and who reportedly remains a CUSD teacher, hosted a Christmas party at his residence and invited members of the Claremont High School choir to perform at the event to raise funds for their group.
However, parents became outraged after they learned the exact nature of the event. According to reports, scantily-clad men — performers who may actually be male strippers, one outlet noted — were scattered about and interacted with all guests, including the students. One angry father, Gabriel Lozano, claimed that a “dirty Santa” at the party made “disgusting comments” to the students, including his daughter. Lozano also claimed that the event contained “an open bar,” the contents of which were offered to students.
Another parent, Sabrina Ho, shared her complaints about the event during a CUSD school board meeting last Friday, a board meeting which Llanusa did not attend because of his alleged involvement in the incident. Ho claimed that students “were encouraged to take part in food and festivities” that evening and that they “didn’t begin their scheduled performance until over an hour later.” In the meantime, Ho said, the students were surrounded by “inappropriately dressed” adult entertainers and “offered alcohol” by other party attendees.
The students did eventually sing Christmas carols at the event, though it is unclear how many songs they performed and whether they remained at the party after their performance ended. Lozano claimed that the high school choir teacher was not in attendance at the party and therefore was not able to chaperone the students or protect them from intoxicated or otherwise misbehaving adults.
At the school board meeting, one member reiterated that none of the other board members had attended the party. The school board also issued a letter to parents, which called for Llanusa to resign so that the entire community could “begin the process of healing and returning our focus to students and their well-being.”
Llanusa ultimately resigned his position as school board president over the weekend, even though he had just been reelected to the post last month. Officials now believe that the board may hold a special election to replace him. His status as a teacher in the district remains unclear.