Tue. Sep 26th, 2023



Contact: David L. Boyd,  (714) 708-0723, Ext 313  boyd@taftu.edu

OCBE Trustee Requests Investigation into Anti-Gay Slurs

COSTA MESA, CA. – David L. Boyd, a Trustee serving on the Orange County Board of Education, will request at the May meeting of the Board a briefing by legal counsel on what constitutes a hostile work environment as well as an investigation into the conduct of another trustee.

This request is a result of an e-mail written by Trustee Robert Hammond in April 2014 to an employee of the Orange County Department of Education where Hammond wrote “I hope you don’t mind, but I plan on asking you about your sexual orientation publicly during our next board meeting.” The email was recently made public as a result of a public records request.

In another e-mail obtained through the public records request, Mr. Hammond referred to gays as “sodomites.”

Robert Hammond

Boyd said that he plans to request the Superintendent begin an investigation in an effort to determine the scope of the problem. The Constitution of the United States guarantees a right of privacy to all citizens and various statutes provide even greater protections to employees.

“To my knowledge,” Boyd commented, “no lawsuits have been filed related to Mr. Hammond’s conduct but the Board and the Department need to get ahead of this problem before it becomes a liability. But more importantly, we need to insure that all of our employees are treated with the respect that they deserve.”

“To ask any employee about their sexual orientation, either in private or in public is a wildly inappropriate and outrageous violation of their right to privacy,” said Laura Kanter, the Director of Policy, Advocacy and Youth Programs for the LGBT Center OC in Santa Ana. “We believe this type of behavior is reprehensible. Trustee Hammond’s ignorance and threatening behavior create an unsafe and hostile work environment for other Board Members and OCDE employees that impacts the entire community and especially our students.”

Robert Hammond and Michelle Bachman
Robert Hammond and Michelle Bachman

“This is someone who is making far-reaching decisions about the education of Orange County’s youth and his behavior demonstrates that he is unfit to do so without bias,” Kanter concluded. “Mr. Hammond’s tone is alienating to multiple groups, not only the LGBT community. This undermines trust in the community and the efficacy of the County Board of Education.”

David L. Boyd is serving his second term on the Orange County Board of Education representing Cypress, Huntington Beach, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Westminster, and portions of Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley and Garden Grove.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

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