San Marino Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Alex Cherniss, in a statement to the San Marino Tribune, responded to allegations made by Board Member Chris Norgaard that were published online and in the April 27 edition of The Tribune.
The San Marino Unified School District has an obligation to investigate claims of sexual harassment in the workplace and for Mr. [Chris] Norgaard, through his attorneys, to contend that these employee statements, which are factually in our possession and which precipitated this investigation, were “fabricated” by myself or by anyone on my staff is irresponsible and can subject him to claims for malicious prosecution. Our employees have every right to submit complaints of sexual harassment or mistreatment in the workplace without fear of reprisal. We take such complaints seriously and they are always investigated. All District actions were taken here to ensure that we operate in accordance with our Board Policies and the law, as well as to protect the well-being of our employees.
It is unfortunate that during these critically important two weeks of the school year, when we are in the midst of State Testing, that School District resources are being expended to respond to character assassination and misstatements, rather than focusing our efforts on our students’ achievements and success.
Alex Cherniss, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
San Marino Unified School District