Concord High School Principal Resigns After Investigation
Concord High School Principal Tom Sica has resigned, following months of public pressure and an investigation into the district's mishandling of allegations of sexual misconduct.
Sica has been on paid leave since June, after revelations that he had suspended a student in 2014 for raising concerns about Howie Leung, a former special ed teacher now facing charges of sexually assaulting a Concord student.
The board hired an investigator over the summer to look into the Leung case. Board members told the public on Monday night that within days of receiving the results of the investigation this September, the board voted to fire Sica. After an agreement that resolved contractual issues, Sica submitted his resignation, effective Nov. 1.
The board had initially said it would try to share a redacted version of the completed investigation, but on Monday, board chairwoman Jennifer Patterson said the report would remain confidential.
"It was not until board members read the report that they realized it would be impossible to release the report even in redacted form while protecting student confidentiality and complying with the right to know law," she said.
Prior to the Monday meeting, board members received dozens of questions from community members about the investigation, the school board's involvement with the Leung case and its plans for district improvements. Patterson declined to answer most of the questions, but explained that the board had intentionally kept a firewall between themselves and Sica during the investigation.
"Investigating allegations and taking disciplinary action with respect to staff members is the duty of the superintendent, not board members," she said. "If board members had conducted their own investigations and reached their own conclusion about the facts, they would not be able to hear any appeal of an action taken by the superintendent."
The news of Sica's resignation comes just days after Superintendent Terri Forsten stepped down.
Concord's new interim superintendent, Franklyn Bass, is expected to begin working part-time later this week. He told parents, staff, and students on Monday night to come to him with concerns, including about previous incidents:
“If we don’t know about it we can’t respond to it, so please, I'm encouraging you, to bring forth the issues to us and give us the opportunity to try to redress them," he said.