Education

Kevin Bieser’s Unwelcome Return

San Diego Unified School District Board Member Kevin Beiser finally returned to a board member last month after several weeks away, following accusations of sexual assault from four different men. Many people across the political spectrum, including fellow Democrats, the San Diego Education Association, the district’s teacher’s union, and fellow board members have all called on Beiser to resign in light of the allegations.

Beiser has avoided the public sphere as much as possible over the last several weeks and refused to take questions from the media following the event. Further complicating the meeting is the fact that the rest of the board members unanimously passed a resolution demanding Beiser’s immediate resignation at a meeting just two weeks earlier.

The sexual misconduct accusations against Beiser were highly credible, as the victims explained how he used his position of power and authority to manipulate others into coming to his house for “pool parties” and then luring them to his bedroom. One of the victims, Paul Crawford, recalled Beiser forcing him into his bedroom and then performing sexual acts that Crawford refused to reciprocate. Crawford told his mother about the incident immediately after, further validating the severity of the encounter.

While Crawford’s account is likely the most thorough, the other three men provided similar stories regarding Beiser’s manipulation and use of his position of power to force them into sexual encounters, which included groping and other non-consensual actions. The other consistent aspect of each of the encounters was their political nature, as each victim was pursuing a political career in some capacity. This is part of what makes Beiser utilizing his political authority so egregious, abusing his power to sexually exploit young men with political aspirations.

It is unclear whether Beiser will finally concede and resign from the San Diego Unified School District Board, or if he will address the damaging allegations against him. He appears adamant about maintaining his seat on the Board and hopes that the accusations will eventually be forgotten or dismissed. It does seem clear that Beiser cares very little about the victims that came forward, their families, the rest of the District Board, or the students and teachers who are forced to learn and teach under the shadow of Kevin Beiser.

 

Photo by Kyle Glenn