Apparently with nary rhyme nor reason Superintendent of Ventura Unified School District Michael Babb was fired by the school board on a vote of 4-1 on Wednesday, March 1, surprising teachers and parents across the district. On Monday, March 6, the board hired longtime business administrator Joe Richards as interim superintendent while a search for a permanent replacement is underway.
Board members have been mum on the firing, with few details, but speculation revolves around lack of
action after two publicized events in recent memory. Also, the board had told him to improve his communication and lead
In January, a pair of Buena High School students shared altered photographs of two black men being lynched, the students themselves holding on to the ropes, o
ne wearing a Confederate flag.
Another incident involved a handwriting expert who, according to students in attendance, compared President Donald Trump’s signature to Adolf Hitler’s. An investigation into the incident concluded that the expert had not made such a comparison.
Babb was hired in April 2015 to replace Trudy Arriaga, who had retired after for 14 years and was popular with students and faculty.
At the board meeting on Monday, several parents commented on the firing of Babb, saying that the District ignored complaints from parents and, in some cases, retaliated against parents who complained. Parent David Armstrong, who also serves on school and district committees, told the board that he feels as though the board is “cleaning house” and that he is “scared for [the] district.”
“We are deeply upset, deeply troubled by what has happened,” said Armstrong, as previously reported.
This story will be updated if and as more details emerge.