- Voice of San Diego - https://www.voiceofsandiego.org -

Kevin Beiser Is Back in the Classroom Following Internal Investigation

San Diego Unified Trustee Kevin Beiser attended his first San Diego Unified school board meeting in April 2019 since four men accused him of harassment and assault. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

Kevin Beiser, the middle school teacher and San Diego Unified School District board trustee accused last year of sexual harassment and assault by four men [1], has returned to the classroom.

When Sweetwater Union High School District teachers returned to school for the start of the second semester on Jan. 13, so did Beiser. But the district transferred him from his previous post at Castle Park Middle School to his new role at Rancho Del Rey Middle School, according to a personnel document obtained by Voice of San Diego through a public records request.

Beiser had been out of the classroom since last March, just after allegations against him were reported by Voice of San Diego and detailed in a lawsuit filed by one accuser.

The district launched an internal investigation while Beiser was on paid leave.

“There were no findings from that investigation,” said Manuel Rubio, a Sweetwater spokesman. Rubio said the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing also reviewed the matter and did not find anything that would keep him from teaching.

“At that point, he is entitled to come back,” Rubio said.

None of the accusations against Beiser included inappropriate behavior involving students or minors. All four of the men who accused him of harassment and abuse were political professionals or aspiring candidates who met Beiser in political circles.

Beiser denied the allegations last year in a statement to Voice of San Diego.

“There is no truth to these allegations,” the statement read. “We believe they are politically motivated and we intend to vigorously defend ourselves.”

That vigorous defense never materialized publicly, but Beiser and the unnamed political consultant who filed a lawsuit against him and his partner reached a private settlement in September [2].

In November, Beiser told the Times of San Diego [3] that he was no longer running for City Council, which had been assumed after he stopped fundraising for the race and had begun reimbursing donors following the allegations. He also declined to commit to completing the final three years on his school board term.

When Beiser’s fellow board members called on him to resign, Trustee John Lee Evans said it was “frustrating” that they had no recourse to remove him from the board if he wouldn’t resign on his own.

That could change in November. San Diego City Council members Chris Cate and Vivian Moreno have pushed for a ballot measure that would amend the City Charter to allow the City Council to remove board members under the same standards they can remove other city elected officials: if they are convicted of a serious crime, are physically or mentally incapacitated or for dereliction of duty.