School boss quits after hosting ‘Dirty Santa’ party with ‘half-naked elves’
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The president of a school district board in California has stepped down from his role after being accused of misconduct for inviting high school students to perform at a 'private adult party' featuring scantily clad men dressed as elves.
Steven Llanusa was the president of Claremont Unified School District, which represents two high schools, six elementary schools, and one intermediate school.
He had been a board member for 17 years but became embroiled in a scandal earlier this month after holding a controversial Christmas party on December 3.
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The school chief hosted the party to raise money for schools and hired members of a high school choir to perform at the event, The Daily Mail reports.
But while there, the high school students were allegedly offered alcohol and subjected to inappropriate comments from a 'dirty Santa'.
Parents of the school children have been left furious after hearing details of the raunchy party and condemned Llanusa's actions at a school board meeting last week, calling for him to resign.
Sabrina Ho, one of the teen's parents, told CBS Los Angeles: "Mr. Llanusa invited the high school choir group into his private adult party in his home,
"They were encouraged to take part in food and festivities. The students didn't begin their scheduled performance until over an hour later and were offered alcohol by party guests among inappropriately dressed adult entertainers".
Describing the provocative party Gabriel Lozana, another parent, added: "They were offered an open bar and to socialize with half-naked men, the Dirty Santa who made disgusting comments to our children".
One parent at the meeting said they were "heartbroken" for their son, adding: "I'm devastated as a parent".
Llanusa did not attend the meeting and Kathy Archer, vice president of the board, reassured parents that there were "no other current or past board members present at that party."
Claremont resident Deborah Kekone, who has a child currently attending a school in the district and another who graduated in 2019, said that Llanusa had been hosting the holiday parties for several years.
She told the Claremont Courier: “He always has … adult performers there dressed like that as eye candy at the party,
“They post pictures every single year of the party. The party wasn’t any different than any other party he’s ever had, it’s just that he decided this time to bring kids and expose them to all kinds of things that their parents were not aware of.”
The school board released a statement last week saying that they had met with legal council and Superintendent Elsasser to review the allegations and encouraged Llanusa to step down.
The statement, posted to their Facebook, read: "We are appalled by the allegations, which are understandably causing distraction, disruption and pain, as expressed in community members’ messages to the Board and Superintendent.
"Please know that we receive and read your messages, and we take your concerns very seriously. Though the board cannot require Mr. Llanusa’s resignation, we encourage him to do so in order to begin the process of healing and returning our focus to students and their well-being.
"We believe our dedicated professionals who work in CUSD schools, teaching, supporting, and nurturing our students deserve for us to stay focused. The families and caregivers who trust their children to us deserve our full attention to their students’ needs. Our students, the heart of our work, inspire us to do all that we can to support their learning."
Llanusa is reported to have resigned on Saturday, with Claremont Unified Supt. Jim Elsasser confirming to The Los Angeles Times that he had stepped down from his post, effective immediately.
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