Grand Jury report finds Merced City School District violated state law

The allegations included sexual misconduct, harassment, and bullying in the workplace - as well as Brown Act Violations.

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Thursday, July 4, 2024
Grand Jury report finds Merced City School District violated state law
A grand jury has found the Merced City School District violated the Brown Act on multiple occasions.

MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Merced County Grand Jury has released its latest report, which is highly critical of the Merced City School District.

The investigation began after the grand jury received complaints about the current Board and District administration.

The allegations included sexual misconduct, harassment, and bullying in the workplace - as well as Brown Act Violations.

In 2023, trustees hired and then fired a firm to search for a new superintendent.

The firm's report, which included criticism from the community, was leaked, but the board denied ever receiving it.

The grand jury says there's evidence that some board members saw the report and communicated about it via text messages and emails.

It also found the board failed to disclose closed session information and failed to approve minutes from meetings.

Those are all violations of the Brown Act, which prevents "secret" meetings of local legislative bodies.

The Grand Jury also criticisized the district's lack of process to handle harrassment claims.

Julianna Stocking took over as Superintendent on July 1.

She released a statement saying:

"Merced City School District is aware of the Grand Jury findings report. The District is taking steps to respond to the report within the 60 days, with an opportunity to clarify the record and address any areas as needed. As a District we are committed to moving forward and focusing our attention and energy on our students, staff, and families."