Some parents in the East Bay are up in arms over a school assembly featuring former San Francisco 49ers player Ray McDonald, who has been arrested multiple times for alleged domestic violence.
McDonald, who is set to stand trial for sexual assault, was one of two athletes brought into Tennyson High School in Hayward last month to inspire kids to stay focused and self disciplined.
"Just have someone with that kind of record come in and talk to our kids without us parents knowing is just shocking," parent Araceli Orozco said.
A Facebook page managed by the Hayward Unified School District posted photos of the event.
"They were the perfect voice to help students recognize the importance of attending school daily and staying on track," the Made in Hayward Facebook page said of McDonald and current 49ers practice squad player DiAndre Campbell visiting Tennyson High.
Luis Reynoso, a Hayward school board member, calls the assembly featuring McDonald pure nonsense and said the school board did not know it was going to take place.
"How you can have someone be a role model that doesn't respect women -- that just makes no sense," Reynoso said. "It's appalling. It shouldn't be happening."
Superintendent Stan Dobbs tells NBC Bay Area he also did not know about the assembly.
Dobbs said the event was organized by a separate, federally funded dropout prevention program.
"One of the professional athletes, Mr. Ray McDonald, has a legal history that is at odds with the values that we promote in our schools," Dobbs said in a letter sent to parents. "To our knowledge, he has not been convicted of a crime. However, given his current legal issues his presence at our school may not have been appropriate for our students, even if the message that he shared was a positive one. Please know, though, that like all visitors to our schools, Mr. McDonald and the other guest speaker were accompanied by staff at all times."
Dobbs ended the letter sent to parents with an apology: "Lastly, I do recognize that the intention of our educators at the school was to try to inspire the students. However, please accept my sincere apologies if you were offended in any way by the selection of Mr. Ray McDonald as a guest speaker at Tennyson High School."[[372287411, C]]