By Kellen Browning and Ashley Han,
At a press conference at the district offices in front of local media members on Monday, Nov. 17, district Superintendent Winfred Roberson spoke briefly about the procedures the school district has taken to address the recent arrest of Harper science teacher John O’Brien, who has been charged with sexual battery of a sixteen-year-old student.
“As a result of the Board of Education’s decision, the employee is now on unpaid administrative leave, pending dismissal proceedings with the California Commission on Professional Competence,” Roberson said in his press statement.
Roberson reiterated facts about the case, including that “to the best of our knowledge, the alleged events that led to the arrest did not occur on a school campus.”
While answering questions, Roberson expressed confidence that the district has “moved appropriately within [its] timeline” in response.
O’Brien was arrested Friday night in Concord and then released with a scheduled court date in mid-January.
“Once we were made aware, we conducted our own investigation,” Roberson said, declining to add additional comments.
“The criminal case remains strictly a police matter. I cannot and will not comment on those details,” Roberson said.
He informed reporters that most of the details of the investigation were private district matters or should be referred to the police department.