Remarks about safety in Inglewood made to a radio station has created embarrassment and prompted an apology from state-appointed trustee of the Inglewood Unified School District, Dr. Don Brann. Remarks form his radio interview with KPCC painted Inglewood as unsafe, and justification behind a 6-figure annual security detail.
He told the station last month, “I don’t want to get hurt here. I don’t know enough about present-day Inglewood to know how good the chances are for that so I’m just erring on the side of safety.”
Voted as the “Superintendent of the Year” by Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology last January, Brann came out of retirement to run the financially devastated district, taken over by the state in 2012.
In a letter to the City, dated Oct. 9, Brann said: “My recent comments were insensitive to the Inglewood community which I’m privileged to serve, and I offer my deepest apologies to Mayor Butts, council members and to the entire Inglewood community.”
Brann added that he was “extremely grateful for the warm welcome the entire Inglewood community has given me, and I hope they will forgive my unfortunate choice of words.”
Brann authorized $135,000 in approved district funds to pay for an armed California Highway Patrol officer as his driver and security guard. The CHP contract, which was put in place in April 2013 when predecessor LaTanya Kirk-Cater was interim state trustee, was extended to April 2015, according to sources.
Christopher Graeber, a field representative with the California Professional Employees, Local Union No. 2345, who has been critical of Brann in the past, noted that while the district has approved an increase in funds for Brann’s security to $335,000 a year, “the district had no campus supervisors for the first two weeks of school.”
Brann said it has been a sacrifice for his family to have him come out of retirement to help turn around Inglewood schools, but progress is being made. An El Segundo resident, Brann is credited with turning around the Wiseburn School District in Hawthorne before he retired in 2008.
The trustee recently signed a three-year contract with the district. He is only one of four state school trustees with a CHP detail. He said there have been no threats since he came to Inglewood in July 2013.