As it turns out, bringing an accused rapist in to a school to talk to high school students may have been a bad idea.
The dubious decision to bring former 49ers defensive lineman Ray McDonald to talk to a group of at-risk students has led to the official who sanctioned it to be suspended.
According to Darin Moriki of the Bay Area News Group, the Hayward school board placed superintendent Stan Dobbs on paid administrative leave while it investigates how McDonald ended up talking to a group at Tennyson High School.
The 49ers cut McDonald after the December 2014 rape allegation, the last in a series of missteps. He has pleaded not guilty in Santa Clara County Superior Court to the criminal charges.
The reaction to McDonald entering the school was not a pleasant one, leading to apologies from the school district, and a subsequent visit from lawyer Gloria Allred, who is representing McDonald’s accuser.
“I never feel like we should have apologized because, like I told Stan, we didn’t bring him [McDonald] in as a role model,” school board president Lisa Brunner said. “We brought him in as a motivational speaker to convey, ‘Don’t do what I did. I screwed up my life,’ so I was mad about that because none of it was done with the board.”
There are plenty of ways to teach object lessons to school children, but bringing someone with pending charges of the kind McDonald has was ill-advised. And now, someone besides the 49ers has to carry the stain of being attached to McDonald’s name.
The Bears gave McDonald a chance to rebuild his reputation, but cut him quickly after his arrest last May on domestic violence charges.