San Marcos High Principal Ed Behrens loses post in heated school board meeting

Reassignment to teaching position approved

San Marcos High School Principal Ed Behrens loses his post in a controversial five-hour school board hearing Tuesday night. (John Palminteri/

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Santa Barbara School Board has decided to remove Principal Ed Behrens from his post at San Marcos High School and move him to a teaching position.

The controversial action involving Behrens  came with loud boos from a large audience at the meeting Tuesday evening.  The turnout was anticipated to be very large and the meeting was relocated from the school district offices to the Marjorie Luke Theater at Santa Barbara Junior High where hundreds could attend.

Behrens was the first public speaker.  He went through a long list of accomplishments at the campus in academics and athletics.   They included a low drop out rate, and acclaimed programs that help students in business, nursing and culinary arts.

San Marcos was also awarded the 2015 Gold Ribbon school award from the California Department of Education.

Behrens has developed the Royal Pride Foundation and funds have grown to $3-million.  Some of the money was used for security cameras on campus after Behrens said he was rejected by the school board.

His speech was backed up by many parents and alumni.

50 speaker slips were turned in.  Each person was given 90 seconds to make their comment to the board.

Deliberations were behind a closed door because it was a personnel matter.  

For many in the audience, the evening was emotional and the details were unknown.  

Recently the school has faced serious security challenges with a video that showed a student with an antique rifle making threats against other students.

The school also faced criticism from parents when there was a break down in communication over safety issues linked to these and other threats.

Monday the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department had a massive response to an incident that turned out to be a firecracker . Some thought shots had been fired, which was not the case.

There's also been a complaint about the lack of an on campus deputy for safety. 

At the conclusion of the meeting, and the decision following a three hour private board discussion, upset parents booed and yelled  "recall!"


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