SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake City School District superintendent has less than two weeks to resign or fight for his position.
The District put Doctor Timothy Gadson on leave after they say they received multiple complaints about his behavior and hiring decisions.
Mohamed Baayd, Salt Lake City’s only Black school board member, believes complaints made against Salt Lake City’s first Black superintendent are blatantly racist.
“The complaints started to come, and you start seeing words of ‘Black friends,' ‘does not like other race,’ and 'just want to have black leadership running the district,'" said Baayd. "As a Black person, it starts to trigger certain things within me.”
The complaints ranged from inappropriate travel and favoritism to inappropriate workplace behavior.
Baayd said the complaints about Gadson's behavior take direct aim at Black culture and custom.
“At the times of excitement, we're loud," he said. "At the times of compassion, we hug. At times of happiness and just want to say hi, we hug.”
Complaints also alleged Gadson hired three black cabinet members with concerning histories, hires that were also approved by the Board and the District's human resources department.
Gadson now has 13 days left to decide whether he wants to resign and be bought out of his contract or argue his case to the Board on why he should remain superintendent.
“For those out there who are spreading words that he is hiring bad people, let me tell you something: there is not a single person here in this life that does not make mistakes," said Baayd. "And if you think that you are a perfect human being, then you are absolutely, deadly, 100 percent wrong.”
The complaints came just months into Gadson’s time as superintendent.
“We are here actually to represent the students," said Baayd. "We are here to tout for diversity. We are here to teach our kids that they can be inclusive. We are here to teach our kids not to be a racist. We are here to teach our community to be a community that welcomes people from all walks of life. What we have done thus far to Dr. Gadson is the complete opposite.”