Updated 9/18 9:03 a.m.: Edmond Heatley, the embattled applicant for Berkeley schools superintendent, has withdrawn his candidacy for the job. Heatley had come under intense fire from Berkeley activists, in part, for his role in the passage of a pro-Prop 8 measure in the Chino school district when he was the superintendent there.
Heately's announcement further confirmed that the Berkeley school board had failed to fully vet the leading candidate for superintendent of Berkeley Unified. Berkeleyside was first to report the connections that Heatley, who had been the sole finalist for the superintendent’s position, had with the pro-Prop 8 resolution in Chino.had maintained that the pro-Prop 8 resolution was his idea and that Heatley never endorsed it. However, it also was true that Heatley never opposed the anti-gay-marriage resolution and did nothing to try to stop it.
As a result, Heatley failure to either publicly oppose the measure or at least attempt to persuade the Chino school board to remain neutral on Prop 8 — as many California school boards had done — surely meant that students of same-sex couples in his district must have felt the ugly hand of bigotry when their elected officials voted to effectively condemn their parents’ sexual orientation. As such, it was obvious that Heatley lacked the courage and the cultural sensitivity needed to lead a diverse school district like Berkeley.