Alameda, CA – On the eve of an introduction of a code of conduct for Alameda School Board members, a shocking, vicious physical attack by Alameda School Board member Gray Harris has come to light. According to police reports, Harris jumped on the back of another woman, hit her in the face, bit her breast, kicked her, and pulled her hair in an unprovoked altercation at Bimbo’s 365 Club in San Francisco. The attack was so violent, the police officer at the scene who witnessed the victim’s injuries got a judge to issue an immediate emergency restraining order to protect the victim, according to court reports.
The attack by Gray Harris at a New Year’s Eve event may have involved alcohol. The incident occurred Jan 1, 2008, but just came to light as the Alameda School Board looks at codes of conduct for its members. Does the word “irony” come to mind? How about the old adage: “People who live in glasses houses shouldn’t throw stones?” Maybe it’s time for Harris to think about her past behavior and whether she is fit to serve school children. Or, if she is a good role model for children and teachers? But more on that below.
According to sources close to Harris, she is pushing a code of conduct for school board members in an attempt to punish another Board member Jennifer Williams, who was pulled over recently on DUI allegations in Alameda. Williams quickly addressed the issue, publically said she made a mistake, and publically apologized for any concerns or embarrassment she caused her family and the district. In short, she handled her mistake professionally and took full responsibility.
In Harris’ attack, which she has kept mum about for a dozen years, the victim reported “She (Harris) jumped on me from behind and pulled my hair. She bit me, scratched my face and hit me. She pulled to the ground by my hair, clawed my face, kicked me,” according to the police report.
The victim, who we are keeping anonymous here, told police that she was “genuinely in fear for (my) personal safety as well as my husband’s safety. I am afraid that she will try to kill me.”
In addition to the emergency restraining order, the victim won a court-ordered restraining order against Harris. The court order was issued in January 2008 and Harris stipulated to its extension through 2009. There may have been a private monetary settlement by Harris to the victim, but there is no documentation available.
As some may recall, Harris, who is white, was accused of racism when she spearheaded the school board to change its bylaws to block an African-American board member from becoming president of the board in 2019.
The East Bay Express noted at that time that “Harris denied the bylaw revision was racially motivated and expressed concerns about (Ardella) Dailey’s leadership skills and ability to be an effective board president.” Instead, Harris helped secure the board presidency for her friend, Mia Bonta, wife of Assemblyman Rob Bonta.
So, bottom-line, perhaps it is best for the Alameda School Board not to focus on a code of conduct for its members. Instead, just perhaps, the board should focus on kids, parents, teachers, and schools. Equally important, there is a parcel tax coming up in Alameda. If it doesn’t pass, there may not be money for staff, let alone enforcing ridiculous codes of conduct.