Kenneth Turnage II, the director of maintenance, operations, and facilities at the Antioch Unified School District, is now facing accusations of bullying a subordinate by placing their desk on a roof. This alleged action, meant to humiliate an employee over questioning their own task qualifications, has raised serious concerns about workplace behavior within the district. The incident, reported last year, was made public through an NBC Bay Area investigation, bringing to light not only the specific event but also a pattern of behavior that some district employees describe as typical for Turnage.

Further complicating matters, Turnage’s relationship with Superintendent Stephanie Anello and her husband, former Antioch Police Chief Allan Cantando, is reported to have influenced his continued employment despite previous controversies. This relationship is now under scrutiny as the school board and community members question the leadership’s judgment and the overall culture within the district. School board President Antonio Hernandez has expressed his dissatisfaction with Anello’s handling of the situation, prompting calls for a special meeting to consider her removal.

Community and Leadership Response

Antioch School District Faces Leadership Crisis Over Bullying Claims
Ken Turnage allegedly had his subordinate’s desk moved to the top of the roof of a maintenance yard

The response from the Antioch school community and its leaders has been one of concern and action. School board President Hernandez has proposed an urgent trustees meeting to address Superintendent Anello’s potential removal, signaling a strong stance against the alleged bullying practices. The community’s reaction underscores a growing intolerance for workplace harassment and the expectation for school districts to uphold environments where all employees feel safe and respected.

On a broader scale, the incident reflects the district’s governance and the mechanisms in place to handle internal conflicts and misconduct. Board member Jag Lathan emphasized the importance of maintaining a positive school district culture and climate, stating her horror upon learning about the incident. The safety of staff and the integrity of district leadership are now focal points of discussion among the board members and the public, with further developments expected as the community seeks to restore confidence in their educational leaders.