Home NEWS Schools Stanley Middle School Principal On Admin Leave Pending SRVHS Investigation

Stanley Middle School Principal On Admin Leave Pending SRVHS Investigation


From Lafayette School District Superintendent Brent Stephens:

January 28, 2023

Dear Lafayette School District Community,

This morning (Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023), the Mercury News published an article about the prosecution of a San Ramon Valley teacher for alleged sexual abuse against two minors. The article is one in a series of articles over the last several months about this criminal investigation.

The article includes new statements by San Ramon Valley Unified School District officials about the district’s own investigation of this teacher. The district reveals that investigation reports related to student complaints about this teacher, made prior to his arrest, are missing. The district is also quoted as saying that they are updating their internal procedures related to investigations and the maintenance of investigation records.

The article focuses in part on the role of Stanley Middle School principal Nikki Chaplan, who was an Assistant Principal in San Ramon Valley during a year of this teacher’s employment.

The reporter describes Ms. Chaplan as having had knowledge of at least some of the student allegations against the teacher. Though there is no evidence presented in the article that Ms. Chaplan misstepped in her role, the reporter raises questions about the district’s overall handling of these allegations, including whether investigations were conducted adequately, whether reporting requirements were fulfilled, and whether investigations records were properly created and maintained.

Reading the article objectively, it is not possible to know with certainty what happened during this period of time. Still, the primary responsibility of the Lafayette School District is to provide for the safety of our students. For this reason, I feel it necessary to conduct our own investigation into what took place during this time so that we can, as much as possible, review source documents and determine what is factually accurate. Because of the nature of these questions, during this investigation Ms. Chaplan will be placed on leave – the standard practice in cases like this.

This is a challenging and sensitive moment for our school community. Ms. Chaplan is new to us, has already contributed thoughtfully to the Stanley community, feedback about her leadership has been positive, and our decision to look into this matter objectively should not be construed by anyone that wrongdoing has occurred. Speculation about her role based only on media reports is not helpful in our community. Instead, this is a moment to respect privacy, to adhere to sound investigative practices, and ground our thinking in evidence.

This is a decision I do not take lightly, and I am committed both to protecting our students’ wellbeing and to treating all our employees with fairness and respect. I ask the same from everyone.

I’ll share more in the coming days about how additional administrative support at Stanley will be organized. In the meantime, Stanley continues to be in good hands. We are fortunate to have two experienced Assistant Principals, a strong faculty and office team, collaborative parent leadership, and close, ongoing support from District Office administrators.


  1. Unfortunately none of the disttricts are known for their transparency — and it has cost some of them millions. You might think educators would learn more quickly but they don’t seem to.

    • Those seven-figure sett element are precisely the reason Superintendent Stephens rightly placed the subject administrator on leave and undertook a separate investigation without hesitation. The legal framework which imposes such litigation risk has its intended deterrent effect in Lafayette. The SRVUSD is evidently more cavalier about placing its taxpayers’ treasure in peril.

      • I should add: This situation offers a case study which contrasts the apathy in Danville with Lafayette’s proactive approach.

        Folks, an electorate that demands decisive, proactive interventions starkly differentiates a pleasant community with very good schools from an exemplary community with excellent schools.

  2. The wheels on the bus go round and round.
    $14 million settlement. Statute of limitations has run. Principal involved cannot be charged for not following legal mandate. He is given new assignment, a position of leadership. Why not? Then he retires.
    Sound familiar?
    We can hope for better, but it is cya time, so don’t hold your breath.

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