Fred Veenendaal is a vice principal at Sunnyside High School in Fresno, California, who was put on leave over a viral video. The video, posted on TikTok by an account calling itself “sunnysideviceprincipal,” shows Veenendaal in a confrontation with girls in his neighborhood. Veenendaal can be heard calling them “section 8 people” and “ghetto girls.”
The TikTok user wrote in the caption of the April 2023 video, “Please spread the word and repost to this video tag the news below a racist male principal harassing … African American girls.” According to the Fresno Bee, the city’s school district responded to the video by placing Veenendaal on leave while the incident is investigated. Veenendaal has not commented about the video and could not be reached by Heavy.
Here’s what you need to know about Sunnyside High School vice principal Fred Veenendaal:
1. Fred Veenendaal Says in the Video He Is Calling the Police & Is on the Board of Directors of His Neighborhood
The video shows only 27 seconds of the incident involving Fred Veenendaal and three girls who were walking in his gated neighborhood, according to the Fresno Bee. In the video, Veenendaal can be heard on the phone appearing to talk to someone he calls “officer.” Fresno Police have not said if Veenendaal actually called to report the incident and the girls who recorded the video said the police never came to the scene.
In the video, the girls can be heard saying they are recording Veenendaal because they didn’t do anything wrong. One of the girls can be heard telling Veenendaal what he is doing is harassment, and he replies, “No it’s not.” The girl can also be heard saying, “We’re minors,” and he’s a “grown a** man.” Veenendaal then replies, “Actually I’m a board director here so I don’t care.”
Veenendaal can then be seen talking into his phone saying, “Officer, you have three girls here. Three section 8 people here. Ghetto girls.” Veenendaal then holds up his phone toward the girl recording him as the video ends. Section 8 is a reference to Section 8 of the Housing Act of 1937, which creates federal rental assistance for low-income households, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Two of the girls in the video identified themselves to K as 17-year-old Kyra Schrubb and 17-year-old Bri’janae Lewis. Their other friend was not named by the news station. Scrhubb has lived in the area for four years and Lewis has lived near Veenendaal’s community for six years, they told the news station.
KATV wrote, “According to Kyra and Bri’janae, they were walking through the gated community to cut their walk in half.” Their mother told the news station the girls have access because they know someone who lives there. “She said her daughter and her friend take thd shortcut to avoid walking the whole way around to the store. They said the shortcut usually saves them around 10 minutes,” KATV wrote.
2. The School District Said in a Statement That the ‘Labels Used in the Video Do Not Align With the High Standards We Have for Our Fresno Unified Leaders & Staff’
The Fresno Unified School District said in a statement to the media, “We are aware of the video circulating, and the District started an investigation into the matter early Monday. The labels used in the video do not align with the high standards we have for our Fresno Unified leaders and staff.
The statement added, “Because this is a personnel matter, we will not be able to disclose any resulting information from the investigation. We want to assure our families that having respectful, inclusive, and loving adults serving in our school is of the utmost importance to Sunnyside and our district as a whole.”
Bri’janae Lewis told KATV, “Why would you even say some stuff like that? We’re minors.” Schrubb added, “It was unnecessary. You didn’t have to do all that, you didn’t have to racial profile for no reason. I feel so bad because like as a black woman, I should be able to walk … and just walk peacefully without, you know, being racist for no reason.” They said that after they learned the man in the video was a vice principal at a local high school, they posted the video online, the news station reported.
District spokesperson Nikki Henry told the Fresno Bee, “While we are investigating, the staff member in the video is not working with students.”
3. Fred Veenendaal Has Worked as a Vice Principal at Sunnyside High School Since 2015
According to public records obtained by Transparent California, Veenendaal has worked as a vice principal in the Fresno Unified School District since at least 2013.
The Fresno Bee reported he has been working at Sunnyside High School since 2015. In 2021, the most recent year in which salary data is available at Transparent California, Veenendaal was paid $136,230. He also received $42,113 in benefits, according to the data obtained by Transparent California.
According to the Fresno Bee, Veenendaal worked as a vice principal at Bullard High School, also in the Fresno Unified district, from 2009 to 2015 and was first hired by the district in 2008 as a guidance learning advisor at Wawona K-8 School.
4. Veenendaal Previously Worked as a Teacher & Coach
According to his Facebook page, Fred Veenendaal has also worked as a teacher and coach. He was an AP teacher at Patriot High School in Jurupa Valley, California, until 2009, according to his Facebook page. He did not say on Facebook what subject he taught at the school.
In 2005, Veenendaal was the girls basketball coach at Beaumont High School in Cherry Valley, California, according to the Banning Record Gazette. Veenendaal resigned from coaching the team after that season, telling the newspaper he wanted to spend more time with his family.
The newspaper wrote, “Veenenddaal turned the girls basketball program around with discipline, long hours of conditioning, and a defensive philosophy, that the ‘girls bought into.’ But he dropped a bombshell by announcing that he is stepping down from the program. ‘I’ve got two little girls 10 and 11,’ said Veenendaal. ‘The game demands a lot of time and is hard on family. I need to prioritize and spend more time with them.'”
5. Fred Veenendaal, Who Is Married & Is Originally From Pasadena, California, Lives in a $465,000 Home With His Wife
According to public records, Fred Veenendaal lives in a $465,000 home in Fresno that he owns with his wife. The home is in the neighborhood where the video was recorded. Heavy compared images from Google Maps of the address where Veenendaal lives with the video to confirm that Veenendaal is a resident in the community where the video.
Heavy was not able to confirm that Veenendaal is on the board of directors of an HOA or other community group in his neighborhood. Veenendaal and his wife bought the home in 2021, records show.
Veenendaal went to Maranatha High School in Pasadena, California, according to Classmates.com. He has previously lived in San Bernardino, Banning and San Gabriel, California, according to public records viewed by Heavy.