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October 1, 2010 > Police called after Board Trustee removed from meeting; South Alameda County NAACP monitoring Board behavior

Police called after Board Trustee removed from meeting; South Alameda County NAACP monitoring Board behavior

By Robin Michel

The September 22 Hayward Unified School Board meeting took a dramatic turn when Board President Paul Frumkin ordered Trustee Luis Reynoso removed from the chamber. Reynoso was escorted out by a security guard, but told the guard and a uniformed Hayward police officer he refused to leave unless arrested, and returned to his seat.

The conflict was a continuation of the September 8 meeting, when Reynoso argued that according to bylaws and a legal ruling, by the state Attorney General, it was illegal for Trustee Jesus Armas' wife to work for the school district. At the beginning of the September 22 meeting, Frumkin read a statement from district counsel that stated that the ruling applied to the hiring of a spouse for a trustee already serving on the board, and not to someone appointed to the board whose spouse was already employed by the district.

After the reading Reynoso tried to make a rebuttal statement, was repeatedly called out of order and ordered out. After Reynoso returned to his seat, more police officers arrived to settle the matter. The meeting was then interrupted by a recess so President Frumkin could be questioned. After a brief closed session meeting with school officials, it was agreed that Reynoso would be allowed to make his rebuttal statement, which he did.

Members of the audience were divided in their response, but the most thoughtful responses came from members of the Hayward - South Alameda County Chapter of the NAACP, who turned out at the urging of Chapter President Freddye M. Davis, to witness actions of the board. One South Alameda County NAACP member, Keith Brown, who had made comments (as had President Davis) at the September 8 meeting about the inappropriate bullying of one member, began his public comment saying that Reynoso should not have been removed. He reminded the board that Robert's Rules of Order should be followed; all opinions had a place, and that while members did not need to like one another, they should be respectful while carrying out the business of the district. Brown concluded, "Our community elected you; our community is watching you."

Hayward resident Othella Jordan, whose granddaughter attends a high school in the district, also came to voice her concerns after watching HUSD meetings at the urging of Davis. She reminded the board that they were elected officials who had to put their best foot forward in order to get votes. "What I'm about to say now is not meant for everyone on the board...it is only meant for the one person on the Board who has been totally out of control... our children are watching, also. Please set an example that our children can follow. Stop all the unnecessary squabbling. Agree to disagree on some things and move on."

The Board approved a Memorandum of Understanding with First 5 Alameda County to provide 2011 Summer Pre-K camps (preschool readiness) to assist children who have had no prior school experience to smoothly transition into kindergarten. First 5 is also funding a School Readiness Initiative, a year round program, that will provide a coordinated outreach effort to families with children 0-5 years old by implementing transition activities and events, and parent education activities to aide in the transition of these children to kindergarten.

The Board also accepted the 2009-2010 Unaudited Actuals financial statement. Other agenda items included an update on Measure I, the school facilities bond; a presentation on the Response to Instruction and Intervention, a system of monitoring student learning and level of performance over time; and another on Student Achievement. Superintendent Janis Duran invited the public to a student achievement special Board study session on student achievement, to be held on October 20.

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