Fresno Unified is investigating an incident involving Trustee Terry Slatic, his aide, and a male student at Bullard High School that took place Friday (Jan. 11) afternoon.
The school board has scheduled a special meeting at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at district headquarters to discuss the incident and potential litigation stemming from it.
While the district isn’t providing details, Slatic said Monday that he and his aide, Michelle Asadoorian, were sworn at and threatened by the student.
The district emailed GV Wire the following statement:
“We can confirm that there was an incident at Bullard High School on Friday afternoon, January 11, 2019 and consistent with normal protocol, the matter is currently under investigation. This matter is confidential and therefore, we are not at liberty to provide any specifics. We anticipate that additional information may be forthcoming, but we cannot say anything further at this time.”
What Slatic Says Happened
Slatic says he and Asadoorian were on campus to observe an after-school snack program. The student made some unsolicited comments to Asadoorian. She didn’t quite hear the student and asked him to repeat his words.
The male student then shouted profanities directed personally at Asadoorian, the trustee said.
“I can see her turn white as a sheet, giant eyes and trembling,” Slatic recalled.
Slatic said that he approached the student and suggested they walk to the office.
The student then directed profanities at the trustee and threatened to kill him, Slatic said.
“At this point, he begins reaching for his backpack. I closed the distance. I made no physical contact with this young man, but grabbed a backpack strap so he cannot get the backpack,” Slatic said.
Student Ran Off After Slatic Grabbed at Backpack
Slatic said that as he grabbed the strap the student repeated the threat. The student then yanked the backpack away and ran to a nearby picnic table ending the incident.
Slatic and Asadoorian reported the incident to a school vice principal and a Fresno police officer on campus, the trustee said.
Asadoorian told Slatic she was shaken up and needed school staff to escort her back to her car.
Slatic, a retired U.S. Marine officer who served in the Middle East wars, said he was concerned by the student’s threats.
“Based on my training, when somebody says they will kill me and shoot me, I take those threats seriously.”
Cazares Concerned for Safety
Asked to comment, board President Claudia Cazares echoed the district’s official statement.
“The safety of our children and staff on campuses are of the utmost importance,” she said. “When we are faced with any issues, we promptly are made aware of them by staff, and initiate an investigation as need be.”
The Fresno police department referred all questions back to the school district.
Slatic said he was told after the confrontation Friday that police would contact the student when school resumed Monday. There was no confirmation as of Monday afternoon that police had talked to the student.