Fresno Unified is holding a special board meeting tonight to discuss trustee Terry Slatic’s visit with the Bullard High School cheer team last week.
Among the actions the district could take against the first-year trustee is banning him from Bullard.
Restraining Order Denied
On Wednesday, a Fresno Superior Court judicial officer denied a temporary restraining order sought by a 16-year-old Bullard student against Slatic. However, a show-cause court hearing is scheduled for Aug. 5 in the matter.
The student had asked that Slatic remain 100 yards away from her and Bullard High.
In her complaint, the student said Slatic came to the cheer practice “unannounced to bully and threaten the program and individuals for the actions of two members for an incident in May that had nothing to do with the cheer team as a whole. Terry Slatic also took advantage of his authority as a board member to harass innocent girls and women.”
The student also wrote the incident caused her “anxiety, stress and to feel physically ill. He also didn’t feel what he did was wrong and it worries me that he might do it again.”
The Bullard Incident
On July 10, Slatic arrived on campus during a cheer practice and addressed the team about lingering tensions from the nationally chronicled blackface and n-word social media post by two cheerleaders.
Parents and students say Slatic told squad members they could be dismissed from the team or not allowed to attend cheer camp if they continued talking about the blackface post.
In an interview with GV Wire before his visit to Bullard, Slatic said he was authorized by Superintendent Bob Nelson to speak with the cheer team about what was going on.
However, a district spokeswoman has since said that Nelson “was not aware of (the) content or delivery” of Slatic’s talk.
Tonight’s Board Agenda
Tonight’s board meeting begins at 5 p.m. According to the posted agenda, board members will discuss the incident, take public comments, and consider four actions against Slatic.
These include drawing up a censure resolution by a subcommittee, requiring supervision during Slatic’s campus visits, and banning Slatic outright from the campus.
The last option cites Penal Code 626.4, which states in part that a “chief administrative officer” of a school can withdraw consent to remain on campus if there is “reasonable cause to believe that such person has willfully disrupted the orderly operation” on school grounds. A violation of such an order could lead to arrest.
The withdrawal of consent can only last 14 days.
Nelson is on vacation, but he is expected to participate in the meeting via telephone.
Board President Cazares Called Special Meeting
Tonight’s meeting was called by board president Claudia Cazares after she and fellow trustee Elizabeth Jonasson Rosas heard concerns from community members.
“The entire situation is unusual for all of us and the position it puts us. Unusual times come with unusual measures.” — Fresno Unified Board President Claudia Cazares
Cazares said she scheduled a special meeting instead of waiting until the next regularly scheduled meeting in mid-August because of the importance of the situation.
“The entire situation is unusual for all of us and the position it puts us. Unusual times come with unusual measures,” Cazares said.
She said the board can take any of the proscribed actions against Slatic, or no action at all.
Asked how Slatic would be ensured his right to legal due process, Cazares said they would consult with the school district’s attorneys.
Cazares would not say if the district has launched a formal investigation into Slatic’s most recent incident.