A Fresno County Superior Court judge ordered Fresno Unified Trustee Terry Slatic and a Bullard High School student to stay 20 yards away from each other, at a Monday morning hearing.
The student, a 16-year old cheerleader, filed a temporary restraining order against Slatic in July. Judge Noelle Pebet denied that and set a hearing to discuss a full-time restraining order, scheduled for today.
Because she is a minor, GV Wire isn’t identifying the plaintiff by name.
Slatic told the judge he was prepared for his defense. However, when he realized the student was represented by attorney Aida Macedo, he asked for a continuance. The judge granted the continuance until Oct. 7, as she said Slatic was entitled to. However, she also granted Macedo’s request that Slatic stay 20 yards from the student. The order is mutual, so the student must stay 20 yards away as well.
Upon the judge’s ruling, Slatic balked, noting it may affect his ability to serve as an elected trustee, especially at football games. The judge responded saying she knows how high schools work, and that Slatic could “find another place to sit (at football games). It’s not that hard.”
After, Slatic says the stay-away order won’t have an effect on him.
“I’ll just stay on the 20-yard line,” he said.
Attorney: We Accomplished Our Goal
Macedo, who lists herself as a social justice attorney on her Cid & Macedo, Inc. website, said they achieved what they wanted.
“We came prepared for a stay-away order. We accomplished that,” Macedo told GV Wire outside the courthouse. Pebet denied a request to record the hearing itself.
In addition to her attorney, the student’s mom also attended. She could be a future witness.
Four other community members attended, some formally involved with the Slatic recall process, such as activist Stacy Williams. One member said they were there for “moral support.”
“Our focus is not on the politics. It is on the safety of the student,” Macedo said.
Macedo also noted to the judge that Slatic did not respond to whether he owned or possessed firearms. Slatic could have to surrender them if the restraining order is granted, the attorney said.
Pebet said that Slatic can respond to that information when the hearing continues in October.
Just prior to the judge granting Slatic’s continuance request, Macedo introduced into evidence a censure motion the Fresno Unified school board approved against Slatic at its Aug. 7 meeting.
Hiring Defense Attorney Would Be “Unseemly”
Prior to today’s hearing, Slatic anticipated he would defend himself. He consulted a lawyer but said it would be “unseemly” to use one at the hearing if the plaintiff did not have one either.
Slatic changed his mind with Macedo’s presence.
“I went into today thinking it was a citizen wanting a restraining order against another citizen,” Slatic said. “Philosophically, I’m not going to represent myself when somebody else has gotten an attorney to represent them. It’s just not a smart way to go through life. That’s where it all stops.”
Slatic said that he will meet with district officials later this week to see if Fresno Unified might cover legal costs.
Document: Slatic Caused Anxiety
The hearing stems from Slatic’s talk with the cheerleaders in July. Parents and students complained that Slatic bullied the cheerleaders and threatened to punish them if they continued “mean girl” behavior. The incident is under review by the district.
Slatic, in prior statements, said he wanted to address the cheer group because of team cohesion problems, namely not accepting two members back on the team involved in a “blackface” incident last spring. A student, in a homemade video, is seen uttering the n-word while in blackface. Her parents publicly apologized on her behalf.
“Terry Slatic also took advantage of his authority as a board member to harass innocent girls and women,” the student wrote in her TRO request that was denied.
The student also claimed Slatic’s behavior at that July meeting led to negative effects.
“The incident caused me 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,” she wrote.