Fresno Unified School District has launched another investigation of an employee’s social media postings that have been deemed offensive.

“Fresno Unified recognizes that we need to provide an environment in which all our students feel safe. Our schools need to be a safe place for our undocumented youth and their families.” — Fresno Unified statement

The latest investigation involves a staffer at Design Science Middle College High School who reportedly tweeted in 2017 and 2018 about immigration and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.

The program provides protection from deportation for young adults who were brought to the United States as children but whose families did not immigrate legally.

Fresno Unified provided no additional information about the nature of the employee’s tweets, which the district became aware of on Sunday. Members of the community and students had asked the district to take action.

“Fresno Unified recognizes that we need to provide an environment in which all our students feel safe. Our schools need to be a safe place for our undocumented youth and their families,” the district said in a news release Monday evening.

When to Investigate ‘Offensive’ Speech?

But trustee Terry Slatic on Monday questioned why the district is investigating the Middle Science employee but not a middle school principal who reportedly has posted anti-Trump messages on his Facebook page, prompting complaints about offensive speech from a parent.

The parent, who described herself as African American and a “hardcore Republican,” had complained in an email sent Friday to district leadership about the principal’s postings that she says are critical of President Donald Trump.

The parent, who described herself as African American and a “hardcore Republican,” had complained in an email sent Friday to district leadership about the principal’s postings that she says are critical of President Donald Trump. The parent said she was worried about sending her daughter to a middle school where the principal displayed open political bias.

In an email this morning to superintendent Bob Nelson and human resources executive director Paul Idsvoog, Slatic questioned why the district was speedy to investigate the Design Science complaint but not the middle school complaint.

“I have checked, incidentally, that The First Amendment doesn’t say ‘Freedom of speech with which you agree,’ ” Slatic’s email said.

Other Investigations Underway

Slatic told GV Wire℠ that he’s concerned that Fresno Unified is opening itself to lawsuits if it investigates some complaints but not others.

As for calling some speech offensive, Slatic said, “Do you want to get on this slippery slope?”

Fresno Unified spokeswoman Nikki Henry said Tuesday afternoon that the district would have no comment other than what was included in Monday’s news release, “as these are personnel matters.”

The district already is investigating several Hoover High School staffers for an “extremely hurtful” incident during a year-end virtual celebration and a Kings Canyon Middle School teacher for Facebook posts criticizing the violence and looting that occurred during some of the protests about the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.

Clovis Unified Investigation

And, Clovis Unified is investigating the Snapchat posts of a Buchanan High School student.

District spokeswoman Kelly Avants said last week that the student’s posts were “deeply disturbing.”

An online petition calling for the Buchanan student’s expulsion had 7,800 signatures as of Monday evening.

“Derogatory and inciting racial language and imagery such as was used in these messages has absolutely no place in our community and is contradictory to the character and ethics we expect from students in Clovis Unified,” Avants said.

9 Responses

  1. Ethan Bearman

    It’s amazing that in 2020 a highly diverse public school district with a minority white student population has to rely on white leaders to sort out its chronic racially-charged issues. Bob Nelson, Paul Idsvoog, and Nikki Henry are all white. Maybe just maybe there’s a connection between the fact that Fresno Unified’s senior leaders are nearly all white and a culture that consistently generates incidents that are hurtful to non-white students and families.

    • dave shapiro

      you are being racist even bringing race into it. If I described politicians who were black and said (as you do) that it is because of their race that they think certain ways. You would say that is racist. I guess you are just following in the footsteps of your boy J. Biden in proclaiming that some skin colors have no choice but to vote for your candidate. that my friend is the definition of racism. Your post is racist. Who do you work for exactly?

  2. John Smith

    “Slatic questioned why the district was speedy to investigate the Design Science complaint but not the middle school complaint.”

    Because the leaders of schools shouldn’t be supporting hatred of anybody. Anti Trump messages are not hate speech. I’m a Republican too but I’ll be anti Trump every time he says or does something that hurts our students and families.

    I’m glad that Design Science is being exposed for their racism. FUSD works really hard at keeping negative press quiet about them. They claim all this great data but everyone knows that they “encourage” students to leave if they are affecting their data for the worst, by their 11th grade year, they’ve removed so many students that they’re left with all the 4.0+ gpa students. I remember a few years ago Design Science students started a chant “Build the Wall! Build the Wall!” The district did nothing about it. The chant was in reference to Trumps wall between US and Mexico and also in reference to them wanting a wall to be build between Design Science and Patino High because they were sharing Patinos campus and Patino has a large minority population while Design Science hosts students of the most affluent parents in Fresno/Clovis area.

    • Andyfab

      Oh man Mr. Smith! You spoke negatively about the FUSD. They’ll probably start monitoring your personal Facebook, Twitter and your other social media accounts in order to find a way to have you banned from FUSD property and meetings. They’ll start monitoring your e-mails and text messages so as to limit your ability to utilize your First Amendment liberties. The School Board is turning into the Nazis who sanctioned book burning, press censorship and the jailing of anti-Hitler persons. You would think that a high school civics refresher course would be in order. Good thing students and parents are wearing masks.

  3. Andyfab

    Well, the FUSD School Board, namely Cazares, Islas, Thomas, Davis and Johnasson- Rosas, are the last people who are qualified to speak on the subject of prejudice, bias, bullying and the importance of free speech and freedom of expression seeing as they have shown a propensity to display such traits, except the last 2 qualities, in their actions at the dais. They allowed 2 cheerleaders to be bullied by a bunch of cheerleaders and parents and then censored the Trustee who tried to defend those 2 girls and the Districts disciplinary actions. They’ve tried to belittle folks who have spoken at meetings and even disallowed a school board trustee’s selection to the School Bond Committee even though the selection was deemed qualified by the school district and superintendent and their action was in complete violation of committee selection rules. No, This investigation will, again, cost the district money because the Board majority is just as prejudiced, bigoted, lacks moral character and couldn’t find justice if it had 10 eyes and flashlights.

  4. Joe Barron

    Given that mr kai-ju slatic conducted district business of informing his constituents utilizing his social media accounts, and then blocked constituents who were critical of him, which then drew further scrutiny under a Public Records Act Request to which he spoke very derisively of female community advocates, and\or Board Trustees, something about how he, “…deals in facts, and not emotions….”, I think time traveling back to the McCarthy era to where people’s political opinions are weaponized against them is a bit ridiculous. However, the veiled misogyny was pretty in your face. Do not accept my statement as gospel, I invite the electorate to make a PRA request of the BHS trustee’s communications and it’s about 400 pages[and thus become informed as to his activities], and quite a few items are where he is so consumed with interviews than the role of policy-making, it’s seems that governance is a talent that beyond him. Besides, you would have though he would have learned his lesson after his last blunder with “speech” on campuses, oh wait that wasn’t speech, that was urban terrorism? No, that wasn’t it. Thuggery, no, that wasn’t it either. A small man with a “tin-god” complex who sailors & marines would call a “nub?” Maybe, but their criteria changes from time to time. As for the Parent who is a Republican, the ability to criticize our leadership is bedrock principle of our republic. So much, that it was worked into the 1st Amendment[the whole part about petitioning the Government for Redress of Grievances], and I hate to say this, but if people think that being critical of a potus is disloyal, then those people have never, EVER picked up a US History book. These were men, flawed men, who got some things right, and a lot of things wrong, but if you’re going to wax nostalgic because you’re caught up in the “cult of personality” of the latest occupant of the oval, then Citizenship, Civic Awareness & Civic Virtue are not what you’re looking to instill in your children, it’s Orwellian Obedience.

  5. Karl Diaz

    Slatic should have been arrested for assault on a minor and his assistant who was with him former board member Assadorian should have stopped it as he was grabbing the student’s back pack. Slatic talking about keeping FUSD out of law suits and Assadorian not stopping an assault on a student is so in keep with the times we are living in.

  6. John Smith

    Slatic needs to worry about the high school in his region. The only high school in the district that isn’t even accredited.


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