For the past 20 years, I have been proud to be a teacher at our beloved Modesto Junior College. We have excellent teachers and wonderful students. However, the current Administration is doing things to our campus that are unacceptable.
I am a Candidate for Trustee because you need a Board that will do its job of providing oversight, a Board that will do its job of protecting the Colleges that belong to you the people. In particular, you need a Board that will protect your libraries, your liberties, and the basic rights of our students and faculty.
Example One: MJC used to have one of the best community college libraries in CA -- a beautiful collection of 75,000 books. But, while our library was closed for a 9 million dollar remake, Management tossed 70% of our books (52,000) into the trash. They didn't have a book-sale, and didn't even tell the Trustees. While I protested this outrage, Abe Rojas raised no objections. You need Trustees who love books.
Three years ago, MJC security prevented MJC student Rob Van Tuinen from passing our copies of the Constitution on Constitution Day. Rather than change the unconstitutional rules that violated our right to free speech, administrators misled the public about the speech rules in place, and made MJC an object of scorn and ridicule as the campus that prevented a student from passing out Constitutions on Constitution Day. The resulting lawsuit cost YCCD at least $100,000. While I publicly criticized this suppression of free speech, Abe Rojas supported his CEO.
Perhaps the most shocking thing of all is the attitude of this administration toward Due Process. Against repeated objection from faculty, the Board recently adopted procedures that deny students and employees any right to due process when they are accused of and being investigated for violating YCCD Policies.
What this means in principle and in practice is this: When students or employees face termination or discipline because accused of violating policy or law, 1) they have no right to be told what they are accused of doing or what policy they are accused of violating, 2)they have no right to know who accused them and no right to question their accuser, and 3) they have no right to see a copy of the completed investigative report saying whether they were found guilty or innocent on each count, and
Mr. Rojas, Chair of the Board, said he was voting for these procedures because he wanted to keep the students safe. But it makes no sense to try to keep students safe by denying them Due Process! People cannot defend themselves if they are not even told what they have been accused of doing.
Not surprisingly, these Board Procedures that violate basic due process rights have become tools of harassment and retaliation in the hands of unscrupulous Administrators. The recipe is this: Tell a person she has had a whistle-blowing accusation (or a discrimination/harassment allegation) made against her, but refuse to tell her what she is accused of doing or who accused her and keep her in fear and anxiety for a couple months, and then finally tell her the the charges have been dropped, but NEVER tell her what the charges were. If you think this cannot happen in America, you are mistaken. With full knowledge of the Board, exactly this is what was done to a YCCD Trustee who asked too many questions.
I intend to update this blog as I can. If you have questions or comments, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
. Thank you.
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