Embattled Fresno Unified trustee Terry Slatic is once again embroiled in yet another complaint, this time filed by the FUSD school board president, Keshia Thomas. This new complaint is the latest in a number of accusations and allegations against the censured trustee. In an exclusive interview with Alexan Balekian on Sunday Morning Matters, Slatic addresses the two complaints filed by two faith leaders, by calling one of them a racist. He also responds to the latest allegation of a verbal altercation with Thomas, where she claims he used profane language towards her.
This is the complaint filed by school board president Keshia Thomas:
On February 26, 2020 at approximately 6:50pm, while I was presiding over the School Board meeting, Censured Trustee Slatic used vulgar language in speaking with me and entered my personal space in a confrontational manner. Censured Trustee Slatic approached me while I was standing near the desk of David Chavez, I was relaying some information to David related to an agenda item. As I turned to walk away Censured Trustee Slatic walked up to me and came very close to me and demanded, “Address me as Trustee Major Slatic.” My response to him was, “I’m President Thomas.”; I stated this in reply given that he has never referred to me by my title. At this time Censured Trustee Slatic became physically and verbally irate which made me feel extremely uncomfortable. Using an intimidating tone and a threatening posture, he leaned in closer and said, “Are you Mother (expletive) me?” I was so shocked that I asked, “What did you say?” He repeated himself. At that point, I informed him that I was returning to my seat. It took an immense amount of patience for me not to react to him. I decided to maintain decorum at that time and complete the meeting. After the meeting Officer Harris escorted me to my car to ensure my safety. However, I will not allow Censured Trustee Slatic to continue to speak to me or any other colleague on the board in this manner. I will not be a victim of his tactics of intimidation.
According to our Board Policy Page 1, Section 9 and page 2, section 4:
The primary responsibility of the Board of Education is to act in the best interests of every student in the District. The Board is also committed to representing parents, guardians, employees and members of the community. The Board will comply with laws pertaining to public education and established Policies of the District. To maximize Board effectiveness and public confidence in District governance, Board members shall govern responsibly and hold themselves to the highest standards of ethical conduct. (cf. 9000 – Role of the Board) (cf. 9270 – Conflict of Interest) The Board expects its members to work with each other and the Superintendent to ensure that a high-quality education is provided to each student. Each individual Board member shall:
9. Refrain from rude or abusive conduct, personal attacks, or verbal attacks upon the character or motives of other Board members, District employees, or members of the public.
4. Govern in a dignified and professional manner, treating everyone with civility and respect.
Censured Trustee Slatic has once again violated these established guidelines. He has violated this policy by refusing to be civil. This is not the first time he has done this, in addition to me, he has also addressed Trustee Cazares in a threatening manner. Trustee Cazares has previously expressed her fear of Censured Trustee Slatic’s conduct and now so am I. Censored Trustee Slatic has been blatantly disrespectful to students, employees, members of the cabinet, our superintendent, board members and me. This behavior is totally unprofessional and inappropriate. In this district, while I am presiding as President, we will not
be tolerant of bullying, intimidation, sexism or misogyny. Our goal should always be to advance the best education for students and to establish an exemplary educational institution at FUSD. In submitting this complaint, my goal is to be an example to our students, my own children and my colleagues as to how to handle inappropriate behavior. I am therefore requesting that Censured Trustee Slatic only speak to me when there is a third-party present. I will not subject myself to any forms of intimidation or disrespect.
First, Censured Trustee Slatic must publicly acknowledge his inappropriate behavior and comments towards me. Secondly, he must issue a public apology for the intimidating behavior he exhibited against me. Lastly, I would further want him to refrain from such conduct in the future. If Censured Trustee Slatic, cannot assure he will act professionally and civilly, he should resign from the board.