There were fireworks during a special Fresno Unified School District meeting Thursday. Hundreds of parents along with board members called for fellow trustee Terry Slatic’s resignation. Slatic refused.
The meeting stemmed from a controversial encounter Slatic had with the Bullard High School Cheer Team last week. Parents said he used intimidation and threats on the students — telling them to stop talking about a blackface social media incident involving two team members.
“He was very aggressive with them and he made several of them cry, and when I walked up there were four girls sitting on the curb crying,” Dale Jones a parents said.
“What happened to our fellow cheer mates in our cheer program was extremely uncalled for nor professional,” said one cheer member.
After the meeting Slatic defended his actions, saying his words were straight out of the cheer manual, and very few people know the whole story.
“I was in the room. Do they like the tone that I used? I would speak that way to my priest or my grandmother. I spoke to the girls like they were elite athletes,” he said.
The meeting started with an audio recording of Slatic’s interaction with the team.
“The silliness, the pointing fingers, the talking behind people’s back, and this goes for all of you and your parents, it stops now,” he’s heard saying. Going on to tell people they were welcome to leave and could possible be left out of cheer camp.
Many people spoke during an hour and a half of public comment, calling the meeting inappropriate. The words were echoed by Slatic’s peers.
“What I’m going to invite you to do is I’m going to go ahead and invite you to resign your seat,” Veva Islas a fellow FUSD trustee said.
When given a chance to respond, Slatic did not react to concerns.
He also later said he would not resign.
“Not in a million years. If the voters don’t want me any more I’ll happily go into retirement,” he said.
Some trustees hoped to, but were barred from, censuring Slatic without a formal process. They instead voted to express public disapproval of his actions and agreed he should not have open roam of campuses.
“He is going to have some type of escort when he’s on campus,” Islas said.
She said they also voted to move toward a formal censure. There’s no exact time frame. Islas said first a committee must document all incidents which would support the censure. Then the board will be able to formally vote in favor. She said they want to move as quickly as possible.