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  • Saturday, October 14, 2006

     

    OUSD’s Nichols Plays the “Gay Republican Pedophile” Card

    “Just because we have free speech doesn’t mean there aren’t any consequences to that free speech.”
    -Trustee Kim Nichols 10/12/06


    Reacting to the issues of First Amendment rights brought about by her move to censure Orange Unified Board Trustee Steve Rocco (and the censorship of the video Broadcast of Rocco’s comments by OUSD Superintendent Dr. Godley), OUSD Board President Kim Nichols made an analogy of Rocco’s statement from the Censored September 14th OUSD Board meeting to the current Capitol Hill Page scandal involving resigned Republican Representative Mark Foley. Reading from a prepared text during the Resolution of Censure Public Hearing at the October 12th OUSD Board Meeting, Nichols stated in her support of the Resolution of Censure against Rocco:

    “We have unfortunately the example in the news recently about an elected official sending emails to Pages. That’s his right of Free Speech to send those emails! But they’re wrong and he will feel the consequences.”

    In addition to Nichols’ prepared statement that included the Foley reference, Rocco made a statement in defending his statements at the September 14th Board Meeting. Kathy Moffat rebutted Rocco’s statement and swing vote OUSD Trustee Melissa Smith (who voted against the Public Hearing at the September 28th meeting) explained why she was now switching her vote.
    (For excerpts from all of the Trustees 10/12/06 statements CLICK ON:
    http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/10/orange-unified-school-board-trustees.html)

    Nichols’, Moffat’s and Smith’s statements, framed Rocco’s September 14th comments about reassigned Villa Park High School Principal Ben Rich as an attack on Rich’s right to privacy.

    Nichol’s statement included:

    “In this instance Mr. Rocco trampled on the confidentiality and privacy rights that are guaranteed to every citizen in this country. He trampled on them! He gave this employee no opportunity to be present and to be heard and to defend himself!”

    Nichols also stated about Rocco:
    “You have gone overboard and stepped over the boundaries of what is reasonable and responsible”

    (For more Kim Nichols 10/12/06 excerpts CLICK ON:
    http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/10/orange-unified-school-board-trustees.html)

    Trustee Melissa Smith in a prepared statement explaining her vote for the Resolution of Censure stated in part:

    “Based on my own witnessing of the events in question and the evidence that has been placed before this Board I have no other option but to find that Mr. Rocco has violated our own Board By-laws.”

    (For more Melissa Smith 10/12/06 excerpts CLICK ON:
    http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/10/orange-unified-school-board-trustees.html)

    Mr. Rocco in his defense at the October 12th Public Hearing, among other things stated that Ben Rich was only one of four things from his statement that was at the end of the Censured September 14th Meeting.
    (For more Steve Rocco 10/12/06 excerpts CLICK ON:
    http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/10/orange-unified-school-board-trustees.html)

    Did Rocco trample “on the confidentiality and privacy rights” as Kim Nichols claims? Did he go "overboard" and stepped over the "boundaries of what is reasonable and responsible"? What is it that Melissa Smith said she witnessed in the “events in question” from the Censored September 14th OUSD Board Meeting? What was it that Rocco said that made Kathy Moffat to say “I’m obligated to support the censure”? What did Rocco actually say about Ben Rich that resulted in the Orange Unified School Board voting 5-2 for the Resolution of Censure against him?

    OUSD Superintendent Dr. Godley stopped Rocco’s comments from being broadcast to the community. Below Orange Net News is for the first time providing the transcripts of the opening part of Rocco’s September 14th statement that the Resolution of Censure is based on. This opening was followed by a second segment on administrators in OUSD having relatives who work for the district. Orange Net News has previously released transcripts of the ending of Rocco’s statement that resulted in a face-off with and OUSD Trustee John Ortega and a chaotic vote to adjourn (For the transcript of the Ortega/Rocco face off CLICK ON: http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/09/special-report-rocco-censure-report_28.html )


    Following is the Opening Statement of Trustee Steve Rocco from the Censored September 14th Board Meeting that is the subject of the October 12th vote of Censure and the basis of his Censure:

    “First of all I’d like to talk about the Ben Rich matter. And I would of preferred to have done this at the beginning of the meeting, but I’ll take the end.

    As you know, I don’t attend Closed Sessions and I’ve never voted to fire anybody. My reasons are stated because I don’t believe in the basic fairness is given to either teachers or students.

    I think that administrators… it’s a tough sell to get rid of an administrator. And it costs a lot of money to pay their salary and they get secretaries and once they go from this job, they go to another job. And the same isn’t true of teachers.

    So to send Ben Rich from probably one of the best performing schools in this district, to one of the least performing schools, does a disservice to the students. And it just sets up a very bad practice that has gone on for a long time.

    And things are good for administrators, it really is. I mean you hire and fire, and when the consequences come down that you’re not doing a good job, then you just get transferred.

    So, I would vote to fire Ben Rich, and when he shows up here I’m probably going to ask him ‘Why aren’t you fired yet?’. But he will be here, and he’ll get a salary, and the people of Orange will pay his salary, and the students at Richland continuation will be suffering with the results of what happened at Villa Park High School. Which to me isn’t good!

    So let the people out there know, I’m willing to fire people, but I have to know the issues, and I have to know the facts, and I’ll go along with it.”

    -Statement from Steve Rocco 9/14/06 subject of OUSD Censure

    For excerpts from Rocco’s Statement of Defense at the October 12th Public Hearing CLICK ON:
    http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/10/orange-unified-school-board-trustees.html

    This ROCCO REPORT is an independent
    production of Orange Net News /O/N/N/

    Orange Net News is made possible by the
    FIRST AMENDMENT of the United States Consitution
    and the vision of the United States Founding Fathers

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