Education Lab

Bullard High cheerleader testifies she is still afraid of Slatic and wants protection

The mother of a Bullard High School cheerleader testified Monday that a tense encounter with Fresno Unified Trustee Terry Slatic has left her daughter depressed, anxious and losing interest in school.

“I am tired of it,” the mother said. “She doesn’t deserve this.”

The mother and her daughter were in Fresno County Superior Court seeking a restraining order against Slatic over an incident at the Bullard campus on July 10.

No decision was reached Monday. Commissioner Noelle Pebet allotted 90 minutes for the hearing and it was going over its time limit. The case will continue on Nov. 8 at 1:30 p.m. In the meantime, Slatic must still stay 20 yards away from the student pending a final decision on the restraining order.

Court documents show Slatic is accused of threatening the cheer program because of an accusation of bullying by some of the cheer leaders. There was tension on the squad after two teammates posted blackface videos online. Slatic told the cheerleaders the situation had been “adjudicated” and to stop the bullying of the cheerleaders who posted the video.

But in court, the cheerleader, who is seeking court protection against Slatic, said the incident was traumatic and she no longer feels safe on campus. She said Slatic’s behavior that day was condescending, rude and intimidating.

“I feel like the staff at my school won’t protect me,” she said.

The cheerleader testified that Slatic also comes to football games where she and the other cheerleaders perform.

But under questioning from Slatic’s attorney Michael Goldfeder, the cheerleader admitted Slatic had not singled her out at the July meeting, nor did he directly verbally threaten her or physically assault her.

Goldfeder also asked her that if she was so afraid of Slatic, why did she attend a Fresno Unified School board meeting several weeks after the incident.

“To see what was going on with the district,” she said.

The girl’s mother testified she was with her daughter the day of the board meeting and that’s why she felt safe. Otherwise, she is still in fear of Slatic.

Throughout the hearing, Slatic, a former Marine, sat stoically facing the judge, showing little to no emotion.

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A Valley native, Robert has worked at The Fresno Bee since 1994, covering various topics including education, business and agriculture. He currently covers courts.