Education

Bullard High cheerleader denied restraining order against trustee Slatic

A Bullard High School cheerleader this week sought a restraining order against Fresno Unified Trustee Terry Slatic, citing the incident last week where he showed up unannounced to a cheer practice.

The 16-year-old girl filed the petition in Fresno Superior Court on Tuesday and checked the box saying she filed the petition because she was harassed by Slatic. The Bee isn’t naming the cheerleader because she is a minor.

The request, however, was denied by the court Wednesday, on the basis that the issue did not rise to the level of a threat, according to court documents.

“Board member Terry Slatic came to Bullard High’s all program cheer practice unannounced to bully and threaten the program and individuals for the actions of two members for an incident in May that had nothing to do with the cheer team as a whole,” the cheerleader wrote in the petition. “Terry Slatic also took advantage of his authority as a board member to harass innocent girls and women.”

The teen said the incident caused her anxiety, stress and for her to feel physically ill. She noted in the petition that Slatic didn’t feel his actions were wrong, “and it worries me that he might do it again.”

She asked the court to grant a personal conduct order that would prohibit Slatic from harassing, intimidating, threatening or contacting her and her school.

The teenager asked the court to order Slatic to stay 100 yards away from her and Bullard High School.

There is no timetable for when a judge might hear the petition.

Slatic said he had not heard about the petition before The Bee contacted him Wednesday evening. He said the teen and her family are “completely entitled to use any aspect or legal protections that they want to pursue.”

Slatic said he’s not concerned that, if granted, the restraining order would affect his ability to carry out his duties as a school board member.

He also said his remarks to the cheer team were recorded by the cheer director and are “floating around the internet,” so anyone who would like to hear what was said can do so.

“Everyone that has listened to it says, ‘There’s nothing on that tape that offends me,’” he said.

Still, Slatic may face a recall effort stemming from his visit to the cheer practice. Parents and students told The Bee he arrived uninvited and threatened to have students kicked off the cheer team or barred from attending cheer camp if they brought up an incident from May where two cheerleaders were involved in social media posts wearing blackface and saying the n-word.

Slatic said he discussed speaking to the cheer team with Superintendent Bob Nelson before he showed up to the cheer practice.

“My basic message to them was to stop doing the ‘mean girl’ thing and if they don’t there could be consequences,” Slatic told The Bee earlier this week. “I didn’t accuse a single individual. These are elite athletes and let’s talk to them like elite athletes.

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Brianna Calix covers politics and investigations for The Bee, where she works to hold public officials accountable and shine a light on issues that deeply affect residents’ lives. She previously worked for The Bee’s sister paper, the Merced Sun-Star, and earned her bachelor’s degree from Fresno State.
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