FUSD board president: Slatic’s fear tactics, threats, bullying will not be tolerated

FUSD board votes to limit trustee Terry Slatic

The Fresno Unified School District board of trustees votes to limit trustee Terry Slatic.
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The Fresno Unified School District board of trustees votes to limit trustee Terry Slatic.

Fresno Unified Board President Claudia Cazares spoke out Friday in response to recent reported behavior from Trustee Terry Slatic.

In a statement, Cazares said “fear tactics, threats, intimidation and bullying will not be tolerated.”

The comments came one day after the school district released a second investigation report against Slatic, who has been at the center of controversy since his election to the board.

Responding to Cazares’ comments, Slatic said “Cazares is entitled to her opinion. But, she is not entitled to her own facts.”

He is traveling on the East Coast until next week, he said.

A resolution censuring Slatic is up for discussion at the next board meeting.

Slatic’s behavior

Slatic has been scrutinized for what investigators concluded were violations of board rules in multiple incidents since January, starting with an altercation with a Bullard High student in January caught on surveillance camera.

Recently, he scolded several Bullard High cheerleaders for allegedly ostracizing two girls in the program who were involved in a social media posting where one wore blackface and said the n-word.

Slatic had also been the focus of two district-ordered investigations stemming from incidents at the start of the year. This month the district released detailed reports produced by a Southern California law firm that did the investigations.

One investigation looked into a confrontation Slatic had with an Army recruiter on the Bullard campus. The second investigation examined Slatic’s confrontation with Bullard wrestling coaches.

The investigations found Slatic violated board rules and the reports showed Fresno Unified Superintendent Bob Nelson had castigated Slatic for his actions in a January letter. The board has already voted to limit Slatic’s presence at Bullard following outcry from parents and cheerleaders.

If he visits the campus, he is required to have an escort. At the July 18 board meeting, members of the public called for Slatic to resign. He refused.

Trustees preparing Slatic resolution

Cazares said Friday that a committee of trustees has been documenting Slatic’s actions and preparing a resolution to present to the board at its next meeting, scheduled for Aug. 7.

The board could vote to censure Slatic at the meeting.

Censure, according to Cazares, is meant to document and identify instances where policy has been breached. She said it’s also meant to reinforce the conditions which a trustee is expected to follow, like “treating people with respect.”

Overall, Cazares said she would like to see the board and district return to normalcy.

Cazares added, “Our children and staff of FUSD have found their voice, and we need to listen.”

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Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado is a general assignment reporter at The Fresno Bee. He grew up in Porterville and has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from Fresno State. He is a former student editor at the Fresno State and Fresno City College newspapers. His hobbies include reading, sleeping, running and taking care of his dog.