Why Did the Pasco School
District Turn Away and Refused to Help Jared when he was Bullied?
I have been asking this question
for many years. I knew that I was the cause, the reason Jared received
no help, but I have found it hard to except the fact that Jared was retaliated
against because of me.
Why did the Pasco School
District hate me so much? It's a long story but I'll try and shorten
it to keep it from becoming a book.
In 1991 I was asked to run
for the Pasco School District School Board - a five member board.
I ran against a 20-year incumbent and as a parent who would represent parents
and students above all. This was not a popular stance, as administrators
(superintendents, principals and teachers), inherently feel their needs
should come first. "Needs" can mostly be defined in terms of MONEY.
I think it was a surprise
and shock to the PSD that I won the election. I was immediately branded
"a trouble maker" and treated as such. In the Spring of 1992, the Superintendent,
believing that I would be the swing vote to remove him from his job, resigned
and went to work in another school district. Now, after many years,
I believe that this Superintendent was the most ethical and honest Superintendent
that the Pasco School District had ever had.
With the loss of this first
Superintendent, a replacement was found. I was not allowed to question
him, or research his background because I was entirely blamed for the prior
Superintendent's departure. I didn't want to hire him and voiced
my concerns in a private board meeting. Basically, I was bullied
and threatened by certain board members and "good ol' boy" community members
that my support wasn't optional. Because this Superintendent was
Hispanic, his followers wanted to brand me as "racist" and "prejudice"
if I would not vote to hire him. But, you see, I wanted to hire the other
guy, who was also Hispanic so they couldn't bully me that way. ...In
the end, despite my reservations, I voted my support - a huge mistake.
This second Superintendent
began to control almost every aspect of the Pasco School District and within
a year nearly spent the school district into a hole too deep to escape
from as well as alienating many administrators and teachers with his threatening
and controlling manner. Community members, who knew nothing of the
Superintendent and his controlling and destructive nature, threatened and
coerced me and two other Board Members to keep us from firing him.
There was actually one board meeting that I had to be taken to in a police
car because I had received death threats over the phone. ...A group
of Hispanic supporters came to my home to protest and when my neighbor
told them that I wasn't home and that I was at church, they came to my
church and protested. This scared my children immensely and I'm sure
it caused them to develop some prejudice for Hispanics in general.
The Letters to the Editor that came out of this church protest were supportive
of me and very angry towards the protesters. Even now I wonder why
a group would do such a thing to support such an incompetent Superintendent.
...As I had said, the Superintendent was in control and his followers blindly
In the Summer of 1993, (before
the next round of School Board elections), the second Superintendent resigned
causing a great deal of controversy. Again, I was not allowed to
become involved in the search for a new superintendent. I was not
allowed to question the choices that "The Committee of Good Ol' Boys" brought
before me. I was again blamed for the departure of the second Superintendent
(as if I were the only one who had voted to accept his resignation).
Basically, this committee gave us two applicants to "choose" from - at
least publicly. The one with the Ph.D. and Superintendent experience,
seemed the logical choice to me. But the whole thing was setup from
the beginning and the mediocre Superintendent, with only a Master's Degree,
from a nearby town was chosen. Again, I protested. I couldn't
understand why the less qualified Superintendent was wanted. Sure,
he seemed like a nice guy, but I felt that being a nice guy shouldn't be
the deciding factor for a job as important as a Superintendent. Again,
I didn't want to hire him and voiced my concerns in the private board meeting,
and again, I was bullied and threatened by certain board members and "good
ol' boy" community members that my support wasn't optional, that I had
caused enough turmoil in the Pasco School District. So I voted to
hire another "second best" Superintendent to appease them. Another
In the Fall of 1993, the
school board elections were held and I was lucky enough to gain two supporters
of my fiscally conservative values to the board. I was the only woman
on the board and my two supporters were two men, one Black and one Hispanic.
The Black man, (Aaron), a fireman, has since become one of my, if not,
my best friend. Only my husband beats him out as my closest friend.
Within a year Superintendent
number three, I'll call him GM, began to show his true colors. It
seemed that he had a problem with women. Any woman with a Ph.D. was
a target of his gossip and degrading comments. It was a strange attribute
he displayed - it seemed that he was intimidated by women who might be
smarter than he... which was about every woman in my opinion. He
liked being called "Dr. GM" but of course, that was a lie and he never
acknowledged this mistake to those who called him that. He had a
Master's Degree, like many of the educators in the PSD.
GM was able to get highly
educated women out of the school district. A teacher with a Ph.D.
was humiliated and forced by the PSD to leave, but not before trying to
fight back with an attorney. A highly qualified Hispanic woman with
a Ph.D. was embarrassed, gossiped against and insulted by GM, enough that
she obtained an attorney. In the end, she left the PSD to keep her
sanity. An Assistant Superintendent with a Ph.D. was also discriminated
against, to the point that she choose to leave the PSD, obtaining a job
in California as a Superintendent. I believe that by the end of 1995
there were no more women with Ph.D's left in the Pasco School District.
So here is where everything
starts to go bad for me. GM didn't like me. Maybe it was because
I was smarter than him, which I doubt because if I was, I wouldn't have
allowed him to be hired in the first place. More likely, it was because
I was a woman in charge, in charge of him.
Everything I did GM seemed
to take offense too. He wanted an eternal contract (a job guaranteed
forever) and myself and two others voted it down. He wanted to keep
the Outcome Driven Education system of learning (OBE-ODE - a "give me a
chance over and over again to get that A" philosophy), but we voted it
out, (...and boy, were the mediocre teachers mad at this). But the
defining moment of GM's character came when allegations of Bilingual fraud
were made. As the President of the School Board, I was asked to sit
on the investigation.
What the allegation was,
was that the Pasco School District was taking State and Federal moneys
for the benefits of other programs or interests other than what the funds
were suppose to be used for. It appeared that children, who were
born and raised in the USA, and knew no Spanish, who had a Hispanic last
name, were being recruited into the system so that bilingual funds could
be obtained. After being put into the bilingual programs, these children
received, little or no services. They, of course, didn't need the
services because they spoke English - some didn't even know Spanish.
Some of the funds were being
used to send PSD employees and teachers to futhering-education classes,
(to get Master's Degrees) and to buy computers that could only be used
by Hispanic children. In fact, one day my daughter sat down to use
a computer owned by this "fund", whereas the teacher jumped up and said,
"Don't touch that computer, it's only for the Title (something) students
- the Hispanic students." Don't tell me that kids learn discrimination
in the home. They learn discrimination in the schools when they are
told that they can't sit at or use a computer because they aren't Hispanic.
GM was worried that I was
beginning to believe what the whistle blowers were saying about the bilingual
fraud going on in the school district. I was. GM was worried
that there were going to be some firings, maybe even him, if the word got
out about the fraud. It was possible. So what could GM do to
prevent this from happening? The answer was, get rid of the people
who could fire him.
GM started rumors about the
three of us, myself, Aaron and Sandoval. He gathered ignorant and
robotic support from community members he could control with his lies.
He asked them to start to investigate possible reasons to get us kicked
off the school board or recalled. He accused the three of us of holding
a "quorum" meeting. (A quorum is when 3 out of 5 members meet at
any time, school business or not.) Of course that was an outright
Getting kicked off the
GM's community goons began
to "investigate" me. They were really having a hard time finding
anything that I had ever done wrong. I believe in righteous and charitable
living. It was the charitable part that, in the end, hurt me the
most. I had an opportunity to buy some computers below wholesale
and asked the school district if they wanted them. They said yes,
so I sold the computers to them for a very small profit. Everyone
had knowledge of this transaction, nevertheless, two years after the sale,
this was called, "A Conflict of Interest". Never mind that there
was another Board Member, during the same time period, that had a bookstore
where thousands of dollars in retail business was done every month.
She was okay because the school district like the way she kissed butt with
In late May of 1995, I was
sent a fax stating that I should appear before the court that very afternoon
and answer to this "conflict of interest" charge. I found an attorney
only one hour before the court appearance. It was like a sheep going
to a slaughter. The female judge, influenced by the Pasco School
district told me that my constitutional voting rights were to be taken
away, that I couldn't vote to hire or fire any employee in the PSD.
Of course the Constitution wasn't mentioned as this was clearly a violation
of my rights of office under the Constitution. Two weeks later, the
female judge had a change of heart - probably based on some phone calls
from some judges who cited her about the trouble she could get into based
on her decision. You see, taking away one little school board member's
right to vote on any issue could have huge ramifications nationwide.
If one judge could do such a thing, than could other judges do the same
thing, say to a State Representative, or U.S. Congressmen, or U.S. Senator?
Six weeks later I was brought
to another judge. I was not allowed to speak, I was not represented
well, and I felt, just a little, like Jesus being brought before Pilate.
I knew what the outcome would be as the judge was another puppet of the
Pasco School District. Having no constitutional authority to do so,
this judge removed me from my office as a School Board Member, a job that
only the voters had a right to give or take away. It was only four
months until the next election and I had stated that I did not intend to
run again. This theft of my office was hurtful and embarrassing but
I was tired of fighting the system and my husband was tired of seeing the
pain I was being put through. I gave up fighting and decided to leave
without any further fight.
About two months later, Sandoval
and Aaron were brought before the same judge and kicked off the school
board for a false charge of violating the rules of a quorum. They
refused to leave the school board and fought back, taking their case before
the Washington State Supreme Court. It was unanimous, the State Supreme
Court struck down the incompetent judge's order of removal. The State
Supreme court told the Pasco School District and the judge they had influenced,
that they had no right to remove school board members without the consent
of the voters who had elected them. In other words, elected officials
must be recalled by the people if they don't want them to finish their
terms of office. Again, if a judge could remove an elected official
from office for any action they deemed unlawful or distasteful (like a
"conflict of interest" claim) than, by nature of the imperfections of individuals,
99% of all elected officials could be removed at the whim of any judge.
In October 1995, I took my
bilingual fraud concerns to the State Attorney Generals office in Olympia
Washington. I told them what I knew about the Bi-lingual Fraud and the
real reason the Superintendent wanted to get me off the school board.
After telling everything I knew, like a confession in a confession booth,
it was done for me. The State Attorney General's office was shocked
that I was kicked out of office by a judge and reminded me that this was
unconstitutional. Dah!!! But, I was burnt out and tired of the Pasco
School District and preferred to become uninvolved. I decided that
unless a matter had something to to do with my children's concerns, I would
stay out of school district politics for good. I just wanted to be
with my kids and live a peaceful life like everyone else.
now we come to the question - Why did the Pasco School District turn away
and refused to help Jared when he was bullied?
Would I be considered crazy
to believe that GM wanted to take out some revenge on me by allowing my
son Jared to be treated by the neglectful actions of adults in his school
district? When my complaints came to GM, (and it did through the School
District Attorney- see "Claim Letter"),
did GM make the choice to ignore those complaints, or even tell others
to ignore our complaints? I will never know for sure, but I will
always believe that the answer is YES.
If the PSD had just picked
on me, well, that's just dirty politics, but when they took it out on Jared
and my other kids, that was downright disgusting.
My last words - Jared was
retaliated against by the full force of the Pasco School District because
of me. I bare some of the blame for Jared's suicide because I tried
to do my best as an elected official and made enemies who cared very little
for kids - Administrators (in this case, superintendents and principals),
whose real "needs" were defined in terms of MONEY, REVENGE AND POWER.
HEAR JARED'S VOICE - PLAY
- From an interview with Pasco School District investagators concerning
the assault. This is a recording of a recording and it isn't real
clear, but worth the download effort. Jared had a real mellow voice.
Note: If you have a slow load wav, wait for it to load entirely and then
play again from the start. 5 minutes long