There's a lot to digest about what happened tonight because it's really truly corrupt. It's the sort of plot you'd expect from a bad Lifetime movie about a reckless school board member wreaking havoc on the community.
Except, I'm not making this up.
For starters, I'm sorry if this cutie didn't hand deliver a letter to your doorstep, complete with a princess sticker on the envelope, but we still consider you a "neighbor." We live "with" you here in the Conejo Valley. So, this letter is also for you.
We thank you for taking the time to read it.
We’re Brian and Jessica, and we live in your ‘hood.
We’re both born-and-raised Conejo Valley residents, and after college and careers and marriage, we moved back here to “settle down,” raise a family and have access to our amazing school district.
Little did we know, there is some concerning behavior at the hands of the CVUSD board’s majority, comprised of Mike Dunn, John Andersen and Sandee Everett.
But before we get to it, here’s a little bit about us:
We’re both full-time working parents to two perfect daughters, Ellie, aged 4 and Logan, aged 8 months. We love living in Conejo Valley and giving back to our community.
A little about Jess:
She’s also active in the community in other aspects and has …
She’s also …
For her efforts in the community, she was named by the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce as one of its 40 under Forty recipients this year.
Brian is a vice president at Bank of America, where he’s taken advantage of participating in numerous volunteer days in addition to his role. He’s the glue of the family, a dedicated parent who often juggles more than the 50/50 share, in order to support Conejo Community Outreach through his hands-on dad support on the back end! He’s a die-hard Notre Dame and Angels fan, dominates in fantasy football and baseball leagues and can paint Ellie’s nails better than mommy.
On weekends you can find us at the park with the girls, getting breakfast at Country Harvest, or doing projects around our house. And more recently, getting involved in flipping the school board…
Now, that you know a little bit about us, we wanted to talk to you about something important.
The CVUSD school board election this Nov. 6, 2018
In January of this year, four weeks into Jessica’s maternity leave, she spoke at a school board meeting to share her concerns about the poorly constructed literature and selection review policy that the board members Mike Dunn, John Andersen and Sandee Everett hastily pushed through, despite receiving a petition of more than 3,000 community signatures in opposition.
Two days later, incumbent Mike Dunn (up for re-election Nov. 6) emailed her employer and threatened retaliation against her employer if they did not silence her from speaking at school board meetings.
Yes, a publicly elected official threatened a constituent and a local business because Jessica did not agree with his agenda. Ultimately, Mike Dunn was censured (a public reprimand by the board — his second). He didn’t show up to the board meeting for it, and, as a result of this situation, our family has been threatened to the point of us installing a home security system, being forced into legal action and facing daily online harassment through anonymous public hate pages run by supporters of Mike Dunn and the board majority.
This scary situation aside, the board majority has violated the Brown Act (for which they were reprimanded by the DA) has misused district funds secretly for community witch hunts, and has overstepped their role in determining the quality of curriculum in our district. Teacher morale is at an all-time low, and teachers have already retired or left the district as a direct result. We personally know more than 10 families that have placed their children in schools OUTSIDE of the district due to the chaos the current board majority has created — this has received national attention and reprimands from the National Coalition Against Censorship, the ACLU and the American Library Association, to name a few.
We are asking for your support to flip this board with candidates who support student-first outcomes, fiscal transparency and good governance, while respecting ALL stakeholders — students, parents and teachers.
We are supporting: Bill A. Gorback, Jenny Fitzgerald and Cindy Goldberg for the three open seats.
Sorry for the delay on this because... life. But, I've had time to digest the CVUSD school board meeting from Tuesday night and am ready to give you the recap.