160 tickets were available. And 160 tickets were handed out.
Look, I've been weathering my share of "she's a cyber bully" attacks lately. The same people who commented DAILY on my blog, emailing me asking to be my friend, etc., etc., and who bounced when they realized I wasn't down with white supremacy, now want to come for me as a "cyber bully." I'll take it. It's a baseless, yet easy attack when you disagree with someone online. Loose.
And then they paid to have cyberbots to attack my page with fake 1-star review campaigns, which has me dying, as I first implemented the review feature as a joke to get 1-star reviews. Haven't you seen my testimonial page?!?!
CVUSD board member Mike Dunn himself has alleged I was bully (I mean he's literally emailed it to EVERYONE in the community who has emailed him in response to him THREATENING MY EMPLOYER AND ME VIA EMAIL)... which is interesting considering not only all the stories I've been emailed of his "alleged" harassment these past two weeks, but experiences shared by others tonight in the community as well.
I expected to be attacked. I knew I wasn't on the agenda. Mike Dunn was. But I knew Mr. Andersen would take digs. I wasn't disappointed.
So, when board president John Andersen pretended he hasn't paid attention to social media, and then went on to "not by name" refer to me as a bully spewing vitriol via social media because I CALL THE BOARD ON THEIR SHIT, ... well, me doth think this is NOT the apology due me if I'm reading the resolution for Censure correctly. Perhaps the written apology will have less back-handed insults against a constituent and parent of which they serve? I doubt it.
Alas, to chastise me effectively, I have to respect you. And, Mr. Andersen... you haven't earned that with your complicity and knowledge of Mr. Dunn's actions. And oh yes.... you've known FOR YEARS what Mr. Dunn has been doing to those who voice opposition in this community. You have known. And, you have remained silent. I am aware. I promise you I will spend money to make others aware as well.
It's inconvenient, right? The board trustees, for quite some time, having gone on, unchecked. And here I am, just lil ol' me... telling you all exactly what has been and IS happening... and this makes certain people afraid. Afraid enough to falsely claim a moral high ground. To falsely assert it's bullying. It's weird... considering the board meetings are public. Anyone watching can easily see what has been going on... but board members are counting on the fact that you aren't watching. They're counting on the fact that there hasn't been a blog like mine before. Biased or not, I'm inconvenient for them... because now they have to answer for their actions and their words.
#ADIOSANDERSEN ... Don't worry. I won't be overlooking your re-election in November.
Now, there wasn't just one coward tonight.
Let's get to the man who actually caused all of this. No, really. See, I did not cause this. I did not "ask for it." I am a constituent. A taxpayer. A parent. A resident of this community. And you are damn well right I believe our district's quality of education is important.
Even if you're someone who has blocked me on social media because you disagreed with me, and even if we don't see eye to eye on ANY issue... I will promise you this: I would support your right to free speech. 100%. I didn't agree with a few speakers tonight. Guess what? I won't be calling your employers tomorrow hoping to avenge retaliation because we disagree.
Isn't it odd that my reaction seems to be a rare one?
MIKE DUNN CHOSE NOT TO ARRIVE TONIGHT. HE BLAMED IT ON HIS WIFE.
I'm not kidding. After bullying a constituent, he legit had the board president read a weak as fuck statement about his wife wanting him to stay home because feelings were hurt. For real. For real. For real.
So, I spoke.
And, this is what I had to say.
There once was an anonymous mommy (that’s me!)
And boy, what a loud mouth was she!
Her parents raised her well
They said, “Go give them hell!”
And now she’s here sounding the bell.
It started one fateful board meeting night
She said to herself, “This just isn’t right!”
She spoke up to say, “Sirs, this is plain wrong!”
And now she’s here singing this song.
Silence her! Said trustee Mike Dunn to her boss
Challenging her right to free speech, such a loss
And although Dunn had thought with his threats he had won,
Her courageous boss said, “Well, this should be fun”
And now here we are, done with Dunn
Jess Weihe would go on to speak with more might
No, she wouldn’t let Mr. Dunn give her fright
She demanded for all their first amendment right
And said to herself she will put up this fight
And so she marched on loud and free
A powerful foot soldier was she…
Free Speech is a right, you see
And she said to Mike Dunn, you won’t silence me
And she left the room holding the key
Overwhelmingly, speakers came out to support free speech. That was truly inspiring. There were a handful (no, actually a handful if that) of speakers supporting Mr. Dunn's actions... one chick weirdly asserting this was some conspiracy theory in which full email exchanges weren't available and there was "more to the story." I guess she doesn't read my blog... you know, the one in which full email exchanges were posted. RUDE. I'm like, just over here affecting the whole economy apparently. Hellllooooooo.
My hero of the night was a student, Maya, from Newbury Park High School, whose on the Prowler staff.
Her free-style poetry (although I've since learned Kyle with the Acorn isn't down with a poetry format) was hands-down.... AMAZING.
Full copy of her speech:
I had just turned 16 years old
When I was told
In big black bold
That where Mike Dunn spends his eternity
Is far more important than being a school board trustee
It was March 2017
The Fair Act had just been passed
But not without Mike Dunn's backlash
I couldn't comprehend why his (stance?) was neigh
How can you just throw a human being away?
So I asked
And that's why I'm here today
I wanted to see if he could spare
His logic on how discrimination is FAIR
He wrote to me words that were cold,
We can't promote homosexuality to a 7-year-old
I wonder if he has ever been told
That a kid
I asked him if he thought it true
"Does the community feel the same way as you?
I think it made him angry.
He called my advisor a secular humanist
And that's not all, he continued to insist
That us secular humanists, all we do is propagate
That LGBT rights is just a method to indoctrinate
The innocent young children
And then he made an analogy
that there are more of us,
Us secular humanists.
Or at least those he claims to be
He says it reaches back to World War II
When Hitler and Goebbels were practicing too
Doing the same thing to persecuted Jews
And that saintly, faithful Christians like he
Were being gassed by Nazis like my advisor and me.
I want you to remeber
I was barely 16.
I have reported on controversy after controversy
On books about life that have been deemed obscene
On the writing of a corrupt opt out policy
On the creation of a parent-civilian committee
That should be made of teachers.
I have been told that I am not credible
That I am not trustable
I have questioned my ability
To stay out of the controversy
To protect myself.
I hope tonight that the first amendment comes first
But I tell you this, if worst comes to worst
All students who will be 18
Tell all your friends
Tell your family
Tell your neighbors
To vote for the school board in 2018
It will soon be your chance to recreate the foundation
That dictates who will rewrite the narration
Of your education
Let's not let a 14th year slide
Of disrespect for teacher and of abusive pride
If Mike Dunn cares so much about where he spends eternity
Let's show him it's time to resign as school board trustee.
I don't know... I reckon poetry worked rather well in this setting....
Maya, please know that the awful woman who lives in Camarillo, with children who don't attend this district, does not in any way represent the views of this community. She, who was so threatened by your speech to as have attempted to insult your parents, falls short of any standards we have here. You are a remarkable young woman. I, and the community, applaud you, and your parents for the woman you are.
I won't do this woman the service of naming her, as she has a gofundme set up and is clearly looking for free publicity.
My bosses, both Scott Harris and Dianne McKay gave kick-ass speeches — Scott absolutely appalled by Mike Dunn's cowardice, yet penchant for invoking fear in the community of those who would otherwise speak up; Dianne wisely discussing the importance of good governance... something she is well versed in as a VCCD trustee of more than seven years.
THANK YOU MUSTANG MARKETING.
Dr. Connolly... AND THANK YOU DR. CONNOLLY, (who brought forth the resolution for censure), gave an impassioned speech having endured years on the board witnessing Mike Dunn's wrath on constituents who have opposed his extremist agenda.
She did not hold back.
And every fiber of my being applauds her because her speech took courage. It really did. She's faced with a board in which she is on the minority of, a board whose majority is complicit and enabling of a reckless, "rogue" board trustee who bullies and harasses constituents and parents in this community who don't agree with his lack of decorum and poor governance.
A MONSTER, she says has been created.
Thank you Dr. Connolly for your courage, and your honesty.
Thank you Mrs. Phelps for acknowledging Censuring should have been proposed when Mike Dunn, as board president, refused to allow the Superintendent's policy to be added to the agenda this past fall. I understand your fatigue. You've been battling this for two decades.
Mrs. Everett and Mr. Andersen voted for Censure because their hands were forced. Not because they want to admit wrongdoing. I do not applaud backhanded speeches in which the blame is indirectly directed at my speech. No, I don't applaud you for doing the bare minimum. You are cowards.
I HAVE A RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH. We ALL have a right to free speech. How dare you admonish anyone for it. You are here to serve the community, not your self-serving interests.
I do not stutter.
Mr. Andersen,I am not responsible for your inability to govern the board as board president. You are.
The coward that is Mr. Dunn was not on-site to hear the unanimous 4-0 vote to Censure.
I politely clapped.
THIS IS WHAT IS IMPORTANT MOVING FORWARD.
VOTE IN TO NOVEMBER 2018.
Talk to your friends. Your family. Your neighbors.
Mike Dunn and John Andersen are BOTH up for re-election in 2018. Mrs. Phelps is as well, although her seat is speculated to be open, should she choose not to run again.
As many commented, and correctly so, Mr. Dunn's antics have taken away from what we are all here for: the best interest of the students. Our children. In 2018, we should not be here having to stand up for free speech. We should be working toward policy that best represents the entire student body.
It's a shame that in all of this, Mr. Dunn has ensured that the students have come last.
Let's #makeCVUSDCVUSDagain #CVUSDcares this can be #theconejoway again.
2/7/2018 03:09:36 am
I was so pissed when Andersen mention “bullying” online by constituents. Someone calling you out isn’t bullying. It’s a win tonight & we need to enjoy that, but as you made clear - the war is far from over.
LEE M BIEDERMAN
2/7/2018 04:24:18 am
Sad to see what is happening in thousand oaks, but glad to see you guys standing up to this jerk.
2/7/2018 07:53:41 am
I am tremendously proud of our community, well...most of them...who had the courage to get up there and speak their truth...well, most of them.
2/7/2018 08:10:44 am
Andersen, Dunn and Everett are not concerned when teachers are harassed or cyber bullied. There is not one teacher in the district who has not been bullied by a disgruntled parent. Yet, it is understood that we are just expected to “suck it up”. The school board should take their own advice. Isn’t it funny that the biggest bullies are the most sensitive when it comes to their feelings? You were awesome last night. Thanks, again, for speaking up for the first amendment. This is way bigger than just our district.
2/7/2018 09:23:35 am
I cannot believe that COWARD didn't have the balls to show up. How telling is that?!?! Many, many thanks to YOU, Scott, Dianne, Dr. Connelly, Maya and others not named for showing your courage, your strength, your heartfelt caring, your intelligence and your backbone. No wonder Dunn was too scared to show his face. And Anderson? Nothing to say that might not be "defamatory".
2/7/2018 09:34:28 am
Thank you for standing up to the wannabe Taliban board members. They’ve gotten away with far too much for far too long.
2/7/2018 03:43:11 pm
Please write the Acorn or address the board about your experience! Don’t be too specific about what you heard, though, to protect yourself.
2/7/2018 09:42:50 am
Our daughter is new to a charter school in CVSD. We live out of district and my husband and I are furious we can’t vote these horrible people out. Just know we stand by you and plan to join “the wave” and vote out similar people in our city.
2/7/2018 03:40:50 pm
Lyn, if it’s an actual charter, not a magnet, then you’ll be happy to know they don’t answer to the board.
2/7/2018 10:24:40 am
Thank you for standing up to the wannabe Taliban board members. They’ve gotten away with far too much for far too long.
2/7/2018 11:20:34 am
Great stuff here, AM, and outstanding expression of her thoughts by Maya...Looking toward the election, I think it's important to resist using the tempting/clever hashtags #donewith[unnamed], #adios[unnamed] and any others like it...it increases their name recognition, and believe it or not, a lot of people in the voting booth just choose names they recognize...
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