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School board took just four minutes to let go of top lawyer, meeting's minutes reveal

Original post made on Sep 1, 2022

While board members have refused to publicly discuss why they terminated the district's in-house lawyer's employment in a closed meeting, one thing is now clear: It took just four minutes to reach the decision.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, September 1, 2022, 2:05 PM

Comments (6)

Posted by Samuel L.
a resident of Meadow Park
on Sep 1, 2022 at 3:06 pm

Samuel L. is a registered user.

What are they trying to hide now? If Vishakan broke a law or policy, it'd be termination with cause, correct? So, what could possibly have happened to warrant such an abrupt firing?

PAUSD doesn't just fire people for no reason. The kept people like Phil Winston, Kim Diorio, Pete Columbo, David Rappaport, Kathy Laurence, a multitude of principals who have been moved to the district office BECAUSE they were incompetent or worse, and many others who were either obviously not fit for their job or just basically taking up space.

So why Vishakan. I'm guessing there's a lot more to the story. The board will hide behind lawyers [portion removed]. Don Austin will [portion removed] pretend to care and that'll be the end of it.

Posted by S. Underwood
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 1, 2022 at 3:59 pm

S. Underwood is a registered user.

Most folks following this Board and Austin (including me) will share our experience-informed opinion that the fix is always in, and that all process in PAUSD has been reduced to theatre.

I'm sure that the Board and Austin know that public records requests also extend personal texts, facebook, instagram, and LinkedIn messages (etc) that pertain to District issues. Strange that we have emails of Dauber and Austin saying they will text about sensitive things, but never any texts or DMs in the respondent records for communications about the District's affairs. In my opinion we are eroding trust drip by drip.

Posted by MyFeelz
a resident of JLS Middle School
on Sep 1, 2022 at 5:16 pm

MyFeelz is a registered user.

The Brown Act states, Government Code sections 54950-54963, is intended to provide public access to meetings of California local government agencies. Its purpose is described in the Act:
“The people of this State do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created.” Gov’t Code § 54950.
"In order to achieve this objective, governmental bodies subject to the requirements of the Brown Act must provide public notice of their meetings, post agendas of the subjects to be discussed at those meetings, and provide public access to those meetings. Public notice of every meeting subject to the Brown Act is required, and access is mandatory unless the meeting is held in closed session under a specific exception contained in the Act."
Such Meetings to discuss “pending litigation.” This exception has been carefully crafted due to frequent past disputes.
• Litigation is any adjudicatory proceeding.
• Pending litigation is:
(a) litigation formally initiated to which the body is a party;
(b) a situation where based on the advice of counsel taking into account “existing facts and circumstances” there exists a “significant exposure” to litigation; or
(c) when the agency itself has decided or is deciding whether to initiate litigation.
• For existing litigation, the closed session notice should state the name of the case or parties (unless it would jeopardize service of process or existing settlement negotiations), and for anticipated litigation or litigation the agency is considering initiating, it should state the number of potential cases. Prior to holding a closed session pursuant to this section, the legislative body of the local agency must state on the agenda".. etc.

You do the math.

Posted by Retired PAUSD Teacher
a resident of another community
on Sep 4, 2022 at 7:14 am

Retired PAUSD Teacher is a registered user.

Aren’t school board’s and superintendents supposed to serve the public? Other than scheduled board meetings, these folks do their best to hide from the public.

It is telling that Ms. Vishakan did not receive her contractual evaluation in lieu of her firing. That is a pattern that bleeds down to the schools as well. I can state for a fact that in my final six years of teaching in PAUSD, I did not receive a single evaluation, which was a violation of the collective bargaining agreement. In a last minute effort to do something this year, my principal requested that I start the evaluation process on MAY 13th!

When he was informed that legally it was too late, and that any evaluation submitted after May 3rd was invalid, he falsely stated that he “was giving me the opportunity to complete the evaluation process”. Curious, since he never started the process. Apparently that was the case with several other teachers on campus.

Was there any repercussions for this dereliction of duty? Of course not. He was hand picked by Austin, thus he got a free pass as a reward for his loyalty to “the Don”. Forget hard work, honesty, or performance. It’s all about towing the 25 Churchill line whether or not the public interest is served.

Posted by AnonyMouse
a resident of Monroe Park
on Sep 5, 2022 at 10:08 am

AnonyMouse is a registered user.

It is time for a change. There are plenty of data points in the last few years for us to know that this institution is hurting. Plummeting morale. Suppressed dissent. Bureaucratic aggression. What parents need to know is that all of this eventually rolls downhill to your child’s educational experience. When top management is dismissive and arrogant, middle managers start parroting those same behaviors to teachers. Teachers, try as they might, eventually become beaten down by the behavior at the top, and your child’s education suffers. We’ll never know the reason for this peremptory dismissal. Even their new #builders campaign to supposedly improve morale has a diabolical dialectic built in. If you’re a builder, you quietly do what you’re told. You are a #wrecker if you speak out, disagree or ask questions. It’s authoritarian and antithetical to a publicly funded institution. We can do better. All this leads to the upcoming election. I’m hoping Shana Segal and Nicole Chou-Wong can be the #ambassadors of hope we so desperately need.

Posted by Retired PAUSD Teacher
a resident of another community
on Sep 6, 2022 at 8:51 am

Retired PAUSD Teacher is a registered user.

"What parents need to know is that all of this eventually rolls downhill to your child’s educational experience".

Exactly Anonymous! Good teachers are being put under duress for spurious reasons and hostile work environments abound. Students feed off teachers moods, and if a teacher does not feel comfortable on the job, then the students sense it as well. It is not healthy, and all of the "#builders" campaigns do nothing other than mask the problem. It's gone on too long and at the end of the day, it's the kids and parents who pay the price.

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