CUSD hold 3/16 board meeting

At the latest Clovis Unified School District Governing board meeting, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Eimear O’Brien addressed a local bullying incident that has recently been at the height of a continued investigation in the district. O’Brien commented at the meeting after the bullying victim’s parent, Holly Hayes, once again took to the lectern at the school board meeting. 

“I want to assure you that we do take bullying very seriously. Safety is a huge priority on our school campuses.” This comment came after Dr. O’Brien thanked the group of speakers, including Holly Hayes, for coming to the meeting and speaking to the board on behalf of the “student from Kastner”. O’Brien explained that she could not specifically mention the student’s name, or information about the case due to confidentiality.  “I know that Principal May Moua has reached out to many parents and actually has created a task force at the school and has offered and would like to continue to offer to partner with you so that these issues can continue to be discussed.”

This statement comes two weeks after parent Holly Hayes spoke at the district board meeting and offered to “form a parent’s group to collaborate with the schools”. Part of the idea was to bring in outside forces to create an anti-bullying program through a local karate school. 

Dr. O’Brien finished her statement stating that she believes Principal Moua from Kastner Intermediate, the location where the bullying took place, would “love to meet” with Hayes and would like to continue this conversation. 

On the Covid-19 mandates the board has continued to look towards their “workgroup” subcommittee. 

The subcommittee, composed of Vice-President David DeFrank, and board members Yolanda Moore and Betsy Sandoval has been meeting every Monday according to DeFrank. They have been discussing matters relating to the announcement made in October by California that every student will be required to be vaccinated for in-person learning. DeFrank then went on to mention that the workgroup is continuing to look at “every option” in regards to “maximum flexibility” when it comes to how they will deal with the possible mandate. 

Board President Tiffany Stoker Madsen brought to the board the idea of sending letters on behalf of Senate Bill’s 866 and 871 and proposed the board to direct Superintendent Dr. O’Brien to submit the letters to be written officially that would reach the public record. Madsen, unsure if the letters would be read by anyone, was assured by board member Sandoval that if the letters are sent officially, “someone will read them.” Workgroup leader David DeFrank thought this to be “an excellent idea” and offered his support. Dr. O’Brien confirmed, “We can certainly be sure that happens.” 

Board member Dr. Steven Fogg celebrated the mask choice decision that the board made a week before the decision to allow for the removal of masks was made by the state of California, as well as the end to contact tracing in the district. He then went on to ask the Covid-19 workgroup if they had any other plans to “maximize kids staying in class”. DeFrank mentioned the testing rules in which non-testing participants must stay out of class for ten days. After a negative test, students would be allowed to go back to class after day five, according to DeFrank. He also went on to indicate that in his opinion the California Department of Public Health was “a little bit more clear” as compared with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and how they describe their testing and quarantining guidelines. 

DeFrank’s hope is that the ten day quarantine will move down towards only a five day quarantine. Other than this he says nothing else much came out of the workgroups’ meetings, but rather they are waiting for the state of California to make a move so they can proceed. 

JT is a recent college grad with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. He is mainly interested in sports and entertainment but covers a wide array of subjects. He currently writes for the Fresno State Baseball Dugout Club. JT looks forward to continuing his career at the Clovis Roundup and is excited to be working closely with a community that is very proud of its people.