Monday, January 12, 2009

LOCAL HEROES: STUDENTS TRYING TO RECALL WHOLE SCHOOL BOARD

Laughing Stalk - Students at Tioga high school in Groveland, California were so angry when their favorite math teacher was fired, they organized a recall campaign against the entire school board.

The Big Oak Flat-Groveland school board thought they were acting properly when they ousted Ryan Dutton over allegations of plagiarism. Dutton, a former punter for the Amsterdam Admirals (NFL Europe), was accused of copying from another student at Cal State Fresno while he was working toward his teaching credentials. He was also removed from his position as Tioga's baseball coach.

Cal State Fresno said the allegations were unfounded, but the board refused to reinstate him, claiming they were acting on "private information." So the students staged a one-day protest that shut down the school, and then continued on with the entire recall. . .

School board President Lillian Cravens said the campaign to oust the board is in keeping with the community's quarrelsome style. Notorious for political bickering and personal rivalries, the district has run through seven superintendents in the last eight years and 15 school board members in the last five. . .

The board actually has the option of calling the election itself, which would cause the vote to be done by mail, although it will probably be held on May 5, thus allowing the board an opportunity to back down and reinstate Dutton.

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