Sunday, October 25, 2009

District retaliation, post-agreement

I supposed that CVUSD would want to stop the slap and tickle and settle into a cold peace, but they surprised me. They decided to accuse me of sexually harassing their employees at public school board meetings. The letter from their lawyer follows:

Re: Inappropriate Behavior

Dear Mr. Attwood:

You may recall that our firm is counsel for the Chino Valley Unified School District.

I wanted to bring to your attention observations by a number of staff who view your conduct toward female staff of the Chino Valley Unified School District as inappropriate. We are bringing this information to your attention in the hopes of making you aware of the behavior, with the anticipation that the behavior will stop.

Although I will not identify the staff who have observed your behavior and those who are separately the target of your behavior, but I would like to outline several instances of inappropriate conduct:

1. At a school board meeting, you attempted on multiple occasions to look down the blouse of the woman you were sitting next to.

2. At another school board meeting, you positioned yourself immediately next to a female staffer in her personal space. Security moved you away. Once security left the presence of the female staffer, you again returned and moved into that staff person's personal space.

3. At another school function, you were seated in the audience and cupped your hands like "binoculars" and stared at a female staff member for two hours.

4. At another school meeting, you proceeded to stare off and on during the meeting at a female staff member's chest. The female staff member reported feeling very uncomfortable during the meeting because of your conduct.

5. Multiple staff employees have observed you looking at a particular staff member in a sexually inappropriate way on multiple occasions.

These behaviors are being brought to your attention in the event that you were unaware of your conduct. Please be advised that this letter is only being directed to you. The District has an obligation to protect its employees from sexual harassment. The behavior cited above does constitute sexual harassment, since it is on going and pervasive. The goal of this letter is to bring this conduct to your attention in an effort to have it stopped.

We have not identified the female staff members or any witnesses to your behavior, because we do not want these individuals to be the subject of retaliation. As indicated, we would like this behavior to stop. Assuming the behavior stops, this issue will go no further.

If you would like to discuss this matter further, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Very truly yours,

STUTZ ARTIANO SHINOFF & HOLTZ

Jeffery A. Morris

This is not the time and place to reply in detail, but if they knew more about certain things, such as my eyesight, they would have devised these lies somewhat differently. Certainly I have been aware of the danger of their pulling this particular stunt, since on several other occasions in past years they have rounded up a bunch of false witnesses to bring accusations of sexual harassment against people they want to get rid of, including a board member cleared in the subsequent district investigation. I certainly get the impression they don't want me to attend and speak at board meetings, and I'm clearly expected to remember that they might retaliate against me for advocating for my son in IEP meetings too.

It's certainly not easy to stop behavior that you're not doing in the first place, except by not showing up at all. If they assailed my son by falsely accusing him of being suicidal, it's no marvel that they should charge me falsely with sexual harassment when they have a record of doing so to others. Stephen laughed out loud when I read him this letter, but he took the point that they are as dangerous to him as ever.

As I said, I hoped that when we settled they would want to stop the slap and tickle and move on, but how wrong I was!

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