Members of the Fairfax School District community told 23ABC that they came to the podium at the school board’s town hall Thursday night demanding answers. A few of them expressed frustration during the meeting with the board’s response to their questions.
“You don’t like what I’m saying. That’s why you’re shutting me up! You will not shut me up. I’m not going away,” came a heated response from Maria Hernandez at the podium.
Before the meeting began, she told 23ABC she had been waiting for this meeting for six months.
“That day has finally come and hopefully we will get answers that we have been asking for,” Hernandez said.
She as well as 20 other Fairfax teachers, parents and community members stepped up to the podium in person or virtually to demand answers regarding a few topics including the Kern County Grand jury report that alleged bullying and dysfunction within the board.
In her hand, Hernandez held a recall sign regarding trustees Jose Luis Tapia, Alma Rios, and board president Palmer Moland. Tapia wasn’t present for the meeting. A few people that took to the podium directed questions toward Rios, who along with Tapia threw out a proposed censure resolution regarding moland's presidency back in December of last year, according to the report.
“A lot of stuff was discussed in closed session,” Rios answered when one person asked why she “brushed off allegations and reports.”
“It was a public censure. It was available to everybody, so you are allowed to discuss it. It’s just you don’t want to, so here’s your chance if you would like to elaborate.” After a pause, Rios replied, “no comment.”
One speaker asked Moland repeatedly if he would resign from his position as board president, which was one of the Grand Jury’s recommendations to have him removed. Moland said that it would depend on the board collectively voting for a new president.
“But will you abstain from the vote?” The person asked at the podium, to which Moland replied: “That will be considered for future consideration. That’s all I can say.”
June 30th is the day the Grand Jury report recommended Moland's removal as board president and for another president to be trained by that time. We'll keep you updated on this situation on our website.