BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — A group known as the Fairfax Warriors have been fighting to recall three members of the Fairfax School District Board of Trustees since July, that effort has failed.
The Fairfax Warriors may have lost the battle to recall three Fairfax board of trustees but according to their chairperson, they made strides along the way and the fight isn’t over yet.
It’s been present at numerous Fairfax School District board meetings this past year; the battle cry to recall Fairfax board trustees Palmer Moland, Alma Rios, and Jose Tapia.
This recall effort followed a grand jury report that accused the Fairfax School Board of bullying, unprofessionalism, and money mismanagement. This report originated from allegations against Moland.
“As an employee of the district, it’s a slap in the face that the board members don’t want to pass the censure on Moland," Pam Padilla, committee chairperson of the Fairfax recall effort said. It’s like a slap in the face because it’s like saying a bully is going to get away with whatever he wants to get away with, and not have any kind of punishment."
After numerous signing events and four censures attempting to remove Moland from being an active board member, the recall was shy of hundreds of signatures to get each board member on a special election recall ballot in November.
“We’ve been working on those grand jury requests, and we’ve sent a report to the grand jury. And now that we know that there is not going to be a recall, this gives us an opportunity to move forward as a district, and continue to focus on students,” said Regina Green Superintendent of Fairfax school district.
Meanwhile, Padilla said not much has changed since the grand jury report.
“It’s still a very much divided district and the kids are going to be the ones that suffer from it,” said Padilla.
Padilla said all is not lost. During their signing events, they realized that misinformation was keeping people of the Hispanic community who Green said make up 88.3% of the student population from engaging. Padilla said a lot of them are undocumented and feared deportation just for simply attending a board meeting.
“When we enlightened them on some things they didn’t really know about, a lot of them started paying attention to the board meetings. They started attending board meetings and asking questions,” said Padilla.
Green said the school will always have translators for parents and welcomes them to attend board meetings and meet with her.
Their next step is to get Moland and Rios out of office in 2022 when their terms expire and keep Victoria Coronel as she runs for reelection.
“It’s not a total failure in our minds. We’ve woken a sleeping giant of community members that are now paying attention to what’s going on in the children’s schools and they’re a little bit more comfortable now. So, in the end, I think, in the end, it was successful even if the recall itself wasn’t successful,” said Padilla.