Saturday, December 01, 2007

Alex Cortes takes the stand

In the Coziahr trial on Thursday, November 29, 2007, the Chula Vista Elementary School District proved that the Lowell Billings-Tom Cruz administration is working hard to continue the illegal practices of their immediate predecessors.

It seems they want to usurp the primary claim to fame of the Libia Gil-Richard Werlin administration: brazen violations of the law. And the Parham & Rajcic law firm remains stalwartly supportive of this type of behavior.

This shouldn't be a surprise, since the board is basically the same: Judd, Smith, Lopez, Cunningham, and a replacement for Cheryl Cox (David Bejarano) who fits the CVESD board member mold perfectly.

As I predicted, there is virtually no paper trial in the Coziahr case, except documents that are missing. In my case, Gina Boyd claimed she either lost or threw away important records. Richard Werlin never explained why he produced no notes. But in the Coziahr case, the explanation for missing documents is very clear: principal Alex Cortes says he threw his notes away.

Danielle Coziahr was buried under a monstrous pyramid of incompetence, dishonesty and illegality. To some extent, I feel that Alex Cortes was also buried under that pyramid. Listening to the testimony, I became convinced that Cortes must have been instructed by Lowell Billings and Tom Cruz to find at least one of his eight probationary teachers to offer up for non-reelection. I suspect that Cortes received many pats on the back for offering up two teachers for non-reelection.

The manner in which Cortes avoided Mrs. Coziahr from the first day of school seemed to me an indication that he picked her on the first day, when she had her son with her. After that he didn't want to see her as a human being, so he never treated her like a human being. He didn't pay any attention to her teaching. It was of no importance to him that she was a leader in language arts according to the other teachers. He accused her of being inadequate in language arts, and stuck to his decision come hell or high water. He also moved kids with problems into her class, and moved high-functioning students out.

Of course the class was harmed by this. This was a class that should have been given to the most experienced teacher, not the least experienced. But kids aren't very high on the CVESD list of priorities, apparently.

When Mrs. Coziahr got pregnant halfway through the year, her fate was sealed. The district doesn't approve of maternity leave. Of course, they would prefer that the parents of the students get maternity leave, since improved maternal health and mother-child bonding will help the kids develop better. But logical consistency is not a trait of decision-makers at CVESD.

Shame on Lowell Billings, Tom Cruz, and Chula Vista Educators presidents Gina Boyd, Jim Groth and Peggie Myers. These individuals have re-created the worst abuses of the Libia Gil-Richard Werlin years, acting as lap dogs for corrupt board members Pamela Smith, Bertha Lopez, Patrick Judd, Larry Cunningham, and Cheryl Cox/ David Bejarano.

The law exists for a good reason. Things would be a lot better if these powerful individuals had more respect for the law and less attachment to their own arbitrary power.

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