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Teachable Moments: Sally Smith off Serra site council at packed meeting
By Marsha Sutton, SDNN
Monday, January 11, 2010
Before a packed house, Sally Smith was ousted this afternoon from her elected seat on the School Site Council of Serra High School. She was blasted for humiliating a student at last month’s SSC meeting by laughing at her in public, but Smith claims the reason behind the movement to remove her centers around her efforts to eliminate parent fees for athletics and other extra-curricular activities.
This just in from Smith a few minutes after the meeting:
“I am out. The three parents: me, Ed Harris and Martha Morena voted for me. Ed and Martha spoke in support of me. … The room was packed with parents that have never shown up ever. Most magnificent turnout in the history of SSC - must have been 80 parents, teachers and staff. … My supporters were African-American and Mexican-American parents. Most spoke in Spanish in support of me.”
The Serra site council consists of 12 members: three parents, three students, principal Michael Jimenez, counselor Jann Allen, and four teachers - the SSC chair Suzie Fore, Matt Medina, Mike Morales and Keri Pisapia.
Serra’s SSC bylaws state that a two-thirds vote is required to expel a member.
According to Smith, Fore told an audience member that Smith was being voted off because, at last month’s meeting, her behavior was inappropriate and she “chuckled” at a student who was upset about the likelihood that after-school programs might be eliminated if fees from parents could no longer be collected.
“I didn’t chuckle but I did sigh because I was so disappointed that a student would be complaining that she didn’t like the law,” Smith said.
Smith said this is not an issue that students should have to deal with. “This is an adult thing that we’re supposed to be doing for them - implementing it correctly, following the law,” she said. “It isn’t our job to get them all excited and stressed out about all this. It’s our job to get it right.”
After the vote, seven speakers addressed the site council in support of Smith and one opposed, she reported. But several audience members asked why they were not permitted to speak before the vote was taken...