Fresno Trustee says colleague’s ‘bullying tactics’ must end

Fresno Unified School Board Trustee Terry Slatic is the kind of guy that keeps us on our toes. He seems to make headlines at least once a year. Now, he’s about to be possibly censured again as he accuses his colleagues of breaking the law.

It all began last month during a meeting in which Slatic refused to yield the floor to district parents and continued to interject even once his microphone was cut off. Slatic’s filibustering led FUSD Board President Valerie Davis to end the meeting early.

A week later, Slatic filed a complaint with the county’s district attorney. He alleged that four trustees and the superintendent are guilty of violating California education law, which requires the district to inform teachers of a transfer student’s history of violence. 

“This is one of his temper tantrum tactics and one of his bullying tactics,” Trustee Keshia Thomas said of the complaint in which she is named. “He bullies us, his fellow trustees, Superintendent Nelson, staff, students, and now he has literally dismissed parents during a school board meeting. Let me just say that I am tired of him being a bully and threatening me. This must end.”

“His demeanor toward me and his actions behind closed doors are making me fear for my well-being when I am in his presence. I have not been alone with him since he approached me in a threatening manner last school year during a board meeting,” Thomas added in a statement to the Fresno Bee’s Education Lab.

The idea that Fresno trustees “are fearful of a 100% disabled Marine is laughable,” Slatic countered.

Thomas and Trustee Veva Islas both want to see Slatic censured. It wouldn’t be the first time. He was formally censured in 2019 after a series of incidents at Bullard High School. That censure was lifted just before the chaotic meeting on Aug. 25.