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FUSD Superintendent Says Board Should Deny Slatic Censure Claim



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Portrait of Bob Nelson

Superintendent Bob Nelson

Fresno Unified Superintendent Bob Nelson is advising trustees to deny a claim for damages submitted in February by trustee Terry Slatic, who maintains that his board censure was unlawful.
Update: The board voted 6-0 Wednesday evening, with Slatic absent from the dais, to deny the claim.
Slatic said previously that filing the claim was a necessary step before he could sue the district over the censure resolution, which he says disenfranchises the voters of Area 7 because of the limitations it imposes on him.
The censure limits his access to school facilities and employees, removes his legal protection from claims filed against him as a trustee, and requires him to take an anger management class.

Slatic Says Suit Could Take Months To File

Slatic’s claim is unlimited, meaning the damages would be in excess of $25,000. He told GV Wire on Wednesday that it might be several months before a lawsuit would be filed in the Fresno County Superior Court.
The censure resolution came after a series of incidents involving Slatic, then in his first year on the school board, and students, staff, and an Army recruiter at Bullard High School. Slatic’s Area 7 encompasses the Bullard High area.
Slatic met in July with Bullard cheerleaders over their social media postings criticizing fellow cheerleaders for their roles in a blackface video posting, and the district’s decision not to remove them from the squad. That meeting prompted an outcry from parents and community members, and led to the board’s vote approving the censure.

Restraining Order Request Followed Meeting

One of the Bullard cheerleaders later sought a restraining order against Slatic, claiming that he had bullied the cheerleaders in the meeting and that she felt unsafe.
After a two-day hearing in October, a Fresno County Superior Court commissioner denied the teen’s request for the restraining order.
And, because the cheerleader did not prevail in her lawsuit, Commissioner Noelle Pebet ruled that she was responsible for a portion of Slatic’s legal costs and ordered her to pay $1,000, plus $285.68 in court costs. Slatic had told the court his legal costs were $10,000.

Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email