Speechless–School Board Vandalism

SCHOOL BOARD DESTROYS FREE SPEECH–SMASHES PROP 8 SIGN

November 3, 2008

This morning several individuals from the local Conejo Valley School Administration in Thousand Oaks, CA, destroyed the giant proposition 8 sign that school officials say was placed too close to their property.

Residents erected the sign yesterday on the property but it lasted less than 24 hours before school officials destroyed it.  There was a disagreement about whose property the sign was on, but rather than discuss the matter in a reasonable way, angry school officials marched out to the location saying they were going to “nuke” the sign.  Local resident, Kitch Laxdal, was walking in the area and went over to the administration building to see what the commotion was about.  She mingled with the administration staff and commented that the sign “sure made a big impression.”  Comments she heard were quite harsh and very angry, “We’re going to Nuke it!” she reported them as saying.  She thought it was an extreme reaction and kept walking.  Kitch notified the owners of the property, who notified Darryl, the owner of the sign that there was some commotion regarding placement, and that he’d better come down and talk to these people.  Darryl (who wishes his last name to be withheld) and the owners of the adjacent property were on hand and called Tim Cooley to help remove the sign peaceably.  They told the school administration staff that they didn’t have to destroy the sign, that they’d be happy to take it down as soon as the tools arrived.  The man in red (later identified by readers of this blog as Jack Wilson, ) of the administration staff told the witnesses, “It’s coming the hell down NOW!” Residents continued to plead with him, offering to remove the sign but the administration officials refused to allow the sign to be removed peaceably and began destroying it instead.  Darryl had his camera on hand and was able to photograph the destruction(see pictures below).

Tim Cooley, who arrived shortly after the destruction began, had been hoping to help dismantle the sign before it was destroyed.  He reported that he saw the school officials throw the sign face down onto the lightbulbs.  They then walked on the plywood backing, crushing it in places and breaking the bulbs further.  Tim said that the destruction was done with obvious malice, the intent being to destroy the sign.  Darryl reports that the lightbulbs were smashed, and wires ripped out, and the plywood backing was crushed.

Officials then ripped out the extension cords and took them to prevent the sign from being erected in a new place.  Tim and Darryl as well as the other witnesses on hand called police who made a report.  The police went and spoke with the school officials about the vandalism and were shown a recent property map that they claim proves their ownership. The sign was placed on the public easement adjacent to the school property and is technically owned by the school.  The easement is used by Edison power company for access to the power lines in the area.  Residents say that Edison gave them permission to use the easement for their personal use (they currently have horses on the property).

Police spoke with the school administration staff and asked for the stolen property to be returned.  They were able to return the cords to the proper owners.  A report was made but charges have not been pressed by the owners who say that though the administration officials were outrageously in the wrong, they would rather spend their efforts, time and means in the passage of proposition 8.  Similar stories of vandalism and destruction have been heard all across the state.  Both Tim and Darryl say that the best possible ending to the story is not in legal action and focusing on the negative actions of the school, but in focusing on the good.

Darryl was able to replace the bulbs and wiring and stabilize the crushed wood enough to install it in a new home.  The First Baptist church welcomed the rebuilt sign saying it was “an honor” to be the new custodians of the giant sign.  That in itself was quite a story.  See the rebuilt sign and the rest of the story here:

https://beetlebabee.wordpress.com/2008/11/04/hooray-for-the-baptists/

—BeetleBabee

Update:  The Assistant Superintendent is the one who actually gave the direction to destroy the sign.  It wasn’t just some janitors or groundskeepers, this was from the top.  In addition, it has come to my attention that the Superintendent himself, Mr. Contini has been defending the actions of his staff and disputes the witnesses’ accounts.  I would invite Mr. Contini to speak with me directly on this matter.  I would be happy to put him in contact with any of the witnesses who contributed to this story.

Assistant Superintendent Jo-Ann Yoos

Jo-Ann Yoos

Conejo Valley Unified School District
Assistant Superintendent
Jo-Ann Yoos
805-497-9511 ext 213
jyoos@conejo.k12.ca.us

Conejo Valley Unified–Teaching Tolerance

Conejo Valley Unified teaches tolerance

Conejo Valley Unified teaches tolerance by destroying private property

Administrators "nuking" Residents' Free Speech

Administrators "nuking" Residents' Free Speech

Local Residents exercise their free speech

Local Residents exercise their free speech

First Amendment Rights in Action

First Amendment Rights in Action

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129 Comments

  1. Ester Paisley said,

    November 3, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    What?!! This is outrageous! Where do write to complain to the school board?

  2. Stephanie Ferrin said,

    November 3, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    Another reason to vote to change the school board around here! Vote for John Andersen and Julie Svitenko—the only two candidates not accepting CTA money!!!

  3. KJ said,

    November 3, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    This infuriates me. That school board better be glad I don’t live in their area, otherwise I would more than a few words to hand their direction. Try a pretty little summons for a lawsuit.

  4. beetlebabee said,

    November 3, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    It is an outrageous example of the brazen tactics of the opposition. There were peaceful solutions available, but that didn’t seem to matter. —and THESE are the people we are going to trust with our children’s education?

  5. Leslie said,

    November 3, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    Anyone who thinks that the public school system is neutral is wrong. From Jack O’Connell all the way down to our local Superintendent, the school system is supporting the No-on-8 campaign in every way that they can find. But I guess this shouldn’t surprise me, the schools have always told us what we want to hear, and then gone about their business as usual. Example: when my son started kindergarten he already knew how to read. The principal assured me that he would receive “differentiated curriculum”. That sounded good to me. But the reality was, the teacher told him to draw pictures when he finished his work (the same work as the non-readers).
    So – why would we believe what school administrators tell us? All they want is the money they get from our childrens’ attendance.

  6. beetlebabee said,

    November 3, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    Conejo Valley Unified School District contact info:
    1400 E. Janss Rd, Thousand Oaks, Ca. 91362
    805-497-9511
    http://www.conejo.k12.ca.us

    Superintendent Mario Contini
    mcontini@conejo.k12.ca.us

  7. nrl4prop8 said,

    November 3, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    I wondered what happened to that sign. I know that Thousand Oaks required the sign to be removed from the private residence up on the hill. I assume this was the same sign. Thanks for the information.

    nrl4prop8.wordpress.com

  8. DonnaAnne said,

    November 3, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    I miss the days when I went to school and teachers were not allowed to let students know how they were voting. Now some of them humiliate any student that offers a view that differs from the teachers. The conservative teacher, sadly, is a rarity.

  9. Leslie said,

    November 3, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    I tried to send Mario Contini an email, but it wouldn’t send. I had to know if I was POP3, how I send, how I receive, etc. A foreign language!

  10. prop8discussion said,

    November 3, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    i just sent him an email. are they going to put the sign back up?

  11. Greg said,

    November 3, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    And the teacher’s union claims that Prop 8 will have no effect on public education. if so, why do the schools act like this? hmmmm….

  12. Joe the (angry) citizen said,

    November 3, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    Can someone please post the names of these two (especially the chubby idiot in the maroon shirt). I want to make it my life-long ambition (at any financial cost) to track them down and expose them, on a daily, basis to their friends, family, coworkers and neighbors. Win or lose tomorrow, I will not let up in digging deep into the lives of these two to find every hidden secret they have and expose them over the coming years.

    THIS IS AN OUTRAGE! This is the kind of suppression of free speech that I would expect in China. This is America and this is Thousand Oaks! This is a legal ballot measure and the owners of the sign clearly were approved to post the sign. What is next, removal of the American Flag?

    Do not misconstrue my sincere rant as threat of violence. I am going to legally and civilly and with all vigor expose these (awful) idiots and change their world!

    Get me their names and let the machine kick-in!

    A VOTE FOR PROPOSITION 8 is a vote against the (bad man) and his side-kick!

    Sincerely,

    Joe the (angry) citizen

  13. abbyearth said,

    November 3, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    WOW!. VERY ANTI-AMERICAN SCHOOL PERSONNEL…WOW!
    Taking away the free speech of the people is terrible. That’s why Prop. 8 protects EVERYONE’S Rights an Freedoms.

    Thanks for sharing this story. I’m going to send my blog readers over to your blog…

    Abby & Friends

  14. beetlebabee said,

    November 3, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    When they tore the sign down, they threw it down glass bulbs side first, and tore off the wiring. My sources say it was about 200.00 in bulbs and things, but they’re hoping to fix it up and find a new home for it tonight!

    You can trash the people’s signs, but you can’t trash the people’s votes!

  15. November 3, 2008 at 7:23 pm

    […] out the post on beetlebee’s blog for details and pics! This is […]

  16. ivoteyesonprop8 said,

    November 3, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    These administrators should have been arrested. What short memories they have that they don’t even remember giving the property back to Edison! Wow, it’s incredible how ridiculous some people can be. I hope letters will flood the school board’s office about the people they have working in this district. Thanks for the post! One more day until Prop 8 Passes!!!!!!

  17. Jordyn said,

    November 3, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    Everyone is stupid!!!! Even if it was a NO on 8 they would have taken it down. I COMPLETELY support what they did.

  18. beetlebabee said,

    November 3, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    Jordyn, I think the exact words from the administration official were “We’re not waiting! It’s coming the hell down now!!” as they lit into it, throwing the sign face down and stepping on it to crush the bulbs. THEN they stole the power cords so the owner couldn’t put the sign back up somewhere else. It took police action to get the stolen property back.

    Somehow I think they were motivated by a bit more than just concern for their property line. They were obviously taking a political position. They could have told the owner that they’d just had the property surveyed and that there was a mistake made, but they didn’t. And they didn’t let the owner remove the sign himself. They wanted to destroy it and they did. There was no good reason for it.

    I actually think it was pretty cruel, especially with the owner standing right there. He obviously put a lot of time and effort into it, not to mention money.

  19. Sheryl said,

    November 3, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    Unbelievable! What ever happened to free speech! You know the first amendment? Does the school district not remember the “no bullying” policy? Shame on them!!!! How do they expect our children to be respectful when they themselves can’t be. Let’s all contact the school board and their so called, leaders and express our concerns regarding their behavior. There were so many other ways they could have handled this!
    I sense home school is going to be the way to go! How ridiculous it is that we can’t talk or teach about God in our schools but, they will teach our young children about gay marriage in our schools IF this prop doesn’t pass? Imagine if families have their children taught appropriate morals, what would happen to the school district? Sometimes it has to hit them where it hurts….their pocket book! They would loose SO much money! It seems the only way to get our message across is to stand up for truth and righteousness! Something to consider and look into. Maybe we as parents have to stand for something, rather then fall for everything!
    Regardless of what happens tomorrow…..I stand behind Prop 8 with all my heart and soul!
    Oh, as for the question, “where is the sign? Look on Erbes and you will see. Anyone that THINKS they will stop us….don’t even try. I was protecting the sign last night for 2 hours and I will be their tonight as well. Don’t test me to call 911 if you THINK to destroy the sign because I did it last night and the police were their within 30 seconds!!!They may think they can stop us….but we are unstopable! Good WILL prevail over evil and they will know we have rights, respect and free speech to what we feel, believe and honor! NO ONE can take that away!
    Vote YES on PROP 8!!!!!!

  20. beetlebabee said,

    November 3, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    They were able to fix the sign enough to put it back up. The sign architect said that with the new lights in and the repairs made, you can’t even tell it was smashed, especially in the dark. It’s as good as new. They replaced the broken lights, re-wired it and found a home for it on the hillside above the Baptist church on Erbes. There will be 24 hour surveillance on it starting tonight!

    I’ve been told there’s a good story involved with the Baptists stepping forward to provide a home for the sign. Bless them! I’ll look into it and report back to give kudos where kudos are due.

  21. William Vogeler said,

    November 3, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    The principles of the First Amendment apparently are too big for small-town school adminstrators to get their small minds around.

  22. Shannon said,

    November 3, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    All the Californians that are supporting Prop 8, you’re MY HEROS! You’re all wonderful!
    Thank you! Yes on Prop 8!

  23. prop8discussion said,

    November 3, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    please take pictures!

  24. Leslie said,

    November 3, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    This just makes me so mad – the school district we’ve all worked so hard to serve! I’ve spent 1000’s of hours, and thousands of dollars supporting this school district. This is a slap in the face from the administrators. They don’t care about our children at all. Our tax dollars are paying their salaries -there must be somethiing we can DO!

  25. Kathi said,

    November 3, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    I can’t believe the evilness of the opposition (No’s) in all this. They’re so destructive & ANGRY fighting people! Where as the YES people who I’ve witnessed and know let the No’s have their agency/free speech but aren’t angry & destructive. DOES THIS SAY SOMETHING??!! Someone taped on their garage door “YES on 8” because the No’s repeatedly stoled her signs, then they ripped down her tape & put all their signs on HER garage door (how immature are they?). Wish you could see what she did – put back up her YES even bigger & is waiting for them to come tonight (knowing they will- seeing the signs of what prop 8 stands for all over her garage too)

  26. Jackie said,

    November 3, 2008 at 9:49 pm

    Amen! to all your welcome comments.. Today was a sad day & a great day. My husband was soooo disappointed to see the “YES on 8” down after only 15 hours… over night. It was when the school administrators came to work, marched across the field, … “they’ve pulled it down & crushed the bulbs & tore the sections apart…” came the word. Many friends heard & came around to put it back together. Now, the great part of the day… The corner of LaGranada & Erbes; the lights shine again. The Pastor at the friendly Baptist Church has made a home for “the sign”. Our “sign guards” will take another all nighter to protect “three words”…& the values it represents. “YES on 8” THANX Everyone!!!

  27. Lauren said,

    November 3, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    Like the Grinch who found out that he couldn’t steal Christmas, the school board officials have found out that they cannot steal our votes, our morals, and our convictions. Thank you everyone who continues to stand up! Yes on Proposition 8! Yes on California Families!!!

  28. Robert Alderman said,

    November 3, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    I am one of the citizens who spent two hours Sunday night watching the sign (that was clearly placed on private property) so that “vandals” did not destroy it. Based on previous results, we have come to expect that those who oppose the cause of proposition 8, on the grounds that it is intolerant, would hypocritically demonstrate their lack of “tolerance” for our free speech rights by destroying our signs. Last night as I stood watch a car stopped on the side of the rode. A man got out, apparently not seeing me, walked up to the sign and unzipped his pants to urinate on it. (Trying to urinate on an electrically lighted sign proved to me he wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed!) He was surprised when I appeared and demanded that he stop. When he refused to leave I called the police to report the incident. His male partner got out of the car walked over and they left arm in arm just before the police arrived. This incident is very telling to me, with what I consider to be some very eye opening parallels worthy of consideration.

    While it’s tempting to launch into a long explanation of the dangers to our society caused by exposing “private” things in public places, like for instance schools that teach our very young children the homosexual agenda, I will refrain. I’ll only say that doing such a radical thing is always “shocking” in almost the same measure that my intolerant friend was about to experience had I not intervened! Of course his unfortunately located scars would eventually heal, our childrens will not. So back to the parallels. IS it any wonder that the school system marched beyond the scope of their reach, in this case on private property, to silence the voices of those who oppose a moral issue? What ever happened to schools being focused exclusively on the three R’s? You know reading, writing and arithmatic. The CVUSD just added another R- Repression.

    It looked to me from the expressions on their faces as they were destroying someones private property that trampling our free speech rights is an event worthy of a big smile. I believe I have just witnessed more urinating here, only this time it was done in broad daylight! Oh sure, there are always those who will preach tolerance while the sun shines and then dump on you under cover of darkness. This is to be expected from those who champion diversity at the expense of moral beliefs. Much of their true agenda hypocritically surfaces in the darkness, literally and fundementally. I expect moral decay to diminish the judgement of people so double minded in their approach and methodologies. Sadly these mindsets are spreading throughout our society. God help us all.

    But the CVUSD has become a God unto themselves here, wantonly trampling on the free expression of a citizen regarding a moral issues that clearly is outside the scope of the education system. Let me assure you that for many years much of the agenda that the school systems in general have foisted upon us has been slowly done in darkness. It now appears that the CVUSD is perfectly comfortable doing their dirty work in the light of day. It is time to be very concerned at such brazen actions. I’m tired of being literally and figuratively pissed on, so I propose that we all remove our children from school for one week. Spread the word to all the churches and community groups and lets organize a coordinated response and set a date. Our actions might be considered to be below the belt by the district, but we’re just responding from a place that they know all too well!

    Robert Alderman
    outsidethebox@imaginovations.com

  29. prop8discussion said,

    November 3, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    i don’t know if you all have seen the new “mormon missionary” commercial for the no-on-prop-8. it’s an egregiously discriminatory commercial. i’m linking an article and then some general information. it’s supposed to air tomorrow on cnn and msnbc. please write a quick letter letting them know what you think about their advertising.

    http://www.kutv.com/content/news/topnews/story.aspx?content_id=e1f83189-843f-41d7-84c4-2029fbd9a2ce

    if you go here you can write a complaint email:

    http://www.cnn.com/feedback/forms/form6a.html?2

    this is msnbc:
    letters@msnbc.com

    The ProtectMarriage.com- Yes on 8 campaign today condemned as “bigoted and intolerant” a new ‘No on Proposition 8’ television commercial scheduled to run on TV stations tomorrow and demanded that No on 8 campaign leaders, including US Senator Dianne Feinstein, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and California Schools Superintendent Jack O’Connell publicly denounce the ad and urge television stations to refuse to run it.

    The ad, produced by a group called ‘Courage Campaign Issues Committee’ and viewable at http://www.kutv.com/content/news/topnews/story.aspx?content_id=e1f83189-843f-41d7-84c4-2029fbd9a2ce , depicts supposed missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints conducting a home invasion of a lesbian couple’s home to steal their wedding rings and rip up their marriage license.

    “This ad reaches new lows of religious bigotry and intolerance,” said Yes on 8 Chairman Ron Prentice. “We hope that the leadership of the No on 8 campaign – including Senator Feinstein, Mayor Newsom and Superintendent O’Connell — as well as all Californians regardless of their position on Proposition 8, will not only condemn the ad but join us in asking television stations to refuse to air it. After all, the No on 8 campaign has been running their own television commercials saying we must all oppose discrimination and intolerance whenever we see it. The bigotry this ad shows to members of the LDS church demands action now.”

    Echoing Prentice’s call, Yes on 8 Campaign Manager Frank Schubert tonight emailed Steve Smith, Campaign Manager for the No on Proposition 8 Campaign the following request:

    “Steve – Below find a link to a deplorable No on 8 television commercial hitting the airwaves tomorrow. This commercial depicts faux Mormon Missionaries invading the home of a lesbian couple, ransacking the house in search of the couple’s marriage license, taking the couple’s wedding rings, etc. This is a blatant display of religious bigotry that has no place in political discourse. We urge Equality for All, Senator Feinstein, Superintendent O’Connell and the No on 8 Campaign to immediately denounce this commercial and join us in urging television stations to refuse to air it. After all, we must always oppose discrimination and intolerance whenever we see it.

    Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter.”

    Separately, an interfaith coalition of religious leaders representing many faiths will be releasing a statement condemning the ad. That statement will be available shortly.

    http://protectmarriage.com

  30. Jenni said,

    November 4, 2008 at 12:01 am

    This is absurd. What scares me is that these teachers teach our children. Shouldn’t they know the subjects they teach? Obviously they don’t know the First Amendment, for that reason alone they shouldn’t be teachers.

  31. Get It Straight, Yes On 8! said,

    November 4, 2008 at 12:17 am

    Who is this guy? Who does he think he is, to take down someone else’s property???

    I don’t understand why it’s so difficult to understand that marriage is the union of a man & woman, who are able to procreate together. Man/man or woman/woman is something TOTALLY DIFFERENT so … CALL IT SOMETHING DIFFERENT!

  32. martha suttner said,

    November 4, 2008 at 2:42 am

    Just sent this article with the pix of the Conejo Valley Unified District individuals destroying a resident’s YES ON PROP 8 sign to our great State Senator Tom McClintock and our great School Board member, Mike Dunn plus 50 other contacts throughout California and nearby states.
    Let’s put this on the front pages of every newspaper in California!

    There are already more families leaving Calilfornia than moving here–this has been ongoing for several years.
    Is our District helping in this endeavor by these unlawful actions while complaining out of the other side of their mouth re: low enrollment numbers in Conejo Valley schools?

    Martha, Thousand Oaks

  33. LA said,

    November 4, 2008 at 3:45 am

    This whole situation is appalling! As another person who has had my own huge Vote Yes on Prop 8 wooden signs stolen from my front yard 4 times now I also have been up all night every night this week to insure that my signs do not get stolen again. I have put spotlights on mine as well as chained them down even more secure than we did the last one.

    The legalization of so-called same-sex marriage is not a matter of civil rights; it is a matter of morality. To permit such would be to make light of the very serious and sacred foundation of GOD-sanctioned marriage and its very purpose – the rearing of families. Defending that sacred institution by working to preserve traditional marriage lies clearly within our religious and constitutional prerogatives however under the 4th Amendment of our Constitution.

    California in 2007 expanded on the states domestic partnership laws to make it one of the most thorough, complete, & fair in the nation that gives same sex couples the exact same rights as a married couple in all things.

    The marriage ceremony will not give anything more rights than they already have by law. Our children should have a right to be protected & parents have a right to choose for their young children what they feel is appropriate for them to see or learn about in school.

    Since the 4 “brilliant” Supreme Court judges overturned the will & 2000 Prop 22 votes of the people in California just this last May we already have had teachers taking 6-7 years olds on a “school field trip” to their lesbian wedding & now a teacher passes out “Gay” pledge cards in school for Kindergarteners to sign. Here is the link on Fox News about it:
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,445865,00.html

    I, for one & sick of my rights being trampled on for the sake of “tolerance” & being “politically correct”. I have been as fair as I can to everyone all my life but now I want my rights respected for once! I will Vote Yes on 8 & I will pray it passes – once again.

    The disrespect the opponents of Prop 8 have shown me & others who are in favor of this Proposition has convinced me as an American to fight for this even harder now. Now taking back MY RIGHTS! I will not worry about being “politically correct” anymore! By the way the person telling you “Merry Christmas” this year is going to be me! This is my nation UNDER GOD! – Now you deal with it.

    ***BTW – Oh, I dearly hope those who have caught the disrespectful jerks who think it is appropriate to be urinating on the Yes signs get a picture & a license number of the offenders. I am sure anyone who is doing such despicable acts are not bright enough to know & have no clue that now a days exposing yourself even for that purpose in public at any time in many states, with all the new sex offender laws, may just force you to have to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life! I hope its worth it guys!

  34. beetlebabee said,

    November 4, 2008 at 10:36 am

    Ms Yoos,

    I am appalled by the lack of tolerance shown by your staff in the large election sign incident yesterday. Shame on you and shame on your staff! This reflects terribly on our schools in this district. Your actions do not represent the majority of parents in this district and I am sure the district will suffer for this display of wanton destruction. This is terrible!

    I am shocked and dismayed that the peaceful means of resolving the matter were set aside in favor of anger, hate and destruction. Those actions weren’t necessary, and weren’t an example of wise leadership on your part. You should have taken this opportunity to tread the high road but instead you and your staff got down into the gutter, and in the process you have offended many people and represented us poorly. It gives the district the appearance of taking a political side in a way that just reinforces in the minds of the voters and taxpayers of this area the political bent already displayed by the CTA. This district cannot function without the parents. Tread lightly. You owe this man and his family an apology.

    Sincerely Riled,

    Angela

  35. November 4, 2008 at 11:12 am

    Ridiculous!!! I’m so sick of how political the education system is. I would not want these people teaching my children the principles of respect or tolerance!

  36. Brandy said,

    November 4, 2008 at 11:40 am

    This is a joke, and nobody is laughing. We are not teaching tolerance by allowing our country to change foundational principles in favor of conforming to ‘fads’ (yes, I meant to put the ‘d’ on there. Just because ‘they’ have to act out in hatred doesn’t mean that I do).

    What is exceptionally amusing it the fact that we, as supporters of the YES ON 8 movement, are the ones that are ‘biggoted’ and ‘hateful’, but I have yet to read an article about a ‘YES’ supporter savagely beating a ‘NO’ supporter for distributing political propaganda. While we contemplate altering the definition of marriage, are we going to change the difinition of hate as well?

  37. JasonI said,

    November 4, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    Greetings from Pennsylvania!

    Just writing to voice my disgust at what the school administrators above did, and the new bigoted “Vote No on 8” commercial I just saw.

    Keep up the fight (no matter what happens tonight at the polls)!

    Bleh.

  38. Renae said,

    November 4, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    YES ON 8

  39. Maureen Meyer said,

    November 4, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    Here is a response that I received from Mr. Mario Contini, Superintendent
    Dear Mrs. Meyer:

    The information you saw on the blog is very inaccurate. The individuals
    who installed the sign did so without permission and placed it on public
    property, which is illegal. The District staff was compelled under the
    law to remove it as has been the case with any political sign regardless
    of the measure, candidate or position. The staff did not destroy the
    sign and attempted to carefully dismantle it so that those who placed it
    there could take it away in tact. My understanding is that a few light
    bulbs broke when the sign was laid down on the grass, but nothing more.
    The sign was later installed at a local church property nearby and that
    would not have been possible if it had been destroyed. There was no
    bias in removal of the sign. All political signs placed on public
    property throughout the community are removed by the City if not
    otherwise removed, even those for candidates running for school board.
    I’m sorry that the blog gave such an erroneous message, but blogs can do
    that and our District does not engage in responding on blogs.

    Mario V. Contini, Superintendent
    Conejo Valley Unified School District
    1400 E. Janss Rd.
    Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
    Email: mcontini@conejo.k12.ca.us
    Office: 805-497-9511, Ext. 201

    This was my original email to Mr. Contini:
    Dear Mr. Contini,

    I was writing to ask if this information regarding the removal of a
    “Yes on Prop 8” sign by CVUSD personnel was in fact true?
    The material I read said that there was a disagreement over where the
    sign was placed. If in fact your personnel removed/destroyed it
    before it could be ascertained as to the legality of the posting I am
    greatly disappointed. As a citizen who has had several campaign
    signs stolen from my front yard by Thousand Oak High School students,
    I am wondering if it is a CVUSD policy to teach such uncivilized and
    illegal behavior? These students that I caught seemed to think it
    was their “right” to remove any signs that offended them. Could you
    please respond?
    Thank you for your time,
    Maureen Meyer

  40. Maureen Meyer said,

    November 4, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    Is it possible that the information on this blog is not correct? I would like to know.
    Thank you

  41. beetlebabee said,

    November 4, 2008 at 8:24 pm

    The school district has been spreading a very washed out version of the facts to cover what was done. See the following letter that was forwarded to me by another teacher:

    Dear Mrs.XXXXXX:
    Although your email does not indicate the specific issue causing your concern, I must assume it has to do with the removal of a political campaign sign from district property yesterday. The sign was a 12-15 foot electrically lit “Yes on 8” sign. There was a blog protesting its removal which has resulted in a few phone calls and emails from individuals. Most of them weren’t certain that the blog was accurate and wanted to know what happened.

    Yesterday morning our employees noticed the sign that was placed on school district property. State law explicitly prohibits the placement of political signs on public property such as school district, cities and park district property. The blog indicated that the district employees had destroyed the sign, but that was not an accurate depiction of what occurred. An individual who claimed responsibility for the sign was advised that the sign was on public property, which he disputed. Staff provided an official map to law enforcement on the site to prove that the property was, in fact, school district public property. The employees dismantled the sign and placed it on the ground for removal by the individuals who put it up, but they did not destroy it. The District is required by law to prohibit political signs on its property and remove them if necessary.

    The problem of signs being placed on public property became so prevalent years ago that the City of Thousand Oaks had to assign a crew to field calls from the community about violations and removed illegally placed signs. Political campaigns are required to register their campaign with the State and are provided rules that explicitly inform them of rules against placing campaign material on public property and near poling places on Election Day, even if those polling places are on private property.

    Again, the large “Yes on 8” sign had to be removed by law as it was illegally located on public property, but it was not destroyed by district employees,.

    Thank you for your concern and your interest in finding out what occurred.

    Mario V. Contini, Superintendent
    Conejo Valley Unified School District
    1400 E. Janss Rd.
    Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
    Email: mcontini@conejo.k12.ca.us
    Office: 805-497-9511, Ext. 201

  42. beetlebabee said,

    November 4, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    It is my understanding that the property in title is the school’s, but it is a public easement for the electric company. The owners of the adjacent property have a written letter allowing them use of the public easement from Edison for their horses and things. The property use is what the owners were unsure about rather than ownership. The school may indeed own the land and may even control use of it, but they should not have destroyed private property or stolen parts of the sign that the police retrieved from the district building—ESPECIALLY when guys were there to take it down peacefully. The fact that the men swore at the owners, the fact that they stole the power cords, the fact that they threw the sign down face first onto all the bulbs and then walked on the sign to crush the bulbs, the fact that an independent observer heard them say they were going to “nuke” the sign, all point to a much higher level of emotional involvement than Mr. Contini is prepared to admit.

    This letter sounds nice and well except that there were several witnesses, all of whom I personally know including the walker who heard the comment, Tim Cooley, Darryl(the sign’s builder who asked them to wait for him to get his tools so he could take it down properly and who took pictures of the destruction) and the owners of the property who called the police, and the policemen themselves who retrieved the stolen property. All those people were there and heard and saw what went on.

    With all respect to Mr. Contini, he was not there, and did not see, or hear what went on. I spoke with all the sources for this story personally before writing this story and according to the people who were there, the district’s version of events appears to be a few feet shy of the truth.

    Thanks for the letter. It’s good to hear the other side, or at least what the other side THINKS happened. They were unresponsive to my questions earlier yesterday. It appears that they are now trying to get their ducks in a row.

  43. beetlebabee said,

    November 4, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    “Staff provided an official map to law enforcement on the site to prove that the property was, in fact, school district public property. The employees dismantled the sign and placed it on the ground for removal by the individuals who put it up, but they did not destroy it. The District is required by law to prohibit political signs on its property and remove them if necessary.”

    I personally love how Mr. Contini words this series of events, as if they showed their proof of property line or talked to police BEFORE they “dismantled” the sign. The sign was located on the very edge of a vacant field that in no way appears to be part of school property, and the key words here are IF NECESSARY. It obviously wasn’t necessary since people were on hand offering to dismantle it peacefully.

    But, you have to give him an “A” for effort. Nice try Mr. Contini. Witnesses are witnesses, even if they’re reported on a lowly blog…..(2000 hits to date on this story alone.) I think Mr. Contini and his staff owe the parents and citizens a better explanation than this.

  44. Robert Alderman said,

    November 4, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    I have had a little time to think about what I wrote yesterday, where I suggested that we in the CVUSD all remove our children from school for one week in a coordinated effort. Try this on for size: One week exactly before Christmas break we all take our children out. For those who plan to do any traveling (even though the economy is tanking) your chances of getting better prices on flights, cruises, hotels etc will go up dramatically. The school would stand to lose big dollars if say 25% to 40% of the students were absent for five straight school days. Think about this loss to them as a fair measured response for the arrogance they have shown against a private citizens constitutionally protected rights of free speech.

    Anyone waffling out there on this? It’s waffling that has given them their self appointed mandate against the wishes of parents for the last few decades. The school system has consistently crammed their political agenda down everyone’s throats for far too long now. Wanna know how desperate they are about money right now? Recently several parents of a large church congregation (that I belong to) in our city were frustrated by CVUSD’s actions regarding this moral and political initiative. Parents were so upset by the school systems brazen actions that they were organizing a one day removal of their children from school. A call from the school district was made to a prominent member of the community who happens to be a high ranking regional church leader. The school district almost begged for him to call off the organized efforts of the parents. The words was sent out and the effort was called off. And just how were we awarded for our “tolerance”? Look at the picture of those men smiling as they destroyed a private citizens property and trampled his first ammendment rights. Guess what church they attend? The very church that was begged to show restraint and stand down. Anyone galled yet? Ready for action? I am serious about this. As serious as triple bypass heart surgery, which is what the dirstrict should have here to restore the blood flow of common sence, tolerance, and respect for the diversity of ALL to the heart of this community. Don’t sweep this one under the rug people. It’s time to stand up and act.

  45. Robert Alderman said,

    November 4, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    Correction- The people whose sign was torn down attend the church that was asked to stand down. Sorry for the confusion.

  46. Cindy Ovard said,

    November 4, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    I am an educator from Temecula and am one who wrote Mr. Contini and got a very polite answer back from him, which was posted just above. It’s amazing to me how polite they are AFTER the fact and how their version of the story is completely different from reality. Mr. Contini was not in attendance during the event.

    After working in education I know how biased it truly is. I’m not swayed by the ‘gentle’ words that Mr. Contini said the situation was handled with destroying the sign. I know how ugly it really was. Even here in Temecula (which is very conservative area) we had some ugliness show up. I do say though, my son wore a YES ON 8 tee shirt to school (YES, HIGH SCHOOL) and NOT ONE teacher or admin asked him to leave or take it off. AMAZING how one region is from another.

    I almost agree with taking the kids out of school for the week, to “SHOW THE ADMIN”, but in the long run, it’s the kids we’re not showing an example too. The teachers will make it harder on them and it won’t get any better. The more we try to fight back, the harder evil works to kill us. Home school your kids or leave ’em in the system. But lead by example even if your example is the underdog.

    Thanks T.O for all you’ve done for Prop 8. it’s been a tough fight and an uphill battle. No matter the outcome, we know that “WE CAME- WE FOUGHT- and WE DID OUR BEST!- You guys are my heroes!

  47. beetlebabee said,

    November 5, 2008 at 1:01 am

    Cindy, thanks so much for the comment. I wish the good teachers of this state had more power over the CTA and leadership of the public schools. There are good teachers. Thanks. I sympathize with the frustration that is out there. When the people in power do wrong and cover it up, like the CTA and their obvious political ambitions, like Jack O’Connell, like these deeply misguided Conejo Valley Unified school administrators….it just makes you feel like the world is upside down. To have all these wrong things happen, you feel a little helpless. I don’t know the answer, except that I home school my kids. It’s not easy, but it’s worth my peace of mind.

    When you reach a certain threshold, suddenly the difficult doesn’t seem so difficult anymore. It may not happen all at once, but many people will reach that threshold in the next few years if the schools don’t read the screaming on the blog walls and do something to fix the trend.

  48. November 5, 2008 at 1:02 am

    […] Yes on 8 – Speechless–School Board Vandalism « Beetle Blogger This morning several individuals from the local Conejo Valley School Administration in Thousand Oaks, CA, destroyed the giant proposition 8 sign that was placed on the public easement adjacent to the school property. The easement, originally owned by the school administration was given to Edison power company because of the power lines in the area. Edison gave local residents permission to use the easement for their personal use. +++++++ CVUSD – All Left all of the time. (tags: gaymarriage) […]

  49. Bulldog said,

    November 5, 2008 at 2:01 am

    To Robert Alderman: You are on the right track. Please let parents know that they CAN take their kids out for religious observance reasons. The CVUSD requests a written notice 3 days prior. But I believe this can be challenged, since it is not required in the State Code. You DO have to notify the school that it is a religious observance absence, but the State doesn’t say that notice has to be prior. Maybe you went to a religious funeral out of state, and you notify the school afterwards. I think that should count. I also think absences for religious marriages should count. And they do. You just write that your child is attending a religious event. If they harrass you and ask for details, then you need to contact a lawyer. Try the Pacific Justice League which works for free in any religious discrimination case. In any event, I have been trying to get parents to use this right, which is printed on the Parents’ Rights and Responsibilities section of the yearly welcome packages.

    Advent is a religious time. Please take your children out of CVUSD for the week prior to Christmas, and let the teachers know that you are doing this for a religious observance. Spending time baking holiday cookies, singing carols, going to Christmas pagents, plays, the Nutcracker, etc. are all ways that we observe the meaning and story of Christmas and they are legitimate. But you don’t have to explain how you are spending your time. If a teacher cross-examines your child, ask your child to write down what the teacher asked. Instruct them to say “It is family business, and it is private.” Send a letter to the principal, and quote the ed code.

    No child may be discriminated against for this absence, according to State Law. No child may have their grades altered, or denied a chance for a make up test. In the past, high school students at CVUSD were punished and dropped from Honors Classes for traveling with the families during Advent in order to celebrate Christmas with relatives.

    Use your rights this year. Even if you aren’t traveling, take days off during Advent to send a message. This will cost the CVUSD in ADA (average daily attendance funding.) And show up at CVUSD school board and demand that the calendar for future years be set to have the winter break end well before Christmas, not the day before Christmas Eve.

    To fix the Conejo calendar, the CVUSD must drop the 2 days they take in October for Roshashana and Yom Kippur. They will argue that the neighboring districts take those days off. But only Simi, Moorpark, and Las Virgenes in Ventura County do. There are 21 districts in Ventura County. Only 3 observes those days. The rest of the County has a decent December winter break. Put pressure on the board to conform with the Ventura County School districts, and put families first.

    What a shame that Betsy Connelly and Peggy Buckles got elected. You will have 4 years of grief with those 2 PTA robots on the board. Betsy has a terrible temper. Peggy doesn’t understand finances. Great. What a mess. The voters didn’t do their homework. You should have voted for John Andersen and Julie Svitenko. Now you will have clones of Didio and Beaubien, the 2 grouches that got pressured to resign.

  50. beetlebabee said,

    November 5, 2008 at 8:17 am

    Trio Accused Of Stealing ‘Yes On 8’ Signs

    ROSEVILLE, Calif. — Three people were arrested in Roseville early Tuesday on suspicion of stealing dozens of campaign signs advocating Proposition 8, a statewide ballot measure that would ban same-sex marriage.

    Police found a car packed with 53 “Yes on 8” signs after receiving a report of a theft, police representative Dee Dee Gunther said.

    Dispatchers received a report at 12:32 a.m. Tuesday from a resident in the 200 block of Sierra Boulevard who allegedly saw people taking a sign from his neighbor’s yard.

    http://www.kcra.com/gaymarriage/17822636/detail.html

  51. Jen said,

    November 5, 2008 at 8:26 am

    Everybody needs to send this to the Acorn.

  52. GoodJob said,

    November 5, 2008 at 10:22 am

    Good job guys. Use your kids to push political agenda. That’ll teach em what’s right. Taking your kids out of school for a week…before semester finals? Good parenting skills. *thumbs up*

    Who are you sending a message to anyways? As I understand it, the two who were involved weren’t even teachers. So all you’re doing is taking money away from your child’s school to send a message?

    Again, good job.

    I don’t care about gay marriage (I’m not gay so why should I?) but I voted Yes on prop 8 because I don’t believe judges should be able to overturn something the people in majority wanted in the first place.

    We won! We stood in the face of censorship and won anyways. We should be celebrating, we should be thanking God for answering our prayers, but instead we sit here and debate on the ways we are going to be vengeful and angry. If you have more of a message to go with it, run for an elected position and start making some changes. Building up your ivory tower on a small blog site not only sends a message of petty behavior but is also extremely ineffective.

    You guys obviously have more going on for you than you lead the readers of this blog to believe.

  53. beetlebabee said,

    November 5, 2008 at 10:34 am

    GoodJob, you may not like my reporting of the school district’s actions, but it is nonetheless an accurate story. I do not have control of all the actions of those who comment here. Their choices are not a reflection of mine. I already took my children out. I home school. What they choose to do is up to them.

  54. Nora said,

    November 5, 2008 at 11:44 am

    It was not necessary to take down the sign so that the lightbulb side of the sign was down in the dirt. It was a cheap move on the part of the district employees.

    Mario Contini is incorrect when he says that it is a violation of state law to have political signs posted on city property. In fact, many cities allow political signs on public property – Westlake Village is one. That he makes this statement in his letter makes me wonder what else he said is wrong.

  55. No on 8 said,

    November 5, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    You guys are all idiots. Whoever created this website is a liar. The schoolboard asked them nicely to take it down because ITS ILLEGAL FOR POLITICAL VIEWS TO BE DISPLAYED ON SCHOOL BOARD PROPERTY!!! They didn’t have permission to postte sign.

  56. Robert Alderman said,

    November 5, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    Hmmm… I fail to see how removing my children for a brief period from a school system that rufuses to respect the constitutionally protected right of free speech is in any way “using” them. On the contrary it is teaching them that their parents refuse to condone repressive actions and will no longer stand for it. Imagine the kind of world we would have if our children stood for the rights that our forefathers shed blood to guarantee us! “Goodjob” has done a bad job inferring that this is a political agenda on our part. (?) I fail to see how standing up against any entity that callously destroys private property on private land in a blatant effort to silence free speech can be decried or called a politcal agenda. (?)
    I guess the constitution is considered by some as only an annoying “politcal agenda” (???)

    It bothers me that there are people in our society who are so incredibly blinded to what has happened here and attempt to shame those of us with eyes wide open. As far as “goodjobs” framing the issue and any appropriate response by concerned parents as a petty action on our part, nothing could be further from the truth. Pettiness has been arrogently demonstrated by the CVUSD. When any government entity (including the school system) sinks to the level of thuggery, mocking the rights of those taxpayers who they depend on for support, what would you suppose the appropriate response should be “Goodjob”? Lets just roll over and not respond so that their dispicable actions will be unchallenged. Don’t take a stand here people and watch how far they might go next time. I mean what’s next, school officials beating up citizens on their own property? I in no way envision such a world, but I know what I see in those pictures is a step in that unfathomable direction.

    “Bulldog”- thank you, thank you, thank you. Great insights.

    “No on 8”- You might want to read the entire blog before calling everyone idiots. I’m not feeling the love here, or a “celebration” of the “diversity” between us. Your views are fairly “intolerant” and frankly uninformed, which of course may be a worthy definition of idiocy. Lets see, intolerant… Isn’t that what you called those who supported prop 8? That pendulum swings both ways.

    As far as the school board asking “nicely”, they informed the homeowner who told them he would immediately call those who set it up to come over and take it down. By the way the man he called immediately lives literally two minutes from the signs location. CVUSD refused to wait and sent the men you see in the pictures to tear it down. Why do you suppose we have pictures of them ripping it down?

    In conclusion, this whole issue now is really two issues. Prop 8 has been decided by the will of the people. Now we’ll see what those with the true “political agenda” do through the courts in opposition to the expressed will of the people. The second issue is the actions of CVUSD who are motivated by the same “political agenda”. There are really only two choices here.

    Do nothing. (talk about sending a clear message to our children)
    Hold CVUSD accountable for their arrogance by hitting them in their pocketbooks.

    Robert Alderman

  57. November 5, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    […] Speechless–School Board Vandalism SCHOOL BOARD DESTROYS FREE SPEECH–SMASHES PROP 8 SIGN […]

  58. Mary Gesner said,

    November 5, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    Joe, the angry one
    The one in the red shirt is Jack Wilson, Director of Planning – the other one is Greg. Greg works for VANIR construction. VANIR construction has had an unusually long term ‘arrangement’ with CVUSD

  59. beetlebabee said,

    November 5, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    Mary, do you know these guys?

  60. Mary Gesner said,

    November 5, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    beetlebabee,

    Yes I do know these guys
    And more

  61. Robert Alderman said,

    November 5, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    I have just heard that someone very high up at the district ordered the sign removed. Eventually the order was given by someone to Jack Wilson (the man in red) and Greg (the man in the white shirt, who works for Vanir construction) to tear down the sign. If this information is at all accurate, I would hope that those involved would at least be forthright about it as a first step towards accountability. Remember guys, we all strive to teach our children to be accountable, so why not start at the top.

    I walked into the PTA meeting tonight and spoke with a few leaders there. I politely asked them who the men were in the pictures. After answering my question the head of the PTA started explaining to me her version of what happened. I informed her that I was a part of the repair crew who fixed the sign and knew the particulars well. She didn’t seem too responsive to my first person account of the particulars of the matter. Hmmm… Does the PTA actually care about this violation of free speech rights? Remember the first letter in PTA stands for “parent” and there are a lot of parents who should be upset by the actions of the district here.

  62. GoodJob said,

    November 5, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    Robert. I was not condoning the actions taken to take the sign down. What I’m saying is, you’re shooting yourself in the foot by keeping your kids out of school to hurt them financially. It hurts the schools funding individually. I’m not telling you to do nothing, I’m asking you to find another way without the collateral damage you could inflict along the way.

  63. Mary Gesner said,

    November 5, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    Hi Robert,
    I can tell you that CVUSD is not in any in any way concerned with the parents want, or think.

    They have their own agenda (you can call it the Contini/Baarstad agenda).

    They are so lost – they do not care one iota of laws or ethics!!!

    If they did – why would a board member of the Conejo Schools Foundation – namely Terry McCallum have a sweetheart deal with own company – Building Sound, work that has never been put to bid – and yet is over $200,000
    a year – paid 40 hour week people as ‘consultants’???

    THERE IS NO ACCOUNTABILITY AT CVUSD

  64. Bobby Kane said,

    November 5, 2008 at 9:48 pm

    It’s incredible how many ignorant statements have been made in this blogger alone. This only ads to the ignorant things I have heard from supporters of Yes on 8. Unfortunately, by now the proposition will surely pass, but the fact remains that many people voted for this law on false premises. (Where do i start?)
    DonnaAnne said,

    November 3, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    “I miss the days when I went to school and teachers were not allowed to let students know how they were voting.”

    In the state of CA it is actually illegal for teachers to give there personal opinions concerning politics (which is frankly ridiculous). They can be sued, as can the school district, and at board meetings for teachers (especially during election season) that is repeatedly mentioned. Teachers are NOT allowed to discuss politics in class, so any problem with politics in school is a personal teacher problem, don’t blame the school district.

    20. Sheryl
    Very interesting that you seem so open to the idea of teaching children about “God” and religion in schools. I have a good feeling that your religious beliefs alone motivate you to vote Yes on 8. It’s a sad thing when the religious community attempts to take away people’s rights (whether is be the right to marry or the right to get an abortion) based solely on religious belief. It’s called separation of church and state, and it is an absolute absurdity that the religious majority is still attempting to control the rest of the people. One reason god should not be discussed in school is because there is no evidence to support his existence, and the schools job is to educate children. In order to educate someone, facts are needed, and none exist in support of religion. Plus, I do believe that a child would be easily frightened at the ridiculous idea that they will go to hell and burn for eternity if they do not apply themselves to a religion.
    I’ll start with that, and write some more later.

    Looking forward to the responses :]

  65. Brittany said,

    November 5, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    It is extremely PATHETIC that we use kids as an excuse to ban gay marriage. If anything it should be taught in school so a gay kid can feel like he can be his own self instead of holding it in! Yes people can know they are gay by the time they are three its proven! All of you religious people out there need to learn… YOU CANT BASE LAW OFF OF RELIGION. Do not tell me its a sin when clearly “god created everything” so apparently he made GAY PEOPLE. Stop being so ignorant it doesnt affect you personally WHATSOEVER. Hopefully all you religious people dont end up in hell for judging someone and taking away their rights.

  66. Bulldog said,

    November 5, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    Feel free to take off for Advent, and tell your school why. You must write to the principal in advance. CVUSD requires 3 days notice. I think you can dispute that.

    Here is California Ed Code 40205. Look at Section 7 on religious observances. Also, 8b explains that there will be make up tests given.

    I hope that ALL families that want to celebrate or observe religious days, religious weddings, religious funerals, etc. will use their rights without fear of being cross-examined. Hindis, Muslims, Taoists, Buddhists, Jews, Christians, and all other religious people need to know the law, and use their rights. Tell your child NOT to answer if questioned about how they spent the day. They should counter with, sorry, that’s our private family business, and why do you want to know? If they are too young to stand up for themselves, send a note to the teacher warning the school NOT to cross-examine your child on your family’s religious practices.

    Note: It is unclear how many days off will be excused. I’ve heard the CVUSD says only 2 days off a month, but I’d like to see that in writing, since the State Ed Code does not specify here.

    *********************************************

    Education Code 48205: Excused absences

    (a) Notwithstanding Section 48200 [California’s
    compulsory education requirement], a pupil shall be
    excused from school when the absence is:

    (1) Due to his or her illness.

    (2) Due to quarantine under the direction of a county
    or city health officer.

    (3) For the purpose of having medical, dental,
    optometrical, or chiropractic services rendered.

    (4) For the purpose of attending the funeral services
    of a member of his or her immediate family, so long as
    the absence is not more than one day if the service is
    conducted in California and not more than three days
    if the service is conducted outside California.

    (5) For the purpose of jury duty in the manner
    provided for by law.

    (6) Due to the illness or medical appointment during
    school hours of a child of whom the pupil is the
    custodial parent.

    (7) For justifiable personal reasons, including, but
    not limited to, an appearance in court, attendance at
    a funeral service, observance of a holiday or ceremony
    of his or her religion, attendance at religious
    retreats, or attendance at an employment conference,
    when the pupil’s absence has been requested in writing
    by the parent or guardian and approved by the
    principal or a designated representative pursuant to
    uniform standards established by the governing board.

    (8) For the purpose of serving as a member of a
    precinct board for an election pursuant to Section
    12302 of the Elections Code.

    (b) A pupil absent from school under this section
    shall be allowed to complete all assignments and tests
    missed during the absence that can be reasonably
    provided and, upon satisfactory completion within a
    reasonable period of time, shall be given full credit
    therefor. The teacher of any class from which a pupil
    is absent shall determine the tests and assignments
    shall be reasonably equivalent to, but not necessarily
    identical to, the tests and assignments that the pupil
    missed during the absence.

    (c) For purposes of this section, attendance at
    religious retreats shall not exceed four hours per
    semester.

    (d) Absences pursuant to this section are deemed to be
    absences in computing average daily attendance and
    shall not generate state apportionment payments.

    (e) “Immediate family,” as used in this section, has
    the same meaning as that set forth in Section 45194,
    except that references therein to “employee” shall be
    deemed to be references to “pupil.” [Members of the
    immediate family, as used in this section, means the
    mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, or a
    grandchild of the employee or of the spouse of the
    employee, and the spouse, son, son-in-law, daughter,
    daughter-in-law, brother, or sister of the employee,
    or any relative living in the immediate household of
    the employee.]

  67. Robert Alderman said,

    November 5, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    “Goodjob” Since anger isn’t the prevailing emotion I have over this issue, I am open to suggestions. My concerns are that these supressive actions by the district, if left unchallenged, will further promote the power of people who supress the rights of others. There needs to be a swift and immediate response by parents to send the appropriate message that these gustapo tactics are NEVER going to be tolerated.

  68. Bulldog said,

    November 5, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    Look at 8(d) above…”Absences pursuant to this section are deemed to be
    absences in computing average daily attendance and
    shall not generate state apportionment payments.”

    This means that the district will NOT be able to collect ADA, average daily attendance funding for such absences. That is why they will be fighting you. Too bad. This is the law, and you have the right to take your kids out for religious observances, ceremonies, and training. Start now. Send in your “requests”. I think that stinks that parents have to “request” permission from a stranger in order to drive their kid to gramma’s for Christmas. I think the law should say that parents must “notify” the principal in writing. That shows who is really in charge. Contact your local legislators, and try to get the wording of this Ed Code Section changed. This is another bit of proof that the public schools think THEY know better how to take care of kids than parents do.

    BOYCOTT, BOYCOTT, BOYCOTT the PTA and tell them why! Get out of this political lobbying organization, and put together a PFA or PTO or PFC. Anything is better than the liberal, pro-gay and pro-communist PTA.

    Remember, there are only 6 million PTA members in America. 5 million are in California. Do we have better schools than the rest of the nation? Of course not! California schools are terrible, on average, compared to the rest of the USA. Your PTA dollars are going to lobbyist in Sacramento to pass bills you probably don’t like. The PTA actively endorse SB 777 which became law in January of 2008. Now teachers here are required to teach the social contributions of LGBT starting in first grade. Ask you PTA if they are going to oppose Senator Lowenthal’s new bill, a version of SB 1322 that was vetoed in September. This bill would have specified that “Members of the Communist Party” could not be fired from teaching jobs because of their membership. This is what current California law states. Gov Schwarzenegger thankfully vetoed it, and retained the prohibition. For decades it has been against our law here to allow Communists to teach in government schools. What idiots lobbied Senator Lowenthal to dream up this bill? Go ask your PTA reps who went to the conventions last year how they voted on this, and how they will vote next year on his new bill. The State PTA has 5 choices on each bill that affects children: support, oppose, support with amendments, oppose with amendments, or neutral. This lobbying is really the main business of the PTA, not local fundraising. It is not your mother’s PTA. This is why 75% of American schools have dropped their membership in PTA. Grow a backbone, and just say NO! Don’t join, and don’t buy the cookies, wrapping paper, chocolates or magazine subscriptions. Tell them you will help the school when it switches to a non-political parent faculty association. To start one, just google PFA, and then approach your principal. Make sure you do this off campus, so the Superintendent doesn’t crash the meeting. They have a habit of pressuring the principals with threats.

    Google “Losing the P in PTA”. Read the book, “The Politics of the PTA” by Charlene Haar. Google “Communist Cell in the NEA”. Google “Alinsky method”.

  69. Bulldog said,

    November 5, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    For those not familiar with the acronym LGBT, it stands for Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender. Just last week they added Q to it. That stand for “Questioning”. This is getting ridiculous! The LGBT caucus in the California Capitol consists of only 5 members. These 5 have had enormous power over millions of Californians. 2 of them will lose their seats on November 30th. Let’s see if the LGBT (Q) caucus will grow with more openly homosexual legislators on December 1st. Here is the link. You will recognize the little lady in front as “Zelda” from the old tv show, “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis”. She and Carole Migden are leaving the Senate. Sheila Kuehl, author of SB 777 is termed out, and Carole Migden was not re-elected. She was too wacky even for her San Francisco constituents. They elected the Assemblyman in the back, Mark Leno, who will become a Senator on Dec 1. I’m not sure if the new Assemblymember from San Francisco is straight or gay, but it won’t be long before we find out. Aren’t you tired of this? I sure am. I’m sick of people being defined by their sex lives. Private stuff should be private, not in your face.

    http://www.assembly.ca.gov/LGBT%5FCaucus/

  70. Mary Gesner said,

    November 5, 2008 at 11:25 pm

    WAKE UP PEOPLE

    I don’t care if you care gay/lesbian.black/hispanic/white/ WHATEVER???
    Get past that, this is a school district in dire needs, we have all demographics,
    the only thing we don’t have is a school board (our eleccted representatives)
    that are able to make a independent thought

    Didio and Beaubian were paid by the unions for years, and now Buckles and Connelly will carry on the tradition….

    It’s a very sad day in Conejo Valley

  71. GoodJob said,

    November 6, 2008 at 12:08 am

    Robert,

    I can see (and share) your distaste for these actions and I too do not have a prevailing anger regarding this issue. I’m disappointed and I’m hurt but I will always lean toward a diplomatic approach which not only shows humbleness in the face of tyranny but also allows, in my opinion, a voice to be heard longer and louder. Diplomacy is like a roast in the oven. It cooks slow but has the most impact of flavor, never forgotten. One-off acts against the school district and their employees can come across as being reactive not proactive.

    Why not be reactive? Well, (and again in my opinion) being reactive is a means to becoming proactive but if it is the basis of action alone it could come across similar to an angry mob with pitchforks and torches. The kinds that are usually poo-pooed on the news with a one day article and maybe a couple follow ups and then later forgotten.

    Often times, as I see here, there is of course a conflict of perception. Mr. Contini has his, the actual people involved with taking the sign down have theirs, the sign owners have theirs then there is everyone else’s opinion of what happened.

    Either way, if we all care at all about making a difference we should always start with prayer. We must call unto God for his guidance. We must ask ourselves, what would Jesus do in this situation? My faith in Jesus Christ has always prevailed, even when times have wavered. It is in these harsh times that we must keep close to God’s will.

    I feel that we must forgive (which reminds me has anyone openly requested an apology from Jo-Ann, Jack or Greg?), we must humble ourselves and we must organize our efforts to join into one voice. That is why Prop 8 succeeded. An issue was identified and instead of violently attacking the opposition we stood our ground, gained the support of others in our smiling curbside displays and had our will ADDED TO THE CONSTITUTION!

    We must continue to voice to Mr. Contini our dissatisfactions, we must attend the board meetings, we must be educated on the facts and stay updated on all issues. We missed our chance with school closure, we missed our chance on getting great supporters like Julie Svitenko onto our school board. Just imagine if we put as much fervor as we did in getting great board members and great presidential candidates seated as we did for Prop 8. I had all 3 signs on my yard and the crowds on Tuesday were simply amazing.

    We need to make our presence known, not attack the peons. That’s why they are peons.

    More suggestions are always welcome. I can’t have all the answers (at least that’s what my son tells me).

    I’ll see you at the board meetings.

  72. beetlebabee said,

    November 6, 2008 at 8:24 am

    A letter from Robert Phelps to Mr. Contini:

    I normally don’t get involved with the politics in either our communities or our schools but I must tell you that for School Board Members to take this type of action is a disgrace to the school board as well as to all our schools. What is this teaching out children and why would these individuals use the term “Nuke” when referring to public property. These individuals need to be taken to task and owe our children and the community of TO a huge apology as well as they need to be severely reprimanded and kicked off the school board.

    I will not state if I am for or against Prop 8 in this case because I don’t think that it really matters, what really matters is the childish behavior of these individuals. My family will be moving from the TO
    area, we have loved it here but if our school officials will tolerate this type of behavior from its officials then I am glad to be leaving. I will be here long enough however to file a lawsuit against the school board and these individuals.

    Dear Mr. Phelps:

    It is regrettable that the blog that is spreading this story in an inflammatory and inaccurate manner. Yesterday morning our employees noticed a 12-15 foot sign with electric lights promoting “Yes on Prop 8.” It was on school district property. State law explicitly prohibits the placement of political signs on public property such as school district, cities and park district property. The district was obligated to remove the sign and began doing so. After awhile an individual who claimed responsibility for the sign drove up. I was told that he did not offer to remove the sign as indicated in the blog, but told the staff that they could not remove the sign as is was on private property, which was not correct. Staff provided an official map to law enforcement on the site to prove that the property was, in fact, school district public property. I was told that staff did not use the word, “Nuke.”

    The employees dismantled the sign and placed it on the ground for
    removal by the individuals who put it up, but they did not destroy it.
    In the process some light bulbs were broken as the sign was placed on the ground.

    There were other political signs from a variety of campaigns on other
    school property yesterday and today as well. Those also had to be
    removed. The problem has gotten so severe over the years that the City of Thousand Oaks found it necessary years ago to assign a crew to remove signs throughout the community when found on public property.

    Political campaigns are required to register with the Fair Political Practices Commission and are provided rules that explicitly inform them of these laws. It is difficult to understand why public agencies that are required by law not to permit political signs on public property are criticized for following the law. Again, the large “Yes on 8” sign had to be removed by law as it was illegally located on public property, but it was not destroyed by district employees.

    Thank you for your concern and your interest in finding out what
    occurred

    Mario V. Contini, Superintendent
    Conejo Valley Unified School District
    1400 E. Janss Rd.
    Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
    Email: mcontini@conejo.k12.ca.us
    Office: 805-497-9511, Ext. 201

  73. Sheryl said,

    November 6, 2008 at 11:44 am

    Blogger #66. Bobby Kane this ones for you!
    I made a comment that went like this, “How ridiculous it is that we can’t talk or teach about GOD in our schools but, they will teach our young children about gay marriage in schools IF this prop doesn’t pass?”
    I was merely stating I didn’t feel they (meaning: schools) should have the choice to do one and not the other…..so to this I say they DON’T get to teach either! I personally feel this issue of marriage is a moral and personal one. My religious, moral, spiritual, social or personal beliefs is why I chose to vote Yes on prop 8. They are all my beliefs. So, one should not judge me or another for why or how I choose to vote. It is my right! I stood for something, rather then fall for everything! As a parent, I should have rights to choose what is moral or not for my children. The school should NEVER get involved in that part of our lives or my childrens lives. That is our civil right! Our free agency to educate, elighten and teach what we as a FAMILY chooses to teach, which is a personal and private issue to each human being. The schools job is merely to teach English, Reading, Writing, Math, History, Science, and electives such as other languages, wood shop,etc. I get to choose how my children are taught about God, religion, marriage, morals etc. In no way would I want the school district to teach my children ANY of that! NO THANK YOU! Those again are my civil rights! and yours too.
    As for separation of church and state, I totally get that (but answer this, way is it that our district allows for a certain congregation to have us all celebrate Roshashana and Yom Kippur? I’m not Jewish, but I support the Jewish community)…again my civil rights. It’s also tolerance which I am and many more get to be. As we stand today, California states, we as the people of California had a choice and the choice is a man and a women can have a traditional marriage and any other way is not lawful! The sacredness in marriage between a man and woman has its total purpose…bearing and rearing children which is called a family! A women has natural gifts to give to her children that a man can’t and a man has natural gifts a women can’t give. That is why it is vital in our society to have a child learn from both parents what it is they can teach individually and then collectly as we learn to co-habitate together as a family. Blogger Bobby, I ask you this….who were you created by? No reason to answer, I already know, a man and a woman.
    I’m sad for you that the views on religion were taught in the way you wrote. I don’t know who, what and where you were taught about burning for the eternity if you don’t apply yourself to religion? WOW, that is not the way religion in my(our) church or home is taught. I can see why it would be so scary for you to not want to embrace religion. If I had a narrow view of those religious beliefs, I wouldn’t want religion taught to me, my children or even begin to know how to understand the meaning, “IN GOD WE TRUST”.

    May I close in saying, I do trust in GOD and his eternal plan for our happiness and our families. That is why this prop 8 was so important to me as an individual, regardless of my religious beliefs or any other belief I stand for. I will always stand up for my rights and morals as many others can too. Thank GOD for this free country and expression of speech….and all those who get the REAL meaning of families in this state! God bless you all for your dedication, courage and sacrifice to a noble cause. And may he bless this nation for our future!!!!

    So, Blogger Bobby Kane, let you and I, “agree to disagree”.

  74. Brittany said,

    November 6, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    To Sheryl 72.,
    No definition of family states that it must consist of a man and a woman. It is a fact that a child is prone to be just as healthy(in the sense of homosexuality) when raised by two females or two males as if they were raised by a male and female. Who are you to say that a person will not consist of the right knowledge when the opposite sex isnt present? Are you gonna tell me a single parent isnt doing a good job since someone else isnt around? Im glad you seem to think that gays should not be married and adopt when they could be better parents than half of the ones out there now. And as for your children learning morals, you are gonna teach them to judge and criticize others for not being the same as them? goooood…NOT.

  75. Sheryl said,

    November 6, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    Listen, I have friends and family that are gay. I love them ALL the same. I have nothing wrong with someone being gay. I was raised by a single parent (who did an amazing job) and had the other parent in my life. So please, stop taking this out of context. The point is, to create life, you need a man and a women. That is how and why children are created and that automatically would create a family (of course there are other ways with science, since it seems you want to push the message past where I was going). For clarity,families are all different. Some are gay parents raising children, some are straight, some are divorced, some are single, some families have lost a parent or both from death, adoption, some have 1 child or more, some my not even have children and so on, all families are different….but, to create a human being you need a man and a women. I am speaking for me and my family…I am grateful my children have a father and a mother to teach them correct principles, teach good character, morals, values and to learn from each of us and one another. This is way beyond obvious and does it really need to go into explaination? I am sorry if you are offended in what I wrote. This is a very sensitive subject and I understand what you are saying. Families are all different!!! I’m sorry I didn’t clarify that in my previous message. I thought that was obvious too. How a child is raised in one family is different from how another child is raised in another family. But traditionally to bring a child to life with a man and woman is the beginning of how life is created. That is obvious in God’s plan. How we as adults (gay or straight) choose to raise a child could turn out different from one to another. It’s a personal experience for each individual. Maybe one child raised by a gay couple could be better off then being raised by a straight couple and reversed the other way. There is always opposition in all things! No where am I judging or critizing anyone. Nor do I go about teaching that. I am only expressing my feelings and thoughts to a blogger that commented to what I wrote. Freedom of speech….just like you did. Isn’t that great?
    So please except my apology if I offended you or anyone else, that is NOT my intent. I am only expressing my opinion and understand others have theirs. I can’t change the way you feel or think nor can you change that from me. But, we can share differences and learn from each other. I’m grateful for that!

  76. beetlebabee said,

    November 6, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    Brittany, I think that the genders matter. In the ideal situation, every child would be raised by a loving father and a loving mother. Each unique gender has something to add to the raising of a child.

  77. beetlebabee said,

    November 6, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    Brittany, I think that the genders matter. In the ideal situation, every child would be raised by a loving father and a loving mother. Each unique gender has something to add to the raising of a child. —but that is beside the issue here.

    What is the good of going to a PTA meeting? I have always wondered and never been to one. I know I’m a homeschool mom, but does anyone go to these things and what do you do at them? I guess the real question is, how much power do parents have in influencing the education of their children in the public school system?

  78. Bobby Kane said,

    November 6, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    Sheryl how kind of you to reply!
    I respect your opinion that morals should not be taught in school, i believe the same way, but using the argument that marriage will be taught in schools to persuade you to vote no on 8 is rather absurd. Marriage is and would be possibly mentioned in only one instance throughout 13 or so years of schooling. That is in the health class, and in the health book it mentions marriage briefly. If you are using the possibility of your child reading that marriage is “a union between two people” as apposed to “a union between a man and a women” to persuade you to take away homosexual’s right to marry, I do not respect that decision. A child simply learning that this legal union can apply to gays or straight people will not make your child gay or affect their life whatsoever.
    It is a waste of time to mention that humans can only be created through sexual intercourse involving a man and a women, I already know that as does everyone else in this blogger so why mention it?
    The reason why gays should get the same rights that the rest of us do is simple. Excluding a group a people from basic legal rights is wrong. One marries another primarily because of love, and the legal benefits also play a part. Gays love each other just as much as any straight couple, and they deserve the same legal rights as others.
    On the topic of religion and myself mentioning hell and “burning for eternity”… maybe the bluntness of the comment distorted it’s meaning. I was purely saying that religion (mormonism, christianity, Islam…etc.) all teach that if you do not apply yourself to their specific religion (or do a long list of horrible things), you will go to hell. I do not believe this to be debatable, but do find it to be laughable.
    “Anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.” (Matthew 5:22) New Testament
    “Hell is a lake of fire and brimstone where the damned are tormented forever.” (9:19, 9:26) Book of Mormon
    “Those who fail in their duty to Allah are proud and sinful. They will all go to hell.” (2:206) Quran

    So in questioning how I was brought up because I learned that religion taught about hell… I believe you owe someone an apology. I do not know how you can deny the teachings of nearly every religious institution in the world, I included the passages so you can look them up if you do not believe me. It is rather clear to me that the idea of hell (like the rest of religion) is purely a fabrication, in it’s respective case created to SCARE people into believing in that particular religion. Also, the devil needs somewhere to sleep at night, and i doubt he shares a bed with god…

  79. Mary said,

    November 6, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    Does anyone remember Measure B – that was okay for CVUSD to use board time to tell us how to vote on that, Tim Stephens, Didio, Beaubian, Contini
    all went on and on to get everyone to votetheir way

    Guess, only what ‘political’ interests they have are allowed…..

    sad, sad day

  80. Robert Alderman said,

    November 6, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    Bobby- While I find your comments to be very thoughtful I am somewhat concerned by the following statement you made:

    “It is a waste of time to mention that humans can only be created through sexual intercourse involving a man and a women, I already know that as does everyone else in this blogger so why mention it?”

    It is mentioned because this is the very core of the issue behind so many peoples wishes that the state constitution only recognize marriage between a man and a woman. COnsider the fact that God designed a man and a woman to interact sexually so that a child could be produced from that union. That is why you are here today, which is a great thing! Would it not follow that since a man interacting with another man sexually does not produce children then God must not have designed men to be with men? I ask this as a question with no malice intended towards those whose tendency is homosexual. It’s just a question that deserves a thoughtful reply. (blog away) But remember sence you brought up God it would be worthwhile to consider why he would allowed his son to perform a miracle at a wedding he attended which of course was a gesture of acceptance for the union. I’m quite certain the wedding was between a “bride” and a “groom”.

    What the people who supported Prop 8 were asking was for their traditional marriages, that produced children which of course continues the human race (even producing children who might eventually become homosexual) would be recognized exclusively and solely as the only valid marriage in the state. Ok… fire away with all the civil rights rhetoric you want here people but be careful about drawing any parralels with the struggle of the sixties. This one is not a man made suppressive action that dimishes one person against another. Last I saw entire communities weren’t stringing gay people up on trees.

    If you have any arguments about it then take them up with God. Call gay relationships whatever you wish other than marriage. Of course I am aware that many might not hold God in high esteem here or even believe in him. If this is your position then it is to be tolerated here as your choice, and the very essence of the diversity between us. I will accept that as your choice, but as soon as you demand that I lower my belief to accomodate your view we will part ways. Most of those who supported porp 8 hold this belief that God desires his wishes to be accomodated regarding marriage in it’s traditional Judeo/ Christian representation.

  81. LA said,

    November 6, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    FYI – PUBLIC SERVICE EASEMENTS OR UTILITY EASEMENTS even when they run on or through a property DO NOT belong to that property but to the party the easement is granted! This is even true for private property.

    Anyone having a question on whether the sign was placed on school property or not can just go to the Public Works counter at City Hall, ask to see parcel maps of the property in question. They will show the exact placement of the easements & what they are for or who owns them.

    If it was an Edison utility easement & the sign owner had a letter of permission from Edison allowing them use of the land for the sign the CVUSD is 100% WRONG! They did not have any right at all to remove the sign if that is the case!

    I am also sure that if they did ask to use the land for the purpose of putting up a temporary sign Edison would have most likely given their permission as it was not a permanent structure. It is done all the time. If Edison had allowed the use of the property to the sign owners it was within their right to use it PERIOD!

    At this point I would question the exact location of the sign & the easement & if upon finding the placement was all legally proper I would think it would be an act of vandalism if they removed such. Anything over $400 is a felony.

    Many times you can just call the Public Works Department & find your answers there. They quite often will fax you a copy of the area in question if you ask. You can consult online GIS parcel maps as well although more recent easements may not be recorded on the maps yet.

    It is best to check out the information to see who actually had the right to place or remove the sign first. Then you can act accordingly after that.

    Do remember however just because a government official, local, state, or federal, school board, or politician said so does not mean it is the truth. We just went through a horrendous election & I think most will agree…governmental people do not always act legally or is everything they say always the truth.

    The city of Thousand Oaks does have rules about political signs but only if placed on their property.

  82. Bobby Kane said,

    November 6, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    Mr Alderman,
    Some things that you have said are intriguing to me. Mostly, you’re repetitive mentions of god and your religion. I thought that I came off rather clearly in my first two blogs in expressing my lack of belief/respect for religion, but maybe you didn’t catch it. So let me explain to you, that anything you say that relates to god or god’s plan or religion in general means absolutely nothing to me, to be blunt. I choose to approach my problems logically, and based on the laws of the known world, and I wished that all other people did the same, but it is clear that some people attempt to solve political problems by using their religious beliefs.
    Your statement “God designed a man and a woman to interact sexually so that a child could be produced from that union… Would it not follow that since a man interacting with another man sexually does not produce children then God must not have designed men to be with men?”
    First off, I DO NOT BELIEVE IN GOD. Secondly, regardless of if god designed people to be gay or not, homosexuality is NATURAL and a natural occurrence. I do not believe that millions of people around the globe are gay just cause they feel like it and not because they were born with biological factors that may reduce their attraction to the opposite sex (low testosterone levels/estrogen levels). Why are there numerous examples of homosexual relationships in the wild (porpoises, water-dwelling mammals, dragonflies… etc) if it is not natural? These animals are not affected by society or other human influences, they simply ARE homosexual.
    The last comment that you made that I would like to bring up is your remarks that “This one is not a man made suppressive action that dimishes one person against another. Last I saw entire communities weren’t stringing gay people up on trees.”
    Wow, the bluntness of that comment amazes me, that you are so open to mentioning that since we are not hanging homosexuals as whites used to with African-Americans, we MUST not be suppressing them! And if disallowing an entire group of people to do something that we all have the right to do (marry) is not “diminishing one person against another” aka “showing favoritism” or “suggesting lack of equality” of one person… than I assume denying blacks the right to vote was not “diminishing one person over another” either… (yes it was diminishing).

  83. Brittany said,

    November 6, 2008 at 11:47 pm

    As beetlebabee stated you think gender is important. Who decided what makes a female a female and a male a male? Who said that a boy needs to wear blue and a girl needs to wear pink? Who says a male isnt one because he cries and a girl isnt one because she wants to play football? Gender is society based so who says a man or a woman wont know how to function based off of what the typical role is?

  84. LA said,

    November 7, 2008 at 12:34 am

    In further researching I find there is no specific State Rules on Political signs unless the signs are within view of State or County highways then they are subject to the provisions of the Outdoor Advertising Act.

    The City of Thousand Oaks has rules & regulations to the posting
    of Political signs. that can be found at http://www.toaks.org. Scrool down to Upcoming Elections & Click the here then go to General Elections & click on Political Signs. The City codes are quite clear & even say WHO IS ALLOWED TO TAKE THEM DOWN!

    The pictures are quite clear showing if they were taken & laid down gently. Any body with any brains knows you do not lay a wooden sign down on the ground with the bulbs facing down UNLESS YOU WANT TO BREAK THEM THAT IS!

  85. Swoozie Kurts said,

    November 7, 2008 at 3:10 am

    Take a deep breath folks. Don’t blow a gasket. There are much larger issues to raise the blood pressure. Glad 11/4 is behind us.

  86. Robert Alderman said,

    November 7, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    Swoozie-

    I respectfully disagree that there are “much larger issues” than the repression of first ammendment rights to free speech. Again, removal of the sign was politically motivated suppression of the first order. The fact that Mr Contini seems to think that a carefully worded letter, that is shallow on the facts, washes his hands is really just salt in the wound. No where has he appologized to the homeowner, or the numerous people, including myself, who sacrifices time out of our work in these difficult economic times to repair the sign and relocate it. While we will all be foreced to work a little harder to make up for the money we lost from our jobs, I wonder what efforts will be made by those who perpetrated this mess?

    You mentioned that there are larger issues. Lets start with a man named Greg, seen in the pictures tearing down the sign, He works for a private construction company named Vanir Construction that has an office in the district building and constant work from the district that is probably not sent out to bid. (???) This kind of smells like corruption to me. I wonder if Vanir sent the district a bill for Greg tearing down the sign? Lets suppose that they did. That would mean that we taxpayers paid to have our constitutionally protected rights suppressed. Hmmm… Would that be a big enough issue. I think that a forensic audit of the relationship between Vanir and the district is warranted here. There might be a whole lot of money moving around in very strange ways.

    I have spoken to several members of the community who are incensed by these actions and we are organizing now. This is the largest issue out there for all of us. When the school district brazenly acts in this manner and then hides behind the issue with half truths and misleading statements it’s time to question whether these people are fit to be associated with the education of our children.

    Robert Alderman
    outsidethebox@imaginovations.com

  87. Robert Alderman said,

    November 7, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    I wrote this email to Mr Contini:

    Dear Mr Contini,

    I have been actively posting comments regarding the deplorable actions
    of the district over the “Yes on 8” sign that you tore down on Monday
    November 3rd. Let me say that the entire incident has proven the lack
    of tolerance your office has for the free speech of a private citizen.
    Whether or not the sign was on the easement or on school property, it
    now is obvious that you have acted rashly and repressively in this
    matter. The owner told us when we set up the sign that they had an
    easement that extended their use to the telephone poles, which the sign
    was clearly within. Your responses to those who have written you appear
    to be completely missing the point at best and completely whitewashing
    the event at worst. There is justifiable outrage at the rash actions of
    the two goons you sent to tear down the sign. Your arrogance is
    appalling. I have been told by a reliable source I know personally that
    your office contacted Mr Brimhall, a prominent leader of the church that
    I belong to and asked him to stop some of the parents in our
    congregation from pulling our children from school for a day. We were
    extremely upset by the actions of the ditrict and were organizing to
    pull our kids until Brother Brimhall asked us to basically stand down.
    How were we rewarded for this “tolerance”? A few days later your goons
    tore down a sign on one of our church members easment. Your level of
    hypocricy is astounding. I will be actively organizing citizens in the
    face of your disdain for decency. Your silence over this manner is
    deafening. We will no longer tolerate this.

    Robert Alderman

    Here is his reply to me:

    Dear Mr. Alderman:

    I know Mr. Brimhall and have great respect for him. I contacted him to
    find out if he was aware of a rumor that members of the church were
    being contacted by unknown sources to pull students from school in
    protest of CTA’s donation to the No on 8 campaign. He was on vacation
    and unaware, but shared my concern about the rumor. The CTA donation
    was not known by our teachers until after the fact.

    I understand you frustration, but please understand also that there was
    no bias or intent on the part of the District to act disrespectfully or
    deprive anyone of free speech. An easement to a utility company is
    restricted to the purpose of servicing the utility and does not convey
    property rights. The District is obligated to remove political signs
    and did so even for school board members whose campaign supporters
    placed them on school property. The City has had to do so as well.

    Respectfully,

    Mario V. Contini, Superintendent
    Conejo Valley Unified School District
    1400 E. Janss Rd.
    Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
    Email: mcontini@conejo.k12.ca.us
    Office: 805-497-9511, Ext. 201

    My comments:

    So the CTA makes a donation on the no on 8 campaign, and the district revels in the removal of a yes on 8 sign. Sounds like birds of a feather to me.

  88. Robert Alderman said,

    November 7, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    I have just emailed this letter to Mr Contini:

    Mr Contini,

    After showing up at the PTA meeting recently I have found out that one of the men who hastily tore down the sign and damaged it is named Greg. He apparently works for Vanir Contruction, who maintains an office in your building. (?) I understand that this company has had a long term relationship with the district. I wonder if you were billed by Vanir for Greg’s “work” removing the sign. If so then of course it would mean that the taxpayers paid for the suppression of their own constitutionally protected free speech rights. This of course is conjecture at this point but I’m sure an audit of Vanir’s books would show whether or not they were paid. As a matter of fact it might show some very interesting things beyond just this issue. Let me assure you that your lack of full accountability in this matter sends a clear message. All we have heard from you is weak excuses. It would go a long way towards restoring peoples faith in your leadership if you were capable of being forthright. You can start by telling us whether Vanir submitted a bill for their invlovement. Then you can appologize publicly and then personally to everyone who was involved. These actions may or may not be sufficient to win back the trust of the community, however they are the first step. Let me assure you that your actions to this point are contrary to those I would expect from someone I have entrusted to oversee the education of my children.

    Robert Alderman

  89. Stephen Marsh said,

    November 8, 2008 at 10:29 am

    //I respectfully disagree that there are “much larger issues” than the repression of first ammendment rights to free speech.//

    I would respectfully disagree that your first amendment right to free speech is valid when it concerns stripping the rights of other people. You have every right to say what you want where you want. What you don’t have a right to do is advocate that your views are made law and prevent other people from having their rights if they happen to disagree.

    //Again, removal of the sign was politically motivated suppression of the first order//

    Can you prove this?

    //The fact that Mr Contini seems to think that a carefully worded letter, that is shallow on the facts, washes his hands is really just salt in the wound.//

    Ignoring the loaded language here, this sentence operates on the premise that Mr. Contini is sitting in his office holding a flashlight under his face scheming about how to best antagonize the religious. He clearly does not agree with you that taking down the sign was “suppressing free speech” or “hampering religion”, but merely removing an object from district property.

    //No where has he appologized to the homeowner, or the numerous people, including myself, who sacrifices time out of our work in these difficult economic times to repair the sign and relocate it.//

    The underlying and unstated issue here is whether you should have put the sign back up in the first place. Who are you to tell same-sex couples whether they can or cannot get married?

    //While we will all be foreced to work a little harder to make up for the money we lost from our jobs, I wonder what efforts will be made by those who perpetrated this mess?//

    You could have just forgotten about the sign and gone back to your life, too.

    //He works for a private construction company named Vanir Construction that has an office in the district building and constant work from the district that is probably not sent out to bid. (???) This kind of smells like corruption to me.//

    1.) Okay, so the school board has a contract with a construction company to help them with manual labor, what’s the problem?

    2.) Can you prove that this company has excessively charged the District?

    3.) Your use of “corruption” is, again, loaded language, and I ask that you refrain from emotionally charging your arguments.

    //. I wonder if Vanir sent the district a bill for Greg tearing down the sign? Lets suppose that they did. That would mean that we taxpayers paid to have our constitutionally protected rights suppressed.//

    Again, assuming that this is a speech issue and not a property issue. I’ll look for some case precedent later to support this.

    //Would that be a big enough issue. I think that a forensic audit of the relationship between Vanir and the district is warranted here. There might be a whole lot of money moving around in very strange ways.//

    On what grounds do you assume government conspiracy within the school district? I can’t help but think you’re saying inflammatory things in order to say them out of emotion and not to be productive.

    //When the school district brazenly acts in this manner and then hides behind the issue with half truths and misleading statements it’s time to question whether these people are fit to be associated with the education of our children.//

    Again, I would think the bigger incidence of hiding behind the issue with half-truth and misleading statements would be you complaining about a free speech issue when the overall point of Proposition 8 was to void the rights of same-sex couples to marry in the State of California. Nowhere is this addressed in your posts or in beetlebabee’s original blog.

    Personally, I think your sign is obscene. It’s a way of saying “I hate gays” without actually phrasing it that way. You keep mentioning god and your religion as if they are solid truth — I do not apologize for saying that I disagree most profoundly. We do not live in a society where everyone agrees with the idea that the Christian god is a factual being, and as such, any argument regarding your religion is immediately invalid. The whole of the Yes on 8 argument immediately collapses as soon as god is removed; this is evidenced in your response to Bobby where you took “COnsider the fact that God designed a man and a woman to interact sexually so that a child could be produced from that union” as your initial premise. I would remind you that scientific reasoning reduces your “fact” to an “opinion”, and as such, the rest of your argument ceases to function.

    Marriage is not a religious issue. Marriage licenses operate under government auspices. Look at your own, it has a seal of the state on it, not an emblem of religion. As Chief Justice Earl Warren said in a different context, “Separate by equal is inherently unequal”, calling “gay relationships whatever you wish other than marriage” intrinsically reduces gay relationships to second-class status, and I think that’s inappropriate in our modern day and age.

  90. Robert Alderman said,

    November 8, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    Mr Contini responded to my letter with the following:

    Mr. Alderman: Thank you for identifying yourself as one of the two
    > individuals who appeared at the PTA meeting. My understanding is that
    > neither of the two individuals identified themselves at that time. I’m
    > sorry that you cannot accept a truthful explanation of the District’s
    > obligation under law. Had a “No on 8” sign been placed in the same
    > location and under the same circumstances instead of a “Yes on 8” sign,
    > would you consider it a violation of free speech if the District removed
    > it? Had the District failed to remove a similar “No on 8” sign under the
    > same circumstances, would that have been okay with you? The District did
    > not act with bias. The District removed all political signs placed on
    > its property that were not removed either by the persons who put them
    > there or the City. I regret that there are hard feelings that the sign
    > you favored had to be removed. Please understand that I cannot continue
    > to debate with you what you believe is a week excuse and bias versus what
    > the District is compelled to do in compliance with the law. Mario V.
    > Contini, SuperintendentConejo Valley Unified School District1400 E. Janss
    > Rd.Thousand Oaks, CA 91360Office: 805-497-9511 Ext. 201Cell:
    > 805-558-2020

    This is my response to Mt Contini:

    Mr Contini,

    You are attempting to attack my personal political position rather than answering direct questions I’ve asked. I would expect this same type of behavior from a child trying to get out of being responsible for something he did.

    The fact is that this isn’t a prop 8 issue, but rather a free speech issue which you are obviously carefully ignoring. This is clearly a rash action on the part of the two men you sent to tear down the sign. I understand that you did not produce a map identifying the property right position the district has until after the damage was done. Would it not make sense to have that map presented to the homeowner and the authorities prior to ripping the sign down and damaging it? The fact that you are specifically ignoring is that the homeowner acted immediately once he was contacted. He immediately called the man who built the sign who also responded immediately. His prompt response is the reason there are pictures of the sign being ripped down and damaged after being slammed on the hard dirt lights first and apparently stepped on.

    There was an obvious dispute over the rights the homeowner was under the impression he had to use the easement. My understanding is that he has a letter from the utility company that grants his use rights. Did you take time to consider that before you acted rashly? The brazen actions of the men removing the sign is the issue here that reflects poorly on the district. Let’s be frank here. This homeowner was only exercizing his free speech rights just like the CTA did through there sizable donations. Does the immediate repressive response used by the district on him deserve to be used on the CTA as well? Are you incapable of seeing the appearance of hypocricy here. Although you may have had the right to do what was done, it was done rashly in a manner that damaged someones personal property, a fact that is lost on you to this day.

    You said the following in your letter:

    “I’m sorry that you cannot accept a truthful explanation of the District’s obligation under law”

    I am not asking for a “truthful” explantion of the District’s obligation under the law. based on the chain of events I have outlined above it is clear you over stepped your bounds, without considering all positions thouroughly. The only truth I am interested in now is what I have asked you directly in my emails, that you are refusing to respond to.

    1. Did vanir bill you for removing the sign.
    2. Did you try and influence a church leader to stop parents from congregations from protesting the CTA’s actions by removing their children from school?
    3. Do you intend to appologize for the districts rash actions and compensate those who expended money to repair the damage done to the sign?

    You can either respond to these question here, or respond at a public school board meeting. The choice is your.

    Respectfully,

    Robert Alderman

  91. Robert Alderman said,

    November 8, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    To Steven Marsh-

    You wrote the following:

    “The underlying and unstated issue here is whether you should have put the sign back up in the first place. Who are you to tell same-sex couples whether they can or cannot get married?”

    My response: Um… It’s called the first ammendment and the sign which simply read “Yes on 8” is well within a citizens rights to display. Your second sentence is obviously the emotionally charged view you have speaking that may shed some light on the reasons for the suppressive comment you made about free speech in the first sentence. Let’s be clear here, you have your own view about what the issue with prop 8 was about. Unfortunately it does not jive with the sincere reasons why many people supported this measure.

    You wrote:

    3.) Your use of “corruption” is, again, loaded language, and I ask that you refrain from emotionally charging your arguments.

    My response: I should have been clearer here. I don’t know too many private construction companies who maintain offices in the building of their clients. Maybe this coziness is a means of streamlining business. Maybe it’s all above board. Most of the construction companies I know have seperate offices that they are required to maintain at their own expense. It would seem wise to have a seperation here between client and contractor to avoid the appearance of impropriety. I only question propriety in a broader scope due to the actions of the district.

    You correctly referenced something I said as follows:

    //The fact that Mr Contini seems to think that a carefully worded letter, that is shallow on the facts, washes his hands is really just salt in the wound.//

    Your response to this was the following:

    Ignoring the loaded language here, this sentence operates on the premise that Mr. Contini is sitting in his office holding a flashlight under his face scheming about how to best antagonize the religious. He clearly does not agree with you that taking down the sign was “suppressing free speech” or “hampering religion”, but merely removing an object from district property.

    My response: What are you smoking? The sentence doesn’t operate on any premise beyond what it specifically says. It is clear that his lack of response has nothing to do with an imagined bias towards the religious as you wrote, it is a revelation of his tactics to avoid the central tenents of the issue. As you say he clearly does not agree with the sign being validly placed on the easement that the utility company gave the homeowner. Please read the entire blog for a foundational refutation to his belief.

    You said:

    “Personally, I think your sign is obscene. It’s a way of saying “I hate gays” without actually phrasing it that way.”

    My comments: You obviously are not willing to consider any other emotion regarding this issue other than “hate”. I assure you that I DO NOT hate gays. For you to make a blanket statement like this actually reveals your ignorance if I may be blunt. You apparently are unable to consider that people view this issue as a moral matter. I will never condone anyone entering into the privacy of consenting adults lives, whether straight or gay, and mandating what they do in that private place. I will also never condone anyone telling me that because of the law being changed, my children will be forced to consider a lifestyle that is against my moral beliefs. You can spew all the rhetoric about this issue you want, but the facts are that an advancement of the homosexual agenda is now being pushed beyond the adult world and into the schools. Prop 8 was the only means to insure that this issue remains in the adult forum. How can you even argue that prop 8 was not about this point? Listening carefully to the commercial from the no on 8 side about this issue is revealing. It claimed that prop 8 “has nothing to do with children” They were telling the truth there, it doesn’t. BUT after it’s defeat it would only take a few steps more until California did exactly what Massechusets did to first graders in the schools. All the parents who know this is a moral issue saw that and said HELL NO! I can speak for me and add that no feeling of hatred is in my mind or heart towards gay people. I do not teach hatred to my children regarding gay people either. Just be responsibles and responsive to the wishes of parents who don’t want their children exposed to an adult issue. That’s all. Is that asking too much?

    Robert

  92. Mary said,

    November 8, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    Robert,

    It’s a good thing that you’ve given up a ‘truthful explanation’ from CVUSD,
    that will never happen under the current administration.

    This whole sign thing is just more proof that CVUSD will tell the public iwhat they should do instead of letting the public make their own decisions.
    (and the whole interest that Contini and Baarstad is their own).

    I still go to the board meetings where time was spent telling us how to vote on Measure B – they had no right then, and they had no right on 11/3
    but CVUSD administration does not believe that they have to follow laws!!!

    It’s a free for all – or should I say it’s a CVUSD dictatorship???

    I’ve no doubt that Greg was paid for his time spent taking the sign down,
    I personally know Greg, I don’t his political stance on Prop 8, but I don’t think
    that it was his decision to be involved in this sign debacle.

    Yes, the whole long-term arrangement with VANIR construction and CVUSD, needs to be looked at – it’s one of many ‘sweetheart deals’ that CVUSD administration has allowed.

  93. Betty said,

    November 8, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    If all of you are getting tired of dealing with CVUSD, (and believe, you might as well try to get blood out of turnip than deal with CVUSD)
    why not starting going to the Ventura County Office of Education –
    CVUSD is ‘supposed’ to be accountable to VCOE –

    Superindendent Mantooth – mantooth@vcoe.org

    Some board members:
    thecommish1@roadrunner.com
    m.l.peterson@charter.net
    speedylee@sprynet.com

    Marty Bates is our representative:
    batesm@verizon.net

  94. Stephen Marsh said,

    November 8, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    //Your second sentence is obviously the emotionally charged view you have speaking that may shed some light on the reasons for the suppressive comment you made about free speech in the first sentence.//

    What’s so suppressive about my first sentence? As noted in the Supreme Court case Schenck v. US, “the most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man shouting ‘fire’ in a crowded theatre”, and therein lies a rub — your right to free speech is overlapping with the right of same-sex couples to marry. The right of marriage is not a fundamental right determinable by majority vote, and as such, their right to marry trumps your right to free speech. In this case, I consider your right to speech ceded once you began advocating the destruction of other’s rights.

    //Let’s be clear here, you have your own view about what the issue with prop 8 was about.//

    “My view about what Prop 8 was about” was the one printed on the official ballot.

    //Unfortunately it does not jive with the sincere reasons why many people supported this measure.//

    Care to clarify what sincere reasons to which you refer?

    //I only question propriety in a broader scope due to the actions of the district.//

    You’re claiming cause from perceived effect. This wouldn’t be an issue to you if you weren’t already angry, you’re just spilling more vitriol on the school district out of frustration and not out of fact of actual wrongdoing.

    //What are you smoking?//

    Ad hominem assault on my character. I ask you refrain from both that and hypocrisy, as you accuse Mr. Contini of the same thing.

    //The sentence doesn’t operate on any premise beyond what it specifically says.//

    Yes it does. He could not have “carefully worded” a letter “shallow on the facts” to “wash his hands” if he did not also think that he was deliberately violating the Yes on 8 people’s rights. As soon as Mr. Contini’s actual view is inserted — one of a property dispute — your entire sentence, and therefore the argument chaining from that, becomes meaningless.

    //It is clear that his lack of response has nothing to do with an imagined bias towards the religious as you wrote, it is a revelation of his tactics to avoid the central tenents of the issue.//

    See above. Mr. Contini clearly does not see this as any sort of free speech issue, as I do not.

    //Please read the entire blog for a foundational refutation to his belief. //

    I’ve read the blog, and besides reading a good deal of hatred being spewed at the School District, Mr. Contini, and the two contractors, I have yet to find a convincing argument as to why this wasn’t school district property. They are well within their rights to remove something from a piece of land that people commonly believe belongs to them and perceive anything placed on it could represent them. I certainly would not allow you to put a Yes on 8 sticker on my car, regardless of what the dealership I bought it from says.

    //You obviously are not willing to consider any other emotion regarding this issue other than “hate”.//

    What other emotion is there to consider?

    //I assure you that I DO NOT hate gays. //

    Then why vote Yes on 8?

    //For you to make a blanket statement like this actually reveals your ignorance if I may be blunt.//

    Ad hominem, this is the second time, see above.

    //You apparently are unable to consider that people view this issue as a moral matter.//

    Your morality is not shared by every citizen of California, and as such has no place in the law books, especially when it violates someone else’s civil rights.

    //I will never condone anyone entering into the privacy of consenting adults lives, whether straight or gay, and mandating what they do in that private place.//

    Then why vote Yes on 8?

    //I will also never condone anyone telling me that because of the law being changed, my children will be forced to consider a lifestyle that is against my moral beliefs.//

    Shouldn’t that be your children’s decision, not yours? Why should they have your beliefs forced on them at a young age, when they are susceptible to things like that? Why should they be forced to live their lives with your intolerance?

    //You can spew all the rhetoric about this issue you want, but the facts are that an advancement of the homosexual agenda is now being pushed beyond the adult world and into the schools. Prop 8 was the only means to insure that this issue remains in the adult forum.//

    1.) Ad hominem x3

    2.) What “homosexual agenda”? All they really want is to be able to live their lives without having people vote on whether they count as human beings or not. Did anyone call for a vote on the sanctity of your marriage?

    //How can you even argue that prop 8 was not about this point? //

    Because it’s not.

    //It claimed that prop 8 “has nothing to do with children” They were telling the truth there, it doesn’t. BUT after it’s defeat it would only take a few steps more until California did exactly what Massechusets did to first graders in the schools.//

    1.) Slippery slope argument, and as such is invalid out of principle,

    2.) What if they did? Why should the next generation be forced to live with the intolerances and prejudices of the past? There is absolutely nothing wrong with teaching a child to be tolerant of who and what other people are, regardless of what you may have to say. It’s no different than what people said about tolerating blacks back in the 60s, and we just elected Barack Obama President.

    //I can speak for me and add that no feeling of hatred is in my mind or heart towards gay people. I do not teach hatred to my children regarding gay people either. Just be responsibles and responsive to the wishes of parents who don’t want their children exposed to an adult issue.//

    I would ask that you don’t abuse your childrens’ images against their consent to advance your agenda. Once more, it is no different than the arguments used by white supremacists back in the 60s. This applies to all of us, and all Prop 8 did in regards to children is send them a strong signal that it’s okay to hate other people for who they are. This is an everyone issue, not an adult issue. This will influence future generations, and that is unacceptable.

    //Is that asking too much?//

    Yes. Your desire to place your children into a cloistered, biblical world is asking far too much of a multicultural and multifaith society, *especially* when you are happily content with incinerating other people’s fundamental rights in order to do it.

  95. Betty said,

    November 8, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    Stephen Marsh –

    1. no one said that there were two ‘contractors’ involved, one person in the pictures was Greg, who is employed by VANIR construction, the other, is Jack Wilson, who is a Director at CVUSD

    2. There were signs (for both sides) placed all over the towns, Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park and Westlake Village, how many of them were determined whose property was involved??

    I personally do not agree with Prop 8 and voted No on it, but I agree that both sides of the issues had a right to post signs. If people vote only on the signs that they see, it is a sad day in America.

    What you need to look at it, is the way CVUSD promotes ONLY it’s agenda –
    not the right of the citizens and in this case, the TAXPAYERS!

  96. Stephen Marsh said,

    November 8, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    //no one said that there were two ‘contractors’ involved, one person in the pictures was Greg, who is employed by VANIR construction, the other, is Jack Wilson, who is a Director at CVUSD//

    What difference does it make?

    //There were signs (for both sides) placed all over the towns, Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park and Westlake Village, how many of them were determined whose property was involved??//

    If someone placed a Yes on 8 sign on my front lawn, I would be perfectly justified in taking it down. I see this issue the same way. I wouldn’t want people to think I was associated with the Yes on 8 sign, and they would be justified in taking down an equally ostentatious No on 8 sign.

    //but I agree that both sides of the issues had a right to post signs. //

    Not in places where people could construe the sign as representing someone else, they didn’t.

    //What you need to look at it, is the way CVUSD promotes ONLY it’s agenda –
    not the right of the citizens and in this case, the TAXPAYERS!//

    Assertion is not proof. Back up your claims.

  97. Joe the happy voter said,

    November 8, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    Mary Gesner:

    Thank you for the information.

    Is the budgy guy: John (Jack) Raymond Wilson age 55?
    Phone number confirmed: XXX-XXX-XXX, ext 217?

    More to come, however if anyone is interestd in seeing Greg’s (from VANIR construction) MySpace page, the link(s) is below. Enjoy the pictures. Epecially interesting is Greg wearing what appears to be a Priest colar and also look at the KKK costume he is laying in front of. Jack Wilson also makes an appearence in these pictures.

    MySpace Home Page:
    QUOTE: About me:
    My name is Greg. Some people hate me, some people like me. I got over it a long time ago. I’m tall, i’m brainy and sarcastic. Again…my name is Greg.
    http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=610167

    KKK Link:
    http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewPicture&friendID=610167&albumId=1896309

    Priest Link (find Jack in the second to last picture):
    http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewPicture&friendID=610167&albumId=2223837

  98. Robert Alderman said,

    November 8, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    Steven Marsh-

    You know I hated hominem when I was growing up. My mom used to make me eat it all the time. It just looked like corn on steroids to me. The worst part was when she used to ad hominen to my plate!

    I said:

    //I will also never condone anyone telling me that because of the law being changed, my children will be forced to consider a lifestyle that is against my moral beliefs.//

    Your response was:

    Shouldn’t that be your children’s decision, not yours? Why should they have your beliefs forced on them at a young age, when they are susceptible to things like that? Why should they be forced to live their lives with your intolerance?

    My comment: Your arguing against your own position with this logic. Let’s put your logic to the test on your own statement. Why should they have the gay agenda forced on them at a young age, when they are susceptible to the influence of adults? Are you serious with this argument? This all sounds double minded to me. Why not just let parents teach their own children their morals?

    Robert

  99. More info to follow... said,

    November 8, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    Greg Daniel’s (VANIR Contsruction) MYSPACE PAGE.

    QUOTE:
    My name is Greg. Some people hate me, some people like me. I got over it a long time ago. I’m tall, i’m brainy and sarcastic. Again…my name is Greg.

    http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewAlbums&friendID=610167

    Note: THE KKK Picture
    http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewPicture&friendID=610167&albumId=1896309

  100. beetlebabee said,

    November 8, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    Ok, Greg has some pretty awesome pictures on his MySpace….Love the HAIR!! very cool. It makes him way too likable. :-) Might even make up for the sign damage as CVUSD toadie.

  101. More info to follow... said,

    November 8, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    John posted on Greg’s (from VANIR construction) MySpace the following comment:

    John
    Nov 3 2008 5:59 PM

    Quote (look for yourself):
    “hahahaha AWESOME! photos and all. i just noticed one of those signs off the freeway right by santa rosa road… it has 2 gates encircling it and barbed wire all over both of them. i kinda want to burn the sign down.”

    Comment:
    I wonder what pictures of Greg’s were AWESOME??????????

  102. Stephen Marsh said,

    November 8, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    //Why should they have the gay agenda forced on them at a young age, when they are susceptible to the influence of adults?//

    You still need to tell me what this ‘gay agenda’ is.

    //Are you serious with this argument?//

    Yes, are you serious with yours?

    //Why not just let parents teach their own children their morals?//

    Is it acceptable for a parent to teach their children that Mormons are vile excuses for human beings that don’t deserve rights and are little better than animals? Parents are frequently wrong, and not letting your children find their own path and teaching them to be intolerant by your authority as a parent is disrespectful to their identity as human beings, insidious, and psychologically abusive.

  103. beetlebabee said,

    November 8, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    See Gay Agenda as published by gay rights activists themselves in a book called “After the Ball” an oft quoted standard of the gay community….condensed version courtesy of Beetle Blogger:

    https://beetlebabee.wordpress.com/2008/10/17/the-agenda/

  104. Mary said,

    November 8, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    Joe the happy voter,
    Yes, it is the same Jack X217
    Mary

  105. Stephen Marsh said,

    November 8, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    //See Gay Agenda as published by gay rights activists themselves in a book //

    So by “Gay rights activists” you mean “One psychologist and one advertiser”. Okay, so because the Mormon church didn’t allow African-Americans to become priests until 1978, every Mormon born before 1978 is a white supremacist.

  106. beetlebabee said,

    November 8, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    So by “Gay rights activists” you mean “One psychologist and one advertiser”.

    Perhaps if every single point of the published gay agenda had not been pushed into near fruition you might have some ground to stand on in claiming they had no influence over the gay community. As it is, the only shocking thing is that we haven’t seen it sooner. My eyes have been pried wide open by this election fight. Any objective observer can see the eerie prescience of “After the Ball.” The strategy was and is, brilliant. Honestly I wish we had such strategem on our side, but we don’t. All we have are armies of smiling, happy people who are honestly living their lives. In contrast with what we’ve seen the last three days parading through our streets, that’s where our brilliance is. It’s in our eyes and faces more than our strategy.

    You can’t buy the kind of bad advertising seeing teenagers decked out in black drag with piercings up to here * holding “No on 8” signs makes in contrast.

  107. Stephen Marsh said,

    November 8, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    For your reference, you still have yet to convince me of this grand gay conspiracy you seem to believe in.

    Oh, by the way, your “smiling, happy people” aren’t so happy and aren’t so friendly. As someone who was at a few No on 8 protests in my area, I can tell you that at nearly all of them we’ve had angry white trash people come up to our protests, scream at us, and threaten physical abuse. A friend of mine had her car mobbed by Yes on 8 protesters at a stop light. At one protest, a large SUV with at least ten people in it with a megaphone circled around the intersection we were at and screamed obscenities at us.

    What’s wrong with teenagers in black drag and piercings? Are they somehow less human than you? Are they disgusting? What are they?

    And one more question: Okay, if there’s some sort of grand gay conspiracy, what’s the ultimate goal, and if there is one, on what grounds do you say this?

  108. Mary said,

    November 8, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    Stephen Marsh:
    I can back up my claims in public record, anytime you want to take in on!!!

    Mary

  109. Stephen Marsh said,

    November 8, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    Okay, back yourself up. Go Commence. Whatever word works best with you to mean “Start”.

  110. Mary said,

    November 8, 2008 at 11:59 pm

    Stephen,
    I have no idea what ‘go commence’ means

    I only can tell you that I can prove to you that CVUSD is not on an ethical plane

    I’m a chess player, so you can open – what do you you want to kow?
    Mary

  111. Stephen Marsh said,

    November 9, 2008 at 12:10 am

    There was an intended period between the two words.

    You were the one that’s claiming wrongdoing, so I am under no obligation to function in the affirmative capacity. Prove your case to me.

  112. beetlebabee said,

    November 9, 2008 at 12:22 am

    What’s wrong with teenagers in black drag and piercings? Are they somehow less human than you? Are they disgusting? What are they?

    They’re brothers and sisters, but for the life of me they sure look unhappy!

  113. Mary said,

    November 9, 2008 at 12:33 am

    Stephoen;
    Don’t even waste my time. If you have nothing that you are outraged about, than life is good for you, let it go, let the people who think that there are problems pursue an solution.

    It’s you who has no clue what CVUSD is doing,
    and you seem content with that –

    Good luck to you, I hope your children will at least be able to give change of a dollar.

    Mary

  114. Stephen Marsh said,

    November 9, 2008 at 12:36 am

    I accept your concession. I sort of figured you wouldn’t be able to prove anything, but hey, I have to give everyone a shot, right?

  115. Robert Alderman said,

    November 9, 2008 at 11:31 am

    Stephan Marsh-

    You wrote:

    Is it acceptable for a parent to teach their children that Mormons are vile excuses for human beings that don’t deserve rights and are little better than animals?

    My comment: Is that acceptable to you? Are you advocating this? Would this assuage some of the anger you have over the fact the world isn’t like you would wish it to be? Attempting to swing the imagined pendulum as far the other way as you can here? I suppose we could all hold hands and shake our tambourines while we go dancing through the daisies celebrating all forms of diversity (read- moral depravity). I mean what the hell are morals for anyway? Why not just have a society where anything goes? Oh by the way, if the mention of God offends you so deeply then your living in the wrong country my friend. Our society is based on laws which are mirrored morally on the commandments in the Bible. If this offends you, then you have a choice. Stay and put up with it, or leave and create your own morally bankrupt society elsewhere.

    Now for the sake of clarity. The adult society has largely accepted the reality of homosexuals existence. Their civil rights are not being suppressed. I mean for heavens sake, 3 out of 4 African American voters voted FOR prop 8. You suppose that a segment of our society who knows first hand what discrimination is about would support prop 8 if it was a civil rights violation? Start thinking people. They voted for this initiative because it is a moral issue. Period.

    Your world view would tolerate any form of expression that can be imagined. There is a limit, and for me it has been reached here. Maybe you would be able to tolerate anything including bestial(ity). Where is your path leading? I choose to courageously take a stand here in the face of all the persecution people like you foolishly spout.

    You are not engaging a hateful person here. I am willing to unjustly suffer the slings and arrows of your derision in the name of tolerance. Your mind has completely polarized this issue to the point that you are incapable of seeing it in any light whatsoever. I will leave you to the darkness you have created regarding a supposed intent you have falsely attributed to those of us who are morally standing for this most important issue.

    Robert Alderman

  116. Lita R. said,

    November 10, 2008 at 1:06 am

    So, this is a pretty amazing story….did they ever file charges? Either side? I mean if the school board feels they were wronged, have they filed suit?

  117. November 10, 2008 at 8:33 am

    […] Yesterday I reported on some extreme behavior by our Conejo Valley Unified School District Administrators, when they destroyed one resident’s proposition 8 sign that they felt was too close to school property. (see thread here for part I) […]

  118. beetlebabee said,

    November 10, 2008 at 11:48 am

    Hey does anyone know about this EARTHS school the district is starting?

  119. Leslie said,

    November 11, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    Steven Marsh- If any parent wants to teach their child(ren), in the privacy of their home, anything- true or false -about Mormons – that is their right. Maybe someday their children will fugure out what is true. The problem seems to be – what moral issues can the public schools teach? Moral values range from those which seem to be univerally accepted (killing and stealing are wrong) to universally debated (creationism vs. evolution, abortion rights vs. right to life, parents rights regarding what their children are exposed to vs. anyone else’s desire to teach their agenda in the public schools). It seems to me that anything that we don’t have a general consensus on should be left out of public school education. The school’s prime responsibility is to teach children the basic skills they need to function in life: the 3R’s, higher level skills needed to enter college, and basic life skills. Many of California’s children are not excelling, which would indicate that teachers lack either the time or ability to teach the basics.
    For the rest of us – we seem to agree that, for various reasons, we are unhappy with the CVUSD. Why not be thoughtful and organized in our approach?
    Is there a lawyer who can tell us if the sign was legally placed? Either Edison had the rights or the district did. Did the property owner have permission from Edison? Does the district have the right to remove property from Edison’s easement?

  120. Leslie said,

    November 11, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    Steven Marsh- If any parent wants to teach their child(ren), in the privacy of their home, anything- true or false -about Mormons – that is their right. Maybe someday their children will fugure out what is true. The problem seems to be – what moral issues can the public schools teach? Moral values range from those which seem to be univerally accepted (killing and stealing are wrong) to universally debated (creationism vs. evolution, abortion rights vs. right to life, parents rights regarding what their children are exposed to vs. anyone else’s desire to teach their agenda in the public schools). It seems to me that anything that we don’t have a general consensus on should be left out of public school education. The school’s prime responsibility is to teach children the basic skills they need to function in life: the 3R’s, higher level skills needed to enter college, and basic life skills. Many of California’s children are not excelling, which would indicate that teachers lack either the time or ability to teach the basics.

    For the rest of us – we seem to agree that, for various reasons, we are unhappy with the CVUSD. Why not be thoughtful and organized in our approach?
    (1) Is there a lawyer who can tell us if the sign was legally placed? Either Edison had the property rights or the district did. Did the property owner have permission from Edison? Does the district have the right to remove property from Edison’s easement?
    (2) Mr. Contini said that he would work out something with the union if we cancelled the “sick out”. That was a red herring – only teachers who are members of Jehovah’s Witness can participate in the dues refund.
    (3) For years many have complained that the district serves the teacher’s, administrator’s and union’s interests at the expense of the students. We should be fighting this, but how?
    (4) There is financial corruption throughout the system. Are district jobs bid out the way they should be? Who oversees this?
    (5) A former PTA President at a local elementary school was accused of embezzling 10’s of thousands of dollars. Nothing happened. PTA money goes to pay the salaries of national executives – just like Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Red Cross and other charities. We need to find a way to make sure that the money we raise is used to benefit those we say we want to serve.
    (6) We just turned two seats on the school board over to people who are just as bad as the two who finally retired. We need more GOOD information on what goes on in the school board. Facts, not opinions. We need to hold each board member responsible when they serve someone other than the children.
    The school system is funded by taxpayers – even non-parents, those who homeschool or otherwise don’t have children in the system. So it is in the best interests of all taxpayers to make sure that our money is well spent.

    Yes, I am not happy with Mr. Contini’s handling of this sign issue – but there are much bigger issues behind it. We need to focus on the big issues that allowed this action to take place.

  121. Leslie said,

    November 11, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    oops – sorry – didn’t mean to post the first half twice :(

  122. beetlebabee said,

    November 11, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    Leslie, I’m so glad to see your post. I’ve been thinking about this. Rita and I got together today and talked about what we could do. I’d add to your list that one of the things foremost in my mind that the district needs to address is SB 71 and tolerance training. We need to make sure that no one in this school district is going to pull a Hayward on us. Part of the prop 8 fight showed us that under this law, gay and lesbian subjects could be taught WITHOUT the consent of parents and that parents were forbidden from taking their children out of school. No notification, no opt out, and in Hayward Kindergartners were taught about Homosexual alternative lifestyles.

    That’s not right.

    I don’t want to find out after the fact when it happens here. We need to make sure it doesn’t happen here. She’s going to find out from the district and her union reps what options there are and then I’m starting a new thread….hopefully with some good outlets for all this energy.

  123. beetlebabee said,

    November 11, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    I’ve never been to a PTA meeting, I don’t have any idea what power they have but it seems like a place to start. If you go to PTA meetings and you read this thread, post what you learn here. I’d be interested to hear if we can make a difference for our kids in the system.

  124. Mary said,

    November 11, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    stephen marsh –
    see leslie’s #4 and #5 – there are public records to back up these statements – you just have be willing to open you eyes to the fact that CVUSD is not above board

    check mate
    mary

  125. Robert Alderman said,

    November 17, 2008 at 1:37 am

    Mr Contini replied to my email as follows:

    Dear Mr. Alderman:
    >
    > 1. No, Vanir did not and will not bill the District.
    > 2. No and Yes. “No” – The contact was made to find out if rumors
    > were true that some members of the church had heard about a student
    > walk-out planned for the next day. “Yes” – Although I had very limited
    > conversation that could be deemed as influential, I would encourage
    > people not to use children and deny them their education as a protest
    > for or against abt political measures on a ballot.
    > 3. No. Contrary to what is being said, staff tried to handle
    > removal of the sign carefully and was doing its duty to complying with
    > the law’s prohibition against political campaign signs being placed on
    > public property. There was no violation of free speech rights and there
    > is no easement authority that overrides that prohibition.
    >
    >
    > Mario V. Contini, Superintendent
    > Conejo Valley Unified School District
    > 1400 E. Janss Rd.
    > Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
    > Email: mcontini@conejo.k12.ca.us
    > Office: 805-497-9511, Ext. 201

    My email reply was as follows:

    Dear Mr Contini,

    Thank you for your reply. You said you had “very limited” conversation that “could be” deemed as influencial. I’ll read your carefully chosen phrases as an admission of attempted influence. You also said:

    “I would encourage people not to use children and deny them their education as a protest for or against abt political measures on a ballot.”

    For the sake of perfect clarity, we are not using children in protest over a political measure on a ballot. Nice try at contorting the issue. We are upset that the CTA took dues money from teachers who do not wish to have their money used in opposition to political measures that they are morally supporting. They were forced to have their money, or more appropriately, their voice used against their own position. It would make more sense to say that their free speech rights were damaged by their own forced monetary support against their own wishes. In America!

    What choice did the teachers who strongly supported prop 8 have here with their dues money? It appears that their is no way around their money being hi-jacked against their wishes. So what to do? Seems to me that the only way to send an appropriate message is with money. It’s actually kind of ironic if you think about it. Parents keeping students out of school to celebrate Advent for a few days would result in a loss of money to the district. Maybe the district, and ultimately the CTA would get the message loud and clear that their actions are intolerable.

    Respectfully,

    Robert Alderman

  126. beetlebabee said,

    November 17, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    Check this out, have you heard of the Camilla Letter?

    The California Teacher’s Association is outrageous, they really stepped in it this time, insulting a highschool girl for daring to write a letter critical of their donation to fight proposition 8? The girl, Camilla, wrote the letter during the CTA sick-out last month. It’s a well worded, polite essay about her feelings on the subject.

    Board member Jim Rogers replied to her thoughtful letter with this tersely condescending response:

    “Thanks, Sweetie, but it’s over for now. And it’s really none of your business.”

    https://beetlebabee.wordpress.com/2008/11/17/cta-student-smack-down/

  127. December 2, 2008 at 1:11 am

    […] out the post on Beetle Blogger for details and pics! This is outrageous! Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Election […]


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