School board trustee responds to censure
Paso Robles School Board Trustee Chris Bausch was censured Tuesday evening by fellow board members. Bausch responds to the criticism here:
By Chris Bausch
Paso Robles School Board Trustee
Since the censure contains many still unsubstantiated, inaccurate and/or taken out of context “Factual Findings”: Negotiating with a vendor; conflict of interest; public criticism of the board; spreading disinformation; using a student to advance my agenda; speaking on KPRL in favor of an employee under investigation; deviation from the Brown Act; and especially, threats based on comments taken completely out of context; that I asked to have removed, it is merely symbolic if not meaningless.
The censure, while supposedly drafted by an attorney, would not stand up to legal scrutiny if challenged in court. As it does not contain a severability clause to exclude the erroneous sections, the entire resolution is without merit.
If the Board of Trustees wants to censor me based on their collective personal opinions and allegations, some of which are still waiting on specifics to be proven accurate while others are outright false that have been incorrectly and unfairly stated as facts, they will have to own and ultimately defend their decision before God.
As requested by the board, I apologized again last night where my remarks, made months apart in public settings, not ever directed at an individual and not once said in private, were incorrectly perceived as personal threats, intimidation, insulting or bullying.
That being said, I view the censure as the board’s attempt to reign in what they consider to be a renegade board member who in their opinion is not a team player; or who says things that they feel are inappropriate and embarrassing to the district; and asks hard questions that they feel are too aggressive. I will never relinquish and never waiver from defending my God-given rights guaranteed by the First and Second Amendments. No board has that power.
As per our By-laws, the board should review in public the board’s “Self Evaluation” that was tabled due to less than flattering remarks.
As President Gibson noted Tuesday night, if I had only apologized before, the board wouldn’t have felt compelled to bring forth a Resolution of Censure. Earlier this year, after a closed session, I apologized to Dr. Hall and she apologized to me. I offered an apology to Ms. Summers; she wasn’t interested. I offered to apologize to President Gibson if he would reciprocate. He refused. If President Gibson was actually sincere about ending this debate, he would have already accepted my apology and offered his in return.
In order to get past our long-standing dysfunctional and hostile relationship, I agreed to a request by Superintendent Chris Williams that I attend counseling with President Gibson. Gibson refused. I asked if Mr. Williams would ask Ms. Summers if she would be willing to attend counseling as well. There has been no response.
At this point, as observed by several speakers last night including several previous School Board Trustees and over the weekend our previous superintendent, I believe the board and the district have some issues that need to be brought out into the light of day and must be resolved if we are to become the District of Excellence we claim to be. To that end, I believe that in its present condition, the district is incapable of properly and objectively reviewing itself and would be best served if investigated by independent third parties.
Due to the wide range of challenges hindering both the board and the district, especially some of our teachers and past employees, I recommended at last night’s meeting that three entities, the County Office of Education, the California Department of Education and the SLO County Grand Jury each empanel committees to provide their unique perspectives as to how to move beyond the current problems facing the board, and a potential district-wide crisis simmering just below the surface.
The board should demand that:
Superintendent Williams fulfill all current California Public Records Act requests he has been refusing to fulfill since December, especially the Quintron-Bausch investigation President Gibson ordered Lozano-Smith to carry out and that Superintendent Williams and his attorney have denied ever took place.
Act upon all written harassment claims from teachers, site administrators, staff against me or anyone else that Mr. Williams alleges to have in his possession since last year. Not doing so violates the law and opens the district up to a potential legal action.
The board and superintendent should decide to accept that not everyone subscribes to a watered down, politically correct point of view. The fact that I do not does not make me a bad or evil person, just responsible first to my constituents to whom I owe my sincere and unwavering fiduciary responsibility.
The censure is done and over with, water under the bridge rendered meaningless by the inclusion of false and unproven allegations.
Having never said it in the first place, I, for the record promise to never say to Ms. Summers or Ms. Hall, “I am going to shoot you in the head with my gun that has big bullets” or ask “What is your religion or age?”
I will continue to represent my constituents as well as the needs and best interests of the students, teachers and staff of Paso Robles Joint Unified School District.
As many of the speakers noted last night, I am a reasonable, ethical and honest person who doesn’t act in the manner described in the Censure Resolution. I will place my hope, trust and faith in God that this matter resolves itself according to God’s will.
I will adhere to the Rotary Four-Way Test:
Is it the Truth?
Is it Fair to all concerned?
Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
Is it Beneficial to all concerned?
For now, I will forward the matter to the fair and impartial experts noted above. I will request that they come in to review our district’s private practices to see if any of these private practices should be brought to light. If we have done nothing wrong, we should welcome the exposure that will help all of us to move forward.