Anthony Breznican: Hart’s Messina wrong man for leadership role

By Signal Contributor

Last update: Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Kindergarten moms. The only thing more emotional and clingy are Kindergarten dads.

Even weeks after the start of school, you can still see them lingering at the schoolyard gate. It’s hard to let the little ones venture off into the world. The grown-ups know the joys that await, but they also foresee the cruelties.

This year, one of the new kindergarten parents stood out from the crowd. She’s always in brightly colored long-sleeve dresses, and a hijab frames her face.

As I walked my own child past the group of kindergarten parents during the first week of school, I noticed this mom speaking in a Middle Eastern language to her little boy, clearly bracing his courage. Then she gently spun him around and helped him through the gate.

Whatever she said seemed to work. He trotted off toward his classmates without hesitation, his too-big Spider-Man book bag jumping up and down as he ran. Whatever courage she had she passed to him.

I thought again of this mom and her little boy when I saw on the Santa Clarita Community Forum on Facebook that a man named Joe Messina, who is the president of our William S. Hart Union High School District, had posted a bogus news story aimed at making Muslims seem horrible and hateful.

Mr. Messina runs a controversial talk radio show out of our area and has a long history of posting disturbing material of questionable origin. The website for his radio program is full of stories aimed at race-baiting, spewing contempt for gays, and scaremongering about American Muslims.

He most recently raised the ire of local parents when he posted an openly false news story about a Mosque in Texas that allegedly refused to help flood refugees during the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.

In this fictional story, an Imam named “Aswat Turads” is quoted saying “we are forbidden from helping infidels.” (In sharing this hoax, Mr. Messina conveniently ignored the stories about real mosques in the Houston area who opened their doors to rescue and shelter their neighbors, regardless of their faiths.)

The fake story was from a site called TheLastLineOfDefense.Org, which is like The Onion, creating outlandish, utterly bogus stories that play off people’s prejudices and fears. The website includes this disclaimer, identifying itself as “a satirical publication that may sometimes appear to be telling the truth. We assure you that’s not the case. We present fiction as fact and our sources don’t actually exist.”

Yet Joe Messina does exist. And more parents need to become aware of him and his history.

As a radio show host, he is free to share whatever nonsense he likes, even horrible, hateful material. That’s protected by the First Amendment.

But he is the president of our biggest public school board, and that comes with responsibilities about how you conduct yourself in public. Everything he does, everywhere he goes, he stands as a representative of our school district.

He is also chairman of the Republican Party of the 38th Assembly District. Our state representatives may want to reconsider aligning with a man who either disseminates lies that are deliberately meant to foment hate … or is too dim to know when he’s being obviously hoaxed.

Mr. Messina has his job with the Hart district for a simple reason: No one ran against him in the last election. It’s up to people of goodwill and decency to make sure that doesn’t happen again. An old maxim comes to mind: “All it takes for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing.”

Yes, there is a problem in the world with radical Muslim extremists. No question. But most Muslim-Americans I know are outraged by those who twist the tenets of their faith and undertake violence, just as those of us who are Christian feel disgust for people like Mr. Messina, who shield their holier-than-thou bigotry behind the cross or weaponize the Bible against those they dislike.

The parents and students in the William S. Hart district deserve a school board president who doesn’t spend his day demonizing minorities for ratings. A handful of parents have previously raised concerns about Mr. Messina’s behaviors, but the district has taken no action to censure or demand even an apology from him about his inflammatory remarks.

His supporters excuse him as a “shock jock” and claim his history of sharing fake news has no bearing on the district. Shock jock, really? Was Father Coughlin a “shock jock” back in the 1930s when he was agitating hatred against Jews by quoting “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” a notorious forgery purporting to be plans for a Jewish takeover of the world. Fake news has always been used to foment prejudice.

It has been more than two weeks since parents first spotted this bogus mosque story on Mr. Messina’s webpage, and he has not yet apologized for it. Maybe he has gotten used to there being no consequences for what he says and does.

Among countless other disturbing acts, he wrote a self-published book describing gays as “abominations,” posted a meme comparing gay marriage to slavery and the Holocaust, and once posted a “Photoshopped” image of Hillary Clinton being marched to a gallows.

The president of the Hart district school board should be dedicated to the well-being of all students in the district, regardless of their faith or sexual orientation or skin color.

Instead, Mr. Messina’s presence sends the message that bullying, lying, and cruelty are not just acceptable, but a means to power. And if you’re loud enough and nasty enough, you can get away with it for a long time.

That little Muslim kindergartner with the Spider-Man backpack has seven years before he graduates into the William S. Hart High School District.

Hopefully, by the time youngster gets there, it won’t be overseen by someone who posts lies to trick people into hating him.

Anthony Breznican is a Santa Clarita Valley resident.

 

Click here to post a comment

Anthony Breznican: Hart’s Messina wrong man for leadership role

Kindergarten moms. The only thing more emotional and clingy are Kindergarten dads.

Even weeks after the start of school, you can still see them lingering at the schoolyard gate. It’s hard to let the little ones venture off into the world. The grown-ups know the joys that await, but they also foresee the cruelties.

This year, one of the new kindergarten parents stood out from the crowd. She’s always in brightly colored long-sleeve dresses, and a hijab frames her face.

As I walked my own child past the group of kindergarten parents during the first week of school, I noticed this mom speaking in a Middle Eastern language to her little boy, clearly bracing his courage. Then she gently spun him around and helped him through the gate.

Whatever she said seemed to work. He trotted off toward his classmates without hesitation, his too-big Spider-Man book bag jumping up and down as he ran. Whatever courage she had she passed to him.

I thought again of this mom and her little boy when I saw on the Santa Clarita Community Forum on Facebook that a man named Joe Messina, who is the president of our William S. Hart Union High School District, had posted a bogus news story aimed at making Muslims seem horrible and hateful.

Mr. Messina runs a controversial talk radio show out of our area and has a long history of posting disturbing material of questionable origin. The website for his radio program is full of stories aimed at race-baiting, spewing contempt for gays, and scaremongering about American Muslims.

He most recently raised the ire of local parents when he posted an openly false news story about a Mosque in Texas that allegedly refused to help flood refugees during the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.

In this fictional story, an Imam named “Aswat Turads” is quoted saying “we are forbidden from helping infidels.” (In sharing this hoax, Mr. Messina conveniently ignored the stories about real mosques in the Houston area who opened their doors to rescue and shelter their neighbors, regardless of their faiths.)

The fake story was from a site called TheLastLineOfDefense.Org, which is like The Onion, creating outlandish, utterly bogus stories that play off people’s prejudices and fears. The website includes this disclaimer, identifying itself as “a satirical publication that may sometimes appear to be telling the truth. We assure you that’s not the case. We present fiction as fact and our sources don’t actually exist.”

Yet Joe Messina does exist. And more parents need to become aware of him and his history.

As a radio show host, he is free to share whatever nonsense he likes, even horrible, hateful material. That’s protected by the First Amendment.

But he is the president of our biggest public school board, and that comes with responsibilities about how you conduct yourself in public. Everything he does, everywhere he goes, he stands as a representative of our school district.

He is also chairman of the Republican Party of the 38th Assembly District. Our state representatives may want to reconsider aligning with a man who either disseminates lies that are deliberately meant to foment hate … or is too dim to know when he’s being obviously hoaxed.

Mr. Messina has his job with the Hart district for a simple reason: No one ran against him in the last election. It’s up to people of goodwill and decency to make sure that doesn’t happen again. An old maxim comes to mind: “All it takes for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing.”

Yes, there is a problem in the world with radical Muslim extremists. No question. But most Muslim-Americans I know are outraged by those who twist the tenets of their faith and undertake violence, just as those of us who are Christian feel disgust for people like Mr. Messina, who shield their holier-than-thou bigotry behind the cross or weaponize the Bible against those they dislike.

The parents and students in the William S. Hart district deserve a school board president who doesn’t spend his day demonizing minorities for ratings. A handful of parents have previously raised concerns about Mr. Messina’s behaviors, but the district has taken no action to censure or demand even an apology from him about his inflammatory remarks.

His supporters excuse him as a “shock jock” and claim his history of sharing fake news has no bearing on the district. Shock jock, really? Was Father Coughlin a “shock jock” back in the 1930s when he was agitating hatred against Jews by quoting “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” a notorious forgery purporting to be plans for a Jewish takeover of the world. Fake news has always been used to foment prejudice.

It has been more than two weeks since parents first spotted this bogus mosque story on Mr. Messina’s webpage, and he has not yet apologized for it. Maybe he has gotten used to there being no consequences for what he says and does.

Among countless other disturbing acts, he wrote a self-published book describing gays as “abominations,” posted a meme comparing gay marriage to slavery and the Holocaust, and once posted a “Photoshopped” image of Hillary Clinton being marched to a gallows.

The president of the Hart district school board should be dedicated to the well-being of all students in the district, regardless of their faith or sexual orientation or skin color.

Instead, Mr. Messina’s presence sends the message that bullying, lying, and cruelty are not just acceptable, but a means to power. And if you’re loud enough and nasty enough, you can get away with it for a long time.

That little Muslim kindergartner with the Spider-Man backpack has seven years before he graduates into the William S. Hart High School District.

Hopefully, by the time youngster gets there, it won’t be overseen by someone who posts lies to trick people into hating him.

Anthony Breznican is a Santa Clarita Valley resident.

 

About the author

Signal Contributor

Signal Contributor

  • Brian Baker

    “A handful of parents have previously raised concerns about Mr. Messina’s behaviors, but the district has taken no action to censure or demand even an apology from him about his inflammatory remarks.”

    Nor should they. This may come as a surprise to you, kid, but what a citizen says or does on his own time, as long as it’s legal, can’t be sanctioned by any governmental agency. It’s called the First Amendment. It’s not subject to the district’s approval or disapproval.

    I happen to agree that a lot of what Messina says makes no sense, but if that were some kind of threshold, I can’t think of anybody in the Dem/socialist party who would be qualified to hold public office.

    • Sue Sylwester-Rice

      The First Amendment guarantees all of us freedom of speech, but not freedom from consequences.

      So of course the Hart School District can and should censure and demand an apology from Joe Messina for every false and prejudiced thing he states publicly in some fashion. The First Amendment gives Joe Messina the freedom to write and say and re-post offensive and false ideas. The First Amendment does not shield Joe Messina from consequences after he embarrasses the school district he is serving when making his divisive worldview known publicly.

      Perhaps the district cannot legally remove Messina from his elected position, but I would love to know if they’ve even tried. Can they? If not, the district employees and Messina’s fellow school board members can certainly use each and every public meeting to denounce whatever the latest fabrication or bullying statements Messina has posted since the prior meeting. They could detail his transgressions one by one. Public scolding can be very useful. But it would require bravery.

      In fact, come to think of it, the Hart School District asks all students to exhibit self-control on social media, and they ask parents and friends to talk to online bullies about stopping those behaviors. Messina himself has sat through long and detailed presentations on responsible social media use. His name and title actually appear on these presentations. And that is why his horrific hypocrisy must be rebuked. It needs to stop. Otherwise, why would any of the 20,000+ district students listen to a single thing the adults in charge say to them about responsible online behavior?

      • lois eisenberg

        BINGO ***

      • Brian Baker

        Wrong. If that board tries to do anything, that’s the action of a government body reacting to, and taking action against, a person for exercising their right to express an opinion, which is EXACTLY what the First Amendment prohibits. You don’t understand the Constitution at all, do you?

        In fact, your discussion about the students’ use of social media is another aspect of the same issue. The school board has absolutely NO authority over what students do on their own time, including how they use social media. Which is why the board “asks all students” (as you put it) to be nice on social media; they have no power to MANDATE that students do anything outside of school grounds and hours. The First Amendment prohibits it.

        I think that Bernie Sanders is a Trotskyite communist, and his ideas and policies are insane, but that doesn’t mean I think he should be silenced, or booted from the Senate. He was duly and properly elected to the Senate by his constituents, as crazy as that seems, and there’s nothing anybody can do about it.

        I think every Dem/socialist in Sacramento, along with about two-thirds of the GOPers, are nuts. But that doesn’t bar them from office.

        That pesky First Amendment again.

        • Anthony Breznican

          We disagree about whether his behavior is cause for his removal, and that’s fine. Really, that’s a secondary issue. Next year we’ll have a chance to vote, and the more important thing is that people in the district know what he’s been doing. (Since I’ve had my say with the column, I will bow out of the conversation to let it run its course.)

          • Brian Baker

            “Really, that’s a secondary issue.”

            No it’s not. That’s absolutely central to the whole issue, and your absurd column.

          • Anthony Breznican

            Hardly. It’s one line.

          • Brian Baker

            It’s “one line” that’s central to your entire thesis, snowflake.

          • Jim de Bree

            Last night I had dinner with a retired federal judge whose politics are far to the left of center. (He is a Bernie supporter.) I decided to ask him about the situation. Brian’s explanation of the law is correct. There are different standards for (I) elected officials, (ii) people employed by the government or a governmental unit like a school district and (iii) for those employed by non-governmental entities.

            First, an elected official can say anything he wants to. The remedy is to either vote him out of office or start a recall.

            Other governmental employees can say anything they want, as long as they do not state it in the workplace or in their capacity as a government employee.

            Employers who are not governmental entities can prescribe whatever policies they want.

            I believe that Mr. Messina falls into the first category since he is an elected member of the Hart School District’s Board of Directors. If his Presidency of the school district is a board appointed position, then he falls into the second category and the School board cannot remove him unless his objectionable speech was made in the workplace or in his capacity as District President. I suspect that he is very careful to ensure that he separates his spoken views from his official capacity as President of the school district.

          • Anthony Breznican

            Maybe it is too difficult to remove him. But where in this column does the district firing him become the primary focus? Or is mentioned whatsoever? (Here in the comments I got dragged into that morass by Brian.) But that has become a straw man distraction.

            And yes, it probably is too hard for the district to oust him. It certainly was when Stephen Winkler was caught posting pro-Nazi comments in a similar situation.

            The point of this whole column is to urge the people of the Hart district to take a stand over Mr. Messina. He is not the only one with freedom of speech.

            The other members of the board could demand he apologize. They have the right to speak up, too. And they haven’t.

            The column notes he has not been asked to apologize. And he has not been censured, or denounced in other words, which is also perfectly within the rights of the administrators and other board members.

            It’s also up to the parents, teachers, and students to speak up – but they can’t do that if they aren’t aware of Messina’s hateful actions. So, this column exists to inform them. Now, as I said, it’s in their hands.

            I also pointed out he only has this seat because he ran unopposed. In 2018, the voters of his district have an important choice to make.

            So I have no doubt your judge friend is correct, Jim. But that doesn’t change the point of this column.

          • KAMGlosta

            God only knows what YOU are doing on your private time…

        • Jim de Bree

          Brian-I am now consulting for my former employer and I had to take an on-line harassment class last month. In that class there were a number of case studies involving employees who made comments about ethnicity or religion in the work place and in social media. Both were causes for discipline, including potential loss of employment. The course went out of its way to say that comments made in social media can be construed by employees as creating a hostile work environment, particularly if made by someone who works in a supervisory capacity.

          The company is a privately held multi-national company that employs over 60,000 people in the United States.

          After 9/11, a partner in our Chicago office circulated an e-mail about how we have to” get even” with those “towel heads.” He was let go by the firm for doing so.

          The courses I have been required to take effectively say is that employees don’t have a Constitutional right to free speech or freedom of expression at work. The Constitution’s right to free speech only applies when the government is trying to restrict it. So employers are generally free to restrict employee speech, at least while they are at work.

          The American Bar Association has written extensively about this subject, See https://www.americanbar.org/publications/insights_on_law_andsociety/15/winter-2015/chill-around-the-water-cooler.html

          I am told that the law is still evolving in the area of comments made on social media. There are court cases protecting an employee’s right to free speech outside the workplace, but the problem is that the commentary can be so widely read by employees that it creates a de facto hostile workplace environment.

          You raise an interesting point if the employee happens to work for the government whether the government is precluded from sanctioning speech that creates a hostile work environment. It seems as though the issue is whether the government is acting in its capacity as the government where it cannot restrict free speech or whether it is acting in its capacity as an employer where it is required to prevent a hostile work environment.

          • Brian Baker

            Jim, the private sector is irrelevant to this issue. The private sector has many rights that the government doesn’t.

            The First Amendment applies SPECIFICALLY to governmental action. The First Amendment is a constraint upon governmental action, and is limited to being applicable to what the government can do.

            “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech…”

            The private sector can do whatever the heck they want.

          • Sue Sylwester-Rice

            So I’ll just reiterate my point, which is that if the school district cannot fire a board member, Joe Messina, for publicly acting in ways that are embarrassing to the district, or for saying things that are harmful to students and that create hostile environments for minority populations among them, I feel confident district personnel are free to tell Messina as much during meetings or in presentations to the students. They should publicly and repeatedly reassure students and parents that Messina represents his personal views and not those of the district. I know the people working with Messina on school issues are not required to remain silent because the First Amendment would protect their criticism of him. They are allowed to speak up, and I am suggesting they vigorously start doing so for the sake of the students and the reputation of the school district.

          • Sue Sylwester-Rice

            Also, I never said the school district mandates or should mandate what students post on social media outside of school hours; I said they ASK students to be exhibit self control online. The majority of ‘discipline’ problems on our school campuses that require intervention (75-90%?) involve texting or social media posts and actions that result from them. Those problems spill directly into school hours when students should be learning. Ask any principal, counselor or police officer liaison to Hart district schools. And that’s why the district is trying so hard to engage with students, to encourage them to be thoughtful in what they put online. It’s still called civil discourse. That’s why Messina’s offensive opinions and fake news posts online intersect so badly with his position with schools. So why not encourage Messina to clean up his act online? If we were taking the school district’s advice, we would ask Messina’s family to speak to him. Then we would ask his friends. Some of them might ask his church pastor (if he attends one) to speak to him about how his actions are impacting his community. We would try to reach him and get through to him. That’s what this is about.

          • Brian Baker

            “Also, I never said the school district mandates or should mandate what students post on social media outside of school hours.”

            I didn’t say you did, did I? I quoted you accurately and directly.

            “So why not encourage Messina to clean up his act online?”

            You’re perfectly free to so do! But the board isn’t. Why is that so hard for leftists to understand?

            YOU can write comments on Facebook, send letters to the editor, send Messina letters, call into his radio show, and curse his name to the high heavens. You can do whatever you like, as long as you don’t slander, libel, or physically attack him.

            But sadly for you and Breznican, that pesky First Amendment prohibits the school board from doing a thing.

          • Brian Baker

            :… that if the school district cannot fire a board member…”. They can’t.

            “I feel confident district personnel are free to tell Messina as much during meetings or in presentations to the students”… And you’re wrong again. That’s not legitimate board business, and violates the law just as much as a “firing” or “censure”.

            Now, if Messina were to air such views in the course of a public meeting, that would be different. But if he were to try to do that, he’d be simply ruled out of order. And that’s as far as the board can go. I recommend you read Robert’s Rules of Order.

            Let’s say Joe Skinhead, or Jane Antifa, is elected to the board. Is there anything the board can do about that? Here’s the answer: no.

            That’s the way it is. And rightfully so.

          • Brian Baker

            In fact, I’m going to expand on that. Let’s say Messina — or Joe Skinhead or Jane Antifa — is sitting in a board meeting, and expresses his or her opinion on a subject. Even if it’s something hideously racist, the other board members are absolutely free to offer their own opposing opinions, but they’re NOT free to censure the other member, or take any official action against that board member.

            Political views cannot be penalized. Period. That’s black-letter law, and crystal clear under the First Amendment.

    • Anthony Breznican

      Educators lose their jobs all the time because of speech that is perfectly legal but considered unprofessional or unseemly for their work around children or teens.

      This teacher was fired for a Facebook post telling black people to “Go back to Africa.”
      http://www.bet.com/news/national/2017/09/21/white-teacher-fired-after-facebook-post-saying-black-people-shou.html

      And consider the teacher who gets fired over modeling years before for Playboy.

      There are many stories like this. I’d say modeling topless is nowhere near as disturbing as someone who spends his career hyping hatred against innocent people.

      https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/usanow/2013/10/17/playboy-model-teach-cristy-nicole-deweese/3001085/

      • Brian Baker

        Kid, just because things happen doesn’t make them right, or legal. Or is that distinction too complicated for you to understand?

        • Anthony Breznican

          It protects all speech, except that which hurts people: like inciting violence, yelling fire in a crowded place, defamation, and certain kinds of unspeakable por nography.

          “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

          Remember, the First Amendment only says the government cannot suppress speech. It doesn’t say employers can’t remove people who behave in a way unbecoming of their jobs for disgracing their position. That’s what Joe Messina has done. He is harming the students and the district with these fabrications.

          • Brian Baker

            LOL!

            Kid! A person in an elected position isn’t “employed” by that governmental agency! His “employers” are the peeps!

            Man oh man… you really are clueless, aren’t you?

          • Anthony Breznican

            Like Stephen Winkler? This has precedent, Brian. Although, yes, he was removed via technicality, although clearly the board wanted him gone because of his horrible personal activities. I think the Hart board should demand an apology from Messina, but I am more in favor of the voters being aware and removing him from his position next year.

            http://abc7.com/archive/9144032/

          • Brian Baker

            Kid… do you even READ your own links?

            “Board members finally determined that Winkler does not live in the district as legally required and they voted to remove him.”
            Gooooooooooood grief.

          • Anthony Breznican

            I don’t think you read my comment closely.

          • Brian Baker

            Don’t kid yourself. What you dismiss as a “technicality” goes directly to my point. That board was utterly powerless to do ANYTHING about the guy’s expressed views. Period.

            And because of that “technicality” he was improperly elected to that board in the first place. Which meant that he should have been removed under any circumstances anyway.

            Your tap-dancing is meaningless, kid. As usual.

          • Gary Bierend

            No Brian, you didn’t read his post closely, the version YOU present doesn’t fit the narrative! Keep reading Anthony’s version until you agree with it!

            Is this guy a loon or what?

          • Brian Baker

            Hahahahaha!

            You’re right, Gary. I’m just not reading it “right”. I’ll keep practicing.

          • Gil Mertz

            No one does.

          • Sue Sylwester-Rice

            Can I ask why you continually use “kid” to refer to another adult? It’s disrespectful because it’s a false narrative. Anthony Breznican is an adult man. I’m assuming you’re doing it to rhetorically place yourself in a position of authority over the other person in the discussion. But honestly, because you’re doing it repeatedly, it sounds forced and over-the-top.

          • Brian Baker

            You can ask, and assume, all you like. Knock yourself out.

          • Gary Bierend

            Again, it’s a pattern with him, once you spot it you can’t un-see it!

            Additionally, did you notice how he accused me of being obsessed with him when it was he that engaged me? Just more of his projection and more Comedy Gold!®

          • Gary Bierend

            Check out Breznican’s comments at this link, then get back to me about respectful online behavior:

            https://signalscv.com/2017/04/think-scv-residents-will-voice-measure-h-funds-spent/

            Breznican is beneath contempt.

          • Anthony Breznican

            Ha ha, why are all your comments deleted, “Gary”?

          • Gary Bierend

            Not that the reason matters, because it doesn’t change your response. You have said in the past that you get an email notification when someone posts to you. So do I. I have all the posts from that thread saved, and so do you. Not surprising that you wouldn’t share those “colorful” comments, is it Anthony?

            So, let’s play a little game, I’ll post my very first post to you, and your response, you tell everyone why you felt your response was justified, fair enough? Here goes:

            Gary Bierend:

            “Brezican: “Measure H is a great program …”
            Please enlighten me as to how you arrived at that? The tax doesn’t even go into effect until July 1. Perhaps you meant to say “I hope Measure H turns out to be a great program…”

            Brezican: “LOL, the more you write the less you say!”
            Projection perhaps?”

            Anthony Breznican’s reply:

            “Are you dim? Obviously I mean it sounds like a terrific program, which is why an overwhelming majority of voters cast ballots in favor of it.

            Funny how you tantrum-throwers are complaining about it before it’s even implemented, but no one is allowed to say they support it. Nice logic! LOL”

            “dim”? “tantrum-thrower”? I challenged you then and I challenge you now to give an example of the “tantrum” you reference. As for the “dim” comment, well, insults like that roll off me, I just consider the source.

            OK, your turn!

            (Ms Rice, I hope you’re paying attention, this is the guy your defending)

          • Ron Bischof

            Careful, Gary!

            Quoting Mr. Breznican’s public words back to him may provoke hysteria. It’s happened before, eh?

          • Gary Bierend

            Indeed. As evidenced in our very first exchange, AB cannot stand to have anything he produces challenged, regardless of how demonstrably false and misleading it may be. That having been said, it is great entertainment!

            Comedy Gold!®

            By the way, since his last was the “Post Nonsense” phase of the cycle, and my post was the begining of the “Get Owned” cycle, how long do you suppose it will be before he decides to “Claim Victory!”?

          • Ron Bischof

            Soon, soon.

            AB can’t resist the temptation to have the last word even after a thread flounce.

            No doubt you’ll soon join the his blocked list honor roll. 😀

          • Gary Bierend

            Again, it’s a pattern with him, once you spot it you can’t un-see it!

            Additionally, did you notice how he accused me of being obsessed with him when it was he that engaged me? Just more of his projection and more Comedy Gold!®

          • Anthony Breznican

            You have a weird obsessive thing with me that I’m not going to indulge. No matter the topic, you show up with some hot-headed personal grudge that I simply don’t share.

            As I look through that thread, It’s clear you were googling my work, my personal life. All in a thin-skinned effort to intimidate … in a discussion about a homelessness bill. It’s ugly and childish. I guess you boys aren’t used to anyone pushing back against your little clique, so you promptly sink to the lowest depths imaginable.

            This may come as a shock, but I don’t save months old messages from random people on comment threads. I just find it telling that all your comments were “disappeared” from the actual thread before you reposted it. Must be something there you don’t want people to see. (Nothing that I wrote bothers me, by the way. I give back the tone I receive.)

            Anyway, your creepy obsessiveness has reached the point where I won’t be engaging with you any further. You do post a lot of falsehoods, so I probably won’t block you. I’ll just correct you when need be with the usual facts and figures.

            But I’m not going to dance with you anymore, going back and forth like this. I’m here to discuss issues, not validate trolls.

            (PS – I hope somebody who loves you urges you to get mental help, because your behavior isn’t healthy.)

          • Ron Bischof

            And… there it is! What a predictable paranoiac and hysterical reaction when your quotes are read back to you verbatim, Mr. Breznican. That’s the beauty of the written word. You can’t deny what you wrote with your now well known sophistry.

            It’s a reprise of the plaintive whine of victimization displayed in comments here:

            https://signalscv.com/2017/06/sally-white-yes-government-regulations-inevitable/

            “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

            John Adams, US diplomat & politician (1735 – 1826), ‘Argument in Defense of the Soldiers in the Boston Massacre Trials,’ December 1770

          • Gary Bierend

            The pattern repeats: Post Nonsense, Get Owned, Claim Victory!. He’s in a loop he can’t escape!

          • Brian Baker

            Groundhog Day.

          • Gary Bierend

            A good comparison, with a singular exception; the main character here never learns, never grows and as a result is never free from the endless repetition.

          • Brian Baker

            Excellent points! I stand corrected.

          • Gary Bierend

            Oh man, I remember that thread! That was the one where he repeatedly called you a liar, yet produced ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE! He got absolutely hysterical, which just made the whole thing that much funnier!

            Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

          • Ron Bischof

            Yes, AB’s projections were just so precious! I laughed again reading the hysterical posts.

            Despite his paranoia, months later the only injury he’s suffered are multiple very public refutations of political hit pieces.

          • Gary Bierend

            Of course you won’t “indulge me” because you completely forgot that Disqus sends a record of posts. Nothing scares you more than facts, and in this case (as every other case) the facts are against you.

            Your flaccid attempt at spin, accusing me of googling you, is hysterical. The post I shared was our very first exchange, your response was a personal insult. I defy you to point to a single bit of your personal information in there.

            What a phony. I hope Ms. Rice and the other people that you conned into signing your Acosta/Wilk libel are taking note. Your reputation in in the toilet, but they don’t have to follow you down there.

            As for your “I won’t be engaging with you any further” nonsense, you know that’s baloney. You may want to “Cowboy Up”, but you just don’t have it in you.

          • Brian Baker

            “That’s what Joe Messina has done. He is harming the students and the district with these fabrications.”

            That’s your OPINION, and it’s ONLY an opinion. Clearly, a lot of people don’t agree with you, or he wouldn’t have been able to get elected.

            And at the next election, if other people share your OPINION, he won’t be re-elected. Right? See how it works?

  • Kevin Hannant

    Hate is not covered by the First Amendment.

    • Brian Baker

      Hate is EXACTLY what’s covered by the First Amendment. Popular speech doesn’t require protection.

    • Brian Richards

      You could not be more wrong. If I said I hated you or your dog or your family or your religion or your heritage, what could you do about it?

  • KAMGlosta

    Apparently he does a good job as President. Maybe you shouldn’t worry about what is being said on a radio show or website and focus on achievements of the Board.

    He has a right to his opinion. IF his opinion actually AFFECTS his position on the board, then you have a valid claim.

    It doesn’t. You’re just whining.

    • Anthony Breznican

      Parents and students disagree. We’ll see come next election.

      Joe Messina will continue to behave how he has in the past. Voters will get their chance to speak then.

  • KAMGlosta

    He’s not harming any students. He’s apparently only hurting your feelings because you don’t like what he says or posts when NOT sitting on the board.

    Suck it up buttercup. He’s obviously doing a good job.

  • Erin Kotecki Vest

    The board can absolutely remove or censure Messina. It’s in their bylaws. Anything he does in public is considered representing the Hart district.

    And he has absolutely harassed and harmed students. He had the nerve to claim he knows more than doctors, therapists, and psychiatrists arguing against hormone blockers and hormones for transgender students. Following Messina’s line of thinking students could DIE.

    • Brian Baker

      Bud, the First Amendment trumps any by-laws. So your “argument” is silly, moot, pointless, and ignorant.

      • Gary Bierend

        Erin Kotecki Vest: “Anything he does in public is considered representing the Hart district.”

        I checked the Hart District Bylaws, and was unable to find evidence of this, can you provide some more information, a link perhaps? The link below was where I checked, do you have a different source? Thanks.

        http://www.gamutonline.net/district/whart/

        • Brian Baker

          Exactly, Gary. There’s nothing in the by-laws such as Vest states. It’s non-existent… because it exceeds the Board’s power and authority.

          • Erin Kotecki Vest

            enjoy

          • Erin Kotecki Vest

            and of course we have this little gem which seems to describe Messina fairly well

            The Governing Board recognizes the harmful effects of bullying on student learning and school attendance and desires to provide safe school environments that protect students from physical and emotional harm. District employees shall establish student safety as a high priority and shall not tolerate bullying of any student.

            No individual or group shall, through physical, written, verbal, or other means, harass, sexually harass, threaten, intimidate, retaliate, cyberbully, cause bodily injury to, or commit hate violence against any student or school personnel.

            (cf. 5131 – Conduct)

            (cf. 5136 – Gangs)

            (cf. 5145.3 – Nondiscrimination/Harassment)

            (cf. 5145.7 – Sexual Harassment)

            (cf. 5145.9 – Hate-Motivated Behavior)

            Cyberbullying includes the creation or transmission of harassing communications, direct threats, or other harmful texts, sounds, or images on the Internet, social media, or other technologies using a telephone, computer, or any wireless communication device. Cyberbullying also includes breaking into another person’s electronic account and assuming that person’s identity in order to damage that person’s reputation.

            (cf. 5145.2 – Freedom of Speech/Expression)

            Strategies for addressing bullying in District schools shall be developed with involvement of key stakeholders, including students, parents/guardians, and staff, and may be incorporated into the comprehensive safety plan, the local control and accountability plan, and other applicable District and school plans.

            (cf. 0420 – School Plans/Site Councils)

            (cf. 0450 – Comprehensive Safety Plan)

            (cf. 0460 – Local Control and Accountability Plan)

            (cf. 1220 – Citizen Advisory Committees)

            (cf. 1400 – Relations Between Other Governmental Agencies and the Schools)

            (cf. 6020 – Parent Involvement)

            Bullying Prevention

            To the extent possible, District schools shall focus on the prevention of bullying by establishing clear rules for student conduct and implementing strategies to promote a positive, collaborative school climate. Students shall be informed, through student handbooks and other appropriate means, of District and school rules related to bullying, mechanisms available for reporting incidents or threats, and the consequences for engaging in bullying.

            (cf. 5137 – Positive School Climate)

            As appropriate, the District shall provide students with instruction, in the classroom or other educational settings, that promotes effective communication and conflict resolution skills, social skills, character/values education, respect for cultural and individual differences, self-esteem development, assertiveness skills, and appropriate online behavior.

            (cf. 6142.8 – Comprehensive Health Education)

            (cf. 6142.94 – History-Social Science Instruction)

            (cf. 6163.4 – Student Use of Technology)

            Staff shall receive related professional development, including information about early warning signs of harassing/intimidating behaviors and effective response.

            (cf. 4131 – Staff Development)

            (cf. 4231 – Staff Development)

            (cf. 4331 – Staff Development)

            Intervention

            Students are encouraged to notify school staff when they are being bullied or suspect that another student is being victimized. In addition, the Superintendent or designee shall develop means for students to report threats or incidents confidentially and anonymously.

            School staff who witness an act of bullying shall immediately intervene to stop the incident when it is safe to do so. (Education Code 234.1)

            When appropriate based on the severity or pervasiveness of the bullying, the Superintendent or designee shall notify the parents/guardians of victims and perpetrators and may contact law enforcement.

            The Superintendent, principal, or principal’s designee may refer a victim, witness, perpetrator, or other student affected by an act of bullying to a school counselor, school psychologist, social worker, child welfare attendance personnel, school nurse, or other school support service personnel for case management, counseling, and/or participation in a restorative justice program as appropriate. (Education Code 48900.9)

            (cf. 6164.2 – Guidance/Counseling Services)

            Reporting and Filing of Complaints

            Any student, parent/guardian, or other individual who believes that a student has been subjected to bullying or who has witnessed bullying may report the incident to a teacher, the principal, compliance officer, or any other available school employee. Within one business day of receiving such a report, a staff member shall notify the principal or designee of the report, whether or not a uniform complaint is filed. In addition, any school employee who observes an incident of bullying involving a student shall, within one business day, report his/her observation to the principal or a District compliance officer, whether or not the alleged victim files a complaint.

            Within two business days of receiving a report of bullying, the principal shall notify the District compliance officer identified in AR 1312.3 – Uniform Complaint Procedures.

            (cf. 1312.3 – Uniform Complaint Procedures)

            When the circumstances involve cyberbullying, individuals with information about the activity shall be encouraged to save and print any electronic or digital messages that they feel constitute cyberbullying and to notify a teacher, the principal, or other employee so that the matter may be investigated.

            When a report of bullying is submitted, the principal or a District compliance officer shall inform the student or parent/guardian of the right to file a formal written complaint in accordance with AR 1312.3. The student who is the alleged victim of the bullying shall be given an opportunity to describe the incident, identify witnesses who may have relevant information, and provide other evidence of bullying.

            Investigation and Resolution of Complaints

            Any complaint of bullying shall be investigated and, if determined to be discriminatory, resolved in accordance with law and the District’s uniform complaint procedures specified in AR 1312.3.

            If, during the investigation, it is determined that a complaint is about nondiscriminatory bullying, the principal or designee shall inform the complainant and shall take all necessary actions to resolve the complaint.

            Discipline

            Corrective actions for a student who commits an act of bullying of any type may include counseling, behavioral intervention and education, and, if the behavior is severe or pervasive as defined in Education Code 48900, may include suspension or expulsion in accordance with District policies and regulations.

            (cf. 5138 – Conflict Resolution/Peer Mediation)

            (cf. 5144 – Discipline)

            (cf. 5144.1 – Suspension and Expulsion/Due Process)

            (cf. 5144.2 – Suspension and Expulsion/Due Process (Students with Disabilities))

            (cf. 6159.4 – Behavioral Interventions for Special Education Students)

            Any employee who permits or engages in bullying or retaliation related to bullying shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.

            (cf. 4118 – Dismissal/Suspension/Disciplinary Action)

            (cf. 4119.21/4219.21/4319.21 – Professional Standards)

            (cf. 4218 – Dismissal/Suspension/Disciplinary Action)

            Legal References:

            EDUCATION CODE

            200-262.4 Prohibition of discrimination

            32282 Comprehensive safety plan

            32283.5 Bullying; online training

            35181 Governing board policy on responsibilities of students

            35291-35291.5 Rules

            48900-48925 Suspension or expulsion

            48985 Translation of notices

            52060-52077 Local control and accountability plan

            PENAL CODE

            422.55 Definition of hate crime

            647 Use of camera or other instrument to invade person’s privacy; misdemeanor

            647.7 Use of camera or other instrument to invade person’s privacy; punishment

            653.2 Electronic communication devices, threats to safety

            CODE OF REGULATIONS, TITLE 5

            4600-4687 Uniform complaint procedures

            UNITED STATES CODE, TITLE 47

            254 Universal service discounts (e-rate)

            CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS, TITLE 28

            35.107 Nondiscrimination on basis of disability; complaints

            CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS, TITLE 34

            104.7 Designation of responsible employee for Section 504

            106.8 Designation of responsible employee for Title IX

            110.25 Notification of nondiscrimination on the basis of age

            COURT DECISIONS

            Wynar v. Douglas County School District, (2013) 728 F.3d 1062

            J.C. v. Beverly Hills Unified School District, (2010) 711 F.Supp.2d 1094

            Lavine v. Blaine School District, (2002) 279 F.3d 719

            Management Resources:

            CSBA PUBLICATIONS

            Final Guidance: AB 1266, Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students, Privacy, Programs, Activities & Facilities, Legal Guidance, March 2014

            Providing a Safe, Nondiscriminatory School Environment for Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Students, Policy Brief, February 2014Addressing the Conditions of Children: Focus on Bullying, Governance Brief, December 2012

            Safe Schools: Strategies for Governing Boards to Ensure Student Success, 2011

            Building Healthy Communities: A School Leaders Guide to Collaboration and Community Engagement, 2009

            Cyberbullying: Policy Considerations for Boards, Policy Brief, July 2007

            Policy WILLIAM S. HART UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT

            adopted: February 3, 2016 Santa Clarita, California

        • Erin Kotecki Vest

          http://www.gamutonline.net/district/whart/DisplayPolicy/543851/9

          The Governing Board believes that its primary responsibility is to act in the best interests of every student in the district. The Board also has major commitments to parents/guardians, all members of the community, employees, the state of California, laws pertaining to public education, and established policies of the district. To maximize Board effectiveness and public confidence in district governance, Board members are expected to govern responsibly and hold themselves to the highest standards of ethical conduct.

          (cf. 9000 – Role of the Board)

          (cf. 9270 – Conflict of Interest)

          The Board expects its members to work with each other and the Superintendent to promote a high-quality education for each student. Each individual Board member shall:

          1. Keep learning and achievement for all students as the primary focus

          2. Value, support and advocate for public education

          (cf. 9010 – Public Statements)

          3. Recognize and respect differences of perspective and style on the Board and among staff, students, parents and the community

          4. Act with dignity, and understand the implications of demeanor and behavior

          5. Keep confidential matters confidential

          (cf. 9011 – Disclosure of Confidential/Privileged Information)

          6. Participate in professional development and commit the time and energy necessary to be an informed and effective leader

          (cf. 9240 – Board Development)

          7. Understand the distinctions between Board and staff roles, and refrain from performing management functions that are the responsibility of the Superintendent and staff

          (cf. 2110 – Superintendent Responsibilities and Duties)

          8. Understand that authority rests with the Board as a whole and not with individuals

          (cf. 9200 – Limits of Board Member Authority)

          Board members also shall assume collective responsibility for building unity and creating a positive organizational culture. To operate effectively, the Board shall have a unity of purpose and:

          1. Keep the district focused on learning and achievement for all students

          2. Communicate a common vision

          (cf. 0000 – Vision)

          (cf. 0100 – Philosophy)

          (cf. 0200 – Goals for the School District)

          3. Operate openly, with trust and integrity

          4. Govern in a dignified and professional manner, treating everyone with civility and respect

          5. Govern within Board-adopted policies and procedures

          (cf. 9310 – Board Policies)

          6. Take collective responsibility for the Board’s performance

          7. Periodically evaluate its own effectiveness

          (cf. 9400 – Board Self-Evaluation)

          8. Ensure opportunities for the diverse range of views in the community to inform Board deliberations

          (cf. 1220 – Citizen Advisory Committees)

          (cf. 9323 – Meeting Conduct)

          Legal Reference:

          EDUCATION CODE

          35010 Power of governing board to adopt rules for its own governance

          35160 Board authority to act in any manner not conflicting with law

          35164 Actions by majority vote

          GOVERNMENT CODE

          1090 Financial interest in contract

          1098 Disclosure of confidential information

          1125-1129 Incompatible activities

          54950-54963 The Ralph M. Brown Act

          87300-87313 Conflict of interest code

          Management Resources:

          CSBA PUBLICATIONS

          CSBA Professional Governance Standards, 2000

          Maximizing School Board Leadership: Boardsmanship, 1996

          WEB SITES

          CSBA: http://www.csba.org

          Bylaw WILLIAM S. HART UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT

          adopted: February 4, 2009 Santa Clarita, California

          http://www.gamutonline.net/district/whart/displayPolicy/195741/9

          The Governing Board desires to maintain the highest ethical standards and help ensure that decisions are made in the best interest of the District and the public. Accordingly, no Board member, District employee, or other person in a designated position shall participate in the making of any decision for the District when the decision will or may be affected by his/her financial, family, or other personal interest or consideration.

          Board members shall not engage in any employment or activity or hold any office which is inconsistent with, incompatible with, in conflict with, or inimical to the Board member’s duties as an officer of the District. (Government Code 1099, 1126)

          http://www.gamutonline.net/district/whart/displayPolicy/195389/1

          The Governing Board believes that all students can succeed regardless of race, gender, background or ability. School staff shall embody this philosophy in all district programs and activities.

          The district further believes that: (1) the central interest of schools is the learner, (2) learning is an active process, (3) our schools are responsible for each learner, (4) experiencing success is crucial to the learning process, (5) the qualities of teaching and learning are inextricably interwoven, (6) program improvement is a continuing process, (7) providing quality program education is a responsibility of our community, and (8) our community provides an essential resource to the educational program.

          In order to create the environment necessary for effective schools, the Board endorses a strategic plan which prescribes teaching and learning; respect, responsibility, and honesty; positive relationships; fairness and equality of opportunity for all; and a healthy, safe environment.

          The Superintendent or designee shall keep the Board fully informed regarding the district’s efforts to achieve annual and long term action plan goals.

          Policy WILLIAM S. HART UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT

          adopted: 08/11/93 Santa Clarita, California

          • Erin Kotecki Vest

            and…. http://www.gamutonline.net/district/whart/DisplayPolicy/136014/

            (a) Any board member or officer who breaches any of the responsibilities, obligations, or duties imposed upon them by Section 22251, 22252, or 22253 shall be personally liable to make restitution to the retirement fund for any losses to it resulting from each breach, and to restore any profits that have been made through use of assets of the fund and shall be subject to any other equitable or remedial relief the court may deem appropriate, including removal from the board.

            (b) No board member or officer shall be liable with respect to a breach of fiduciary duty under this part if the breach was committed before the board member or officer became one, or ceased to be one.

            (Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 634, Sec. 60.)

            Reference:

            Education Code 22251

            Education Code 22252

            Education Code 22253

          • Gary Bierend

            I read all of what you posted before, and found nothing about them removing or censuring the president as you suggest, then or now. The words “president”, censure” and “remove” (with the exception of the fiduciary responsibility section) don’t appear in anything you posted. Please point to the specific section that you believe makes your case. Thanks.

  • gala caprice cruz

    I know Joe Messina personally and he is a hard worker and true patriot. He represents conservative values and is concerned with the school curriculum and our upcoming generations of children. If the majority of parents paid attention to what is happening in their school systems instead of reading this fabricated media story by the Signal, perhaps they would be step up and become alerted with what is being taught or not taught to their children. Liberals just want to target Joe Messina to infiltrate our communities starting from local seats like the school board all the way up to the super majority they already have in Congress. Parents need to be involved and fight for parental rights to keep control of what their kids are exposed to.

    • Anthony Breznican

      Joe Messina is the one who posted the fabricated story — it claimed a mosque in Houston was banishing flood victims. That was a lie. No such mosque exists. No such imam exists.