Brian Baker: Liberty is under fire here in SCV

By Signal Contributor

Last update: Thursday, September 28th, 2017

Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that didn’t commit suicide.
– John Adams, 1814

Anthony Breznican’s column “Hart’s Messina wrong man for leadership role” in the Weekender edition of The Signal published Sept. 23 was a reminder to me of how dangerous leftism is to the liberties we take for granted in this country.

Breznican’s focus is on Joe Messina, currently president of the William S. Hart Union High School District, and on views Messina has expressed in social media (apparently Facebook) and a self-published book. Breznican claims both are “disturbing acts.”

The columnist complains that in spite of those stated views, “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 Breznican, 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.

From what little I know of him, I happen to agree that at least some 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.

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 his or her right to express an opinion. Government doing so is exactly what the First Amendment prohibits.

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

Well, that’s Breznican’s opinion, and it’s only an opinion. Clearly, a lot of people don’t agree with him or Messina wouldn’t have been able to be elected. And at the next election, if other people share Breznican’s opinion, Messina won’t be re-elected. Right?

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 or justify any form of governmental sanction.

That pesky First Amendment again.

Which brings us back to the threat to our liberties that I mentioned at the beginning of this column. Conservatives believe that the liberties guaranteed to us by the Constitution and Bill of Rights mean exactly what they say. I may not agree with you but I won’t try to silence you. Or, as attributed to Voltaire, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

But the left … ah, the left. If they don’t like what you say, they’ll try to destroy your life, demonize you, silence you, shun you, exile you from the public square, get you fired from your job, and outlaw what you can say.

If that’s not a threat to liberty, I don’t know what is.

Brian Baker is a Saugus resident.

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Brian Baker: Liberty is under fire here in SCV

Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that didn’t commit suicide.
– John Adams, 1814

Anthony Breznican’s column “Hart’s Messina wrong man for leadership role” in the Weekender edition of The Signal published Sept. 23 was a reminder to me of how dangerous leftism is to the liberties we take for granted in this country.

Breznican’s focus is on Joe Messina, currently president of the William S. Hart Union High School District, and on views Messina has expressed in social media (apparently Facebook) and a self-published book. Breznican claims both are “disturbing acts.”

The columnist complains that in spite of those stated views, “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 Breznican, 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.

From what little I know of him, I happen to agree that at least some 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.

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 his or her right to express an opinion. Government doing so is exactly what the First Amendment prohibits.

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

Well, that’s Breznican’s opinion, and it’s only an opinion. Clearly, a lot of people don’t agree with him or Messina wouldn’t have been able to be elected. And at the next election, if other people share Breznican’s opinion, Messina won’t be re-elected. Right?

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 or justify any form of governmental sanction.

That pesky First Amendment again.

Which brings us back to the threat to our liberties that I mentioned at the beginning of this column. Conservatives believe that the liberties guaranteed to us by the Constitution and Bill of Rights mean exactly what they say. I may not agree with you but I won’t try to silence you. Or, as attributed to Voltaire, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

But the left … ah, the left. If they don’t like what you say, they’ll try to destroy your life, demonize you, silence you, shun you, exile you from the public square, get you fired from your job, and outlaw what you can say.

If that’s not a threat to liberty, I don’t know what is.

Brian Baker is a Saugus resident.

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  • Gary Bierend

    Well said Brian.

    • Brian Baker

      Thanks, Gary.

      • Anthony Breznican
        • Gary Bierend

          “Claim Victory!”

          So predictable.

        • Phil Ellis

          Exactly, this attack on the First Amendment certainly needs the light of day. Great job, Brian

          • Anthony Breznican

            How is it an attack on the First Amendment to say that school board presidents shouldn’t be in the business of passing off false and racist news stories as true?

            A few years ago, Stephen Winkler was caught in the same uproar. Joe Messina is no different than him.

            This isn’t about the First Amendment. I have said 1,000 times that Messina is clearly free to post any trash he likes. This is about the personal integrity and character of the man in charge of our school district.

          • Phil Ellis

            Please show me where the First Amendment only permits the truth. Who gets to be the arbiter? I think I might like that job.

          • Anthony Breznican

            What part of “he is free to post any trash he likes” do you fail to understand? And parents and voters are free to be utterly disgusted by him and speak out about it.

            Finally, the other school board trustees have the same freedom of speech to call out Messina for his hate-speech.

            Yes, free speech all around. But you seem to want to silence criticism of him. You should try respecting the First Amendment.

          • Brian Richards

            “You should try respecting the First Amendment.”
            .
            As demonstrated on our college campuses? I thought you guys thought some speech was violent and was deserving of physical confrontation? It’s almost like you never had moms who taught you about sticks and stones. Poor lil snowflakes…

          • Anthony Breznican

            I don’t know who you are talking to. But coming from someone who just wrote that “America deserves to be destroyed,” I don’t really care either.

          • Phil Ellis

            Just where have I done anything to attempt to silence criticism. It looks like you are straying from the facts and creating your own “truth.”

          • Anthony Breznican

            You seem to have an issue with people criticizing Joe Messina. No?

            Fortunately, you don’t get a say in the matter. It’s about time this became such a hotly debated issue. The more people who know about his actions, the better.

          • Brian Baker

            God, kid, you’re incorrigible. You’re either in a state of deep denial, or running away from what you yourself actually wrote. I quoted you in this column:

            “Breznican complains that in spite of those stated views ‘the district has taken no action to censure or demand even an apology from him about his inflammatory remarks.'”

            YOU wanted the district to “take action”, which is exactly what they CAN’T do. Those are your words, kid.

            Yes, the other board members are also free to call Messina out…….. on their own time, just as he did, and NOT as board members, but as private citizens in an unofficial capacity. But that exactly NOT what YOU called for them to do. It’s right there in black and white.

          • Phil Ellis

            Two questions – (1) Where have I done anything to silence criticism of anyone? Your assumption that I want to silence criticism is crass, baseless and totally unsupportable. (2) Where have I shown any disrespect for the First Amendment?

          • Gil Mertz

            With your passion for politicians to have integrity, character, and honesty, why did we not hear from you ONE TIME during the Obama administration or during Clinton’s presidential run though filled with deception and corruption?

          • Anthony Breznican

            Because Barack Hussein Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton have integrity, character, and honesty.

            They were great, inspiring leaders. Still are.

          • Brian Baker

            And I absolutely support your right to make such absurd comments!

          • Anthony Breznican

            Just to be clear, you think it’s okay for a school board member to share fake news to drum up hate against minorities?

  • lois eisenberg

    If that’s not a threat to liberty, I don’t know what is.”
    This is what a threat to liberty is:
    When you have and alien President and Vice-President
    with their alien corrupt ilk destroying America’s Democracy **

    • Brian Baker

      Right on cue, the Comment Thread Parasite enters stage left.

      • lois eisenberg

        I resent your petty remark about parasite, which is one of your
        many petty remarks to me and other posters.
        Stop following in the steps of Trump who likes to demean and
        ridicule when confronted with the truth and actual facts.
        If you want to counter opinions do so without the pettiness.

        • Brian Baker

          Well, boo-hoo.

          Try to stay on topic, try a little relevance, and maybe you won’t earn the “petty remarks”.

          • lois eisenberg

            BOO-HOO right back at you KID.
            Right on cue to be petty when not liking an off topic post.
            Here’s one for you:
            Trump gives himself high marks, when actually Puerto Rico
            is desperately in need of help, while he spouts out that the
            NFL Football players are SOB and should be fired while on
            National TV. GREAT LEADERSHIP while Puerto Rico is
            crying for help due his negligence.

          • Brian Baker

            Hahahahahahaha!

            Proving my point about your perpetual irrelevancy, and being the Comment Thread Parasite.

          • lois eisenberg

            Hahahahahahaha!
            Thanks for proving my point about being petty, KID
            Hahahahahahaha! Off Topic, off topic
            “Trump aides sell tax plan with Pinocchio-laden claims”
            What a decimating and deplorable tax plan, KID ***

          • lois eisenberg

            Pastor Hegg has a great opinion column today.
            A must read ***

          • Ron Bischof

            You were top of mind when I made a comment on Mr. Hegg’s column, Ms. Eisenberg.

        • Sue Sylwester-Rice

          Thank you, Lois. I’m new-ish to the Signal comments section. But I’m thunderstruck by the tone of these replies. Especially the one above, calling you a parasite. Apparently, these men don’t like you having the same right to frequent the comment pages that they do. I hope you’ll keep commenting as you see fit, and from your replies, it looks like you will. Thanks!

          • Brian Baker

            LOL!

            Yeah, it’s all about suppressing women. Repeal the 19th Amendment!

            (That was sarcasm, in case you didn’t get it)

          • Gary Bierend

            Talk about “dim”, eh Brian?

          • Brian Baker

            LOL! Res ipsa loquitur.

          • lois eisenberg

            Read Pastor Hegg’s Opinion column in today’s forum ***

          • Ron Bischof

            See my comment about you and your fellow travelers.

          • Gary Bierend

            Hegg: “…would you champion, in someone you appreciate, a behavior you would denigrate in one you disliked?”

            Ms. Eisenberg, you are who the Good Pastor is talking about. You completely ignore rude behavior from those here that you agree with, but get offended if the behavior is from someone you disagree with.

            You may want to get that log in your eye checked out 🙂

          • lois eisenberg

            Thank you Sue for being so insightful.
            I will continue to comment as I see fit.
            Sue don’t be new-ish to the Signal comment section.
            Your input is stimulating and the parasite poster need all
            the help and input we can get.
            Sue feel free to off-topic posting.
            It reacts to the funny bone perfectly and it drives the boys
            in the back room crazy.

          • Ron Bischof

            Welcome! Robust community debate on issues is an important component of our Republic.

            Since you are new here, the context is Ms. Eisenberg repeatedly hijacks comment threads on *any* topic with off-topic cut and paste talking points, Ms. Sylwester-Rice.

            Here’s an example to illustrate:

            Mr. de Bree sorry but I must use you opinion column, which was excellent, to post some
            off topic news.
            “Mike Pence left Indiana’s women a gift – A federal judge just sent it back to him with a big “No!”

            https://signalscv.com/2017/09/jim-de-bree-thank-john-mccain/

            This on a column about proposed legislation and Ms. Eisenberg acknowledges and “apologizes” for her off-topic post.

            This has nothing to do about rights or chromosomal characteristics. Rather, it’s about spamming the comments section and remaining germane to the topic of the column or LTE.

            She’s been asked repeatedly and politely to stay on topic to no avail. Posters have a right to express displeasure at her rudely inconsiderate behavior.

            I recommend you use the search function and peruse Ms. Eisenberg’s off topic posts to validate my accurate depiction of her daily and constant posting behavior.

          • Gary Bierend

            An excellent and accurate synopsis Ron. In my opinion, it won’t have any effect.

      • lois eisenberg
        • Ron Bischof

          The irony is that you don’t apply what you read, Ms. Eisenberg.

  • Anthony Breznican

    What Brian Baker tries to hide in his dishonest column is that the problem was not just “views Messina has expressed” but the fact that the school board president is posting lies — fake news stories meant to stoke hatred of minorities.

    It’s the lies, Brian, that have concerned and alarmed parents in this district. Joe Messina is not just a race-baiter, he’s a liar. He doesn’t belong within 100-feet of a school or children.

    But I’m grateful for Baker’s column, because it helps alert voters about Messina. Those who missed the earlier article can read all about the school board president’s actions here and judge for themselves whether Brian Baker represented it accurately:

    https://signalscv.com/2017/09/anthony-breznican-harts-messina-wrong-man-leadership-role/

    It’s not about “free speech.” Messina is indeed free to spew whatever hatred he likes.

    The problem is whether parents and voters want to continue leaving a miscreant like this in charge of the education of thousands of students.

    • Gary Bierend

      And here’s the “Claim Victory!” portion: “But I’m grateful for this column…”

      Trapped in a loop.

    • Brian Richards

      “The problem is whether parents and voters want to continue leaving a miscreant like this in charge of the education of thousands of students.”
      .
      That was kind of the point, that you apparently missed. If the voters don’t like him, they will vote him out. It’s a fairly simple concept.

      • Anthony Breznican

        How did I miss that point? I wrote it.

    • Brian Baker

      No, kid, once again:

      “Breznican complains that in spite of those stated views ‘the district has taken no action to censure or demand even an apology from him about his inflammatory remarks.'”

      YOU wanted the district to “take action”, which is exactly what they CAN’T do. Those are your words, kid.

      Yes, the other board members are also free to call Messina out…….. on their own time, just as he did, and NOT as board members, but as private citizens in an unofficial capacity. But that exactly NOT what YOU called for them to do. It’s right there in black and white.

  • lois eisenberg

    To one and all whether you are observant or not:
    G’mar Hatimah Tovah: This is the traditional Yom Kippur greeting, which is this Sat 30th.
    It means, “May you be sealed for a good year [in the Book of Life].”

  • Gil Mertz

    Brian, any time you are opposed by the likes of Anthony Breznican and Lois Eisenberg, you know you’re on the proper side of the argument.

    But I would like to address your comment that “what a citizen says or does on his own time, as long as it’s legal, can’t be sanctioned by any governmental agency” Unfortunately, this is what happened to former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran a few years ago. He actually served in the Obama administration as a fire administrator and in 2010 was unanimously elected as the city’s fire chief where he served with distinction. But Mr. Cochran wrote a booklet, ON HIS OWN TIME, for a men’s Bible study in his church where he expressed his own PERSONAL OPINION about homosexuality. For this crime, he was fired by the mayor of Atlanta.

    Former Chief Cochran said in his defense, “The LGBT members of our community have a right to be able to express their views and convictions about sexuality and deserve to be respected for their position without hate or discrimination. But Christians also have a right to express our belief regarding our faith and be respected for our position without hate and without discrimination. In the United States, no one should be vilified, hated or discriminated against for expressing their beliefs.”

    Once again, tolerance only goes one way for the progressive left.

    • Anthony Breznican

      Here comes Gay-Bashing Gil with his own brand of hate to throw on the fire!

    • Anthony Breznican

      Gil is leaving out key (and ugly) details …

      Here’s what Kelvin Cochran was fired for: He was forcing his self-published book comparing being gay to best iali ty on his employees at the fire department.

      Read all about this “hero” …

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/11/26/atlanta-fire-chief-suspended-after-distributing-his-religious-book-to-employees/?utm_term=.bd9b9e63548a

      • Gary Bierend

        Why the edit Anthony? For anyone that is curious, here was his original comment:

        “Anthony Breznican Gil Mertz • 3 minutes ago
        Here comes Gay-Bashing Gil with his own brand of hate to throw on the fire!

        •Reply•Share ›”

        • Anthony Breznican

          Because when I added the link, it triggered the spam filter. (Probably because some of the words in Kelvin Cochran’s writings are not allowed by the filter.) So I rewrote and reposted the comment.

          But yes, Gay-Bashing Gil is a fair assessment. He has a real problem with LGBTQ people and never fails to attack them. Lately, he has been defending the Family Research Council, which the Southern Poverty Law Center categorizes as a hate group:

          https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/family-research-council

          • Gary Bierend

            Nice try, but I’m calling BS.

            Anyone that has ever posted a link that TMS wasn’t sure of knows that the post “awaits moderation”, it doesn’t get posted. You’re a phony, and everyone knows it. Except lois, she thinks you’re awesome, which is simply so sweet, bless her (and your) heart!

          • Anthony Breznican

            That. Is. Why. I. Reposted. It.

            Please keep up.

          • Gary Bierend
          • Gary Bierend

            By the way, I think you broke your previous record for “Post Nonsense”, “Get Owned”, “Claim Victory!”. Kudos, even you are good at something!

          • Anthony Breznican

            You must be dim. Try posting what I wrote without the spaces between that one word.

          • Gary Bierend

            You said the link is what tripped the spam filter, now it’s something about spaces between two words? You’re too much. What a phony.

          • Anthony Breznican

            When I posted the link, I added that line describing the link. (Read this slowly, now, so you don’t get lost.) That word tripped the spam filter. I had to repost a couple a times before I figured out why the filter was blocking the post.

            If you don’t get it now, I actually don’t care if you get it. You’re being petty and silly.

          • Gary Bierend

            So for those who are keeping track, when Breznican was caught in this lie, his first attempt at spin was to say that he tried to add a link, which caused his post to trip a spam filter.

            That was demonstrably false.

            Then he tried to say that it was about a space between two words. The only two words that could possibly cause a problem are “Gay Bashing”, or “GayBashing”, or “Gay-Bashing”.

            Also, demonstrably false.

            Now, he conveniently says that the line describing the link is what caused the problem, so he completely rewrote the entire post. That is obviously false, when all he had to do was reword the description.

            You’re such a phony, and it is so easy to expose your lies.

            Breznican posts lies, and calls people names is accusing me of being petty. You can’t make this stuff up!

          • Anthony Breznican

            You are having a very hard time following along, but that’s okay. Nobody cares.

          • Gary Bierend

            No trouble following at all; you lied, you got caught, you tried to cover it up. Bottom line; you’re a liar. Did I miss anything?

          • Anthony Breznican

            As usual, you’re just full of misinformation. But that’s okay. Nobody cares.

          • Gary Bierend

            The recipe for Breznican Stew: Equal portions of falsehood and projection, stir constantly, serve with a side of “Claim Victory!”. What a fool.

          • Ron Bischof

            His posts reveal a consistent pattern with this serial fabulist, Gary.

          • Gil Mertz

            So I’ll ask again. Please post any comment I’ve made in which I have “attacked” people who practice homosexuality?

            You keep making these ugly accusations but offer no evidence. Pretty lame, even for you Anthony.

          • Anthony Breznican

            As for your own comments, um, you just spewed out a passionate defense of the Family Research Council, which the Southern Poverty Law Center categorizes as a hate group for its gay bashing. So unless you’ve seen the light in the last few minutes and reject that group’s teachings, I guess the shoe fits!

          • Gil Mertz

            You keep using uber-biased outfits like MSNBC and Southern Poverty Law Center to prove your point. For me to see the light, you need to use credible sources. This is the reason I never quote Fox News polls on these threads. I know their sampling is biased. So using far-left groups like MSNBC and SPLC to prove you’re right is worthless. Not everyone is as gullible as you and your pal, Lois.

            I will admit that Peter Sprigg’s responses are different from my views. As a Christian I am personally opposed to the practice of homosexuality based on the Bible’s clear teachings but I wouldn’t use my faith to deny anyone else their civil rights. Is this really the best you’ve got to prove that I am a gay-basher?

            SEVENTH TIME….why does Southern Poverty Law Center have millions of dollars in off shore accounts? Your silence actually speaks loud and clear. This disgraced group is a sham run by money-grubbing charlatans who even defended the KKK for money. But as long as they attack groups you hate, they’re OK in your book, right Anthony?

          • Anthony Breznican

            That doesn’t make any sense. For one, those aren’t “uber-biased outfits.” I’m sorry it’s not InfoWars, but tough. And you asked for the video of him making that remark. He made it on MSNBC. So there’s the video evidence of it.

            Anyway, Family Research Council is a hate group. You’ve dedicated yourself to that. What a waste. Congrats.

          • Gil Mertz

            It doesn’t make any sense to someone who is uber-biased so drinking the KoolAid at MSNBC makes sense to you. And if you hate a group like FRC, naturally you’re going to side with others who hate them, too.

            Funny Anthony, you posted earlier how another columnist actually helped change your mind on some things. I asked you to post examples but you couldn’t. That’s because no amount of facts will ever change your closed mind. I stated how I disagreed with Peter Spring but no amount of facts will ever move you from the little box you live in. But speaking of dodging questions…

            EIGHTH TIME…why does the Southern Poverty Law Center have millions of dollars in off shore accounts?

          • Anthony Breznican

            EIGHTH TIME: It’s video of him saying those hate comments on television. I guess take it up with him if you don’t like seeing him on MSNBC. But video is video. There’s the evidence of him saying it. Boo hoo for you if you don’t like being slapped with proof.

            As for where SPLC banks, keep asking. I don’t care where they bank. Is there something illegal about off shore accounts? You may want to take it up with Every Corporation In America.

          • Gil Mertz

            For the third time, I saw the video and told you that I disagreed with what Peter Sprigg said. I clarified my position. And yet you keep bring it up.

            And your answer about SPLC is priceless, though predictable. SPLC is a NON-PROFIT, not “every corporation in America”. NO credible non-profit hides their money from donors except SPLC. And the fact that you don’t care how this NO-PROFIT handles their money is stunning, but that’s their scam. As long as they keep calling their personal enemies hate groups, who cares how they spend their donor’s money, right? That’s how they’ve survived as the far-left’s lap dog. Rich liberals pour millions into their coffers as long as they do their bidding.

            Wow…Anthony. Just…wow!

          • Anthony Breznican

            You don’t understand what a non-profit is, I guess.

            Sigh. Do I have to teach you everything?

            Non-profits often set up endowments. They have investments. They keep themselves funded.

            Get a life, Gilbert.

          • Gil Mertz

            Name one non-profit that has millions stashed in off shore accounts in the Cayman Islands, besides the corrupt SPLC. OK, perhaps the Clinton Foundation.

            Enough of the round and round. You’ve been exposed again as someone who doesn’t care how a non-profit organization spends their money as long as they call groups you despise a hate group. Getting you to admit it was my goal. Mission accomplished. Game, set, and match.

            Next?

          • Anthony Breznican

            Name one non-profit that has millions stashed in offshore accounts …? Okay.

            The United States Naval Academy Foundation.

            Want more?

            Johns Hopkins University

            The Humane Society

            University of Maryland

            It’s actually EXTREMELY common. Those are just from one article about the practice, so there are surely many, many examples.

            Face it, dude. SPLC is legit. And Family Research Council is a hate group.

            Nice try, though. Bye, Gil …

            http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-cayman-islands-20141213-story.html

            “Tax-exempt organizations with large endowments — particularly pension funds and universities — have turned to hedge funds to increase their holdings. Investing in hedge funds overseas enables them to minimize or avoid the unrelated business income tax.

            “A majority of hedge fund investors are tax-exempt institutional investors” such as pension funds, endowments and foundations, reports the Managed Funds Association, a trade group for hedge fund managers. “Countries such as the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Ireland and the British Virgin Islands are popular choices for setting up offshore hedge funds.”

          • Gil Mertz

            Well played Anthony. It only took eight tries for you to answer the question but you did. It doesn’t change the fact that you admitted you “didn’t care” what SPLC does with their money. None of their far-left donors care, as long as they continue to attack groups they despise and hypocritically ignore liberal groups that promote hate and violence. That’s the one and only purpose of scam artists like SPLC. Call everyone you disagree with a “hate group” and the money will keep flowing in. This is the sick and sorry group you consider legit. Since you obviously have so little pride in the shams you support, I’m embarrassed FOR you.

          • Anthony Breznican

            I don’t care because it’s a non-issue. It’s why no one cares.

            Pretty weak and transparent attempt by the hate group Family Research Council to attack their critics. No one’s buying it.

          • Gil Mertz

            LOL! I love watching you try to squirm out of the blunder you made about “not caring” how SPLC spends their money. Keep digging, Anthony….HA HA HA HA HA!!!

          • Anthony Breznican

            I love watching you squirm when you’ve been nailed as part of a bona fide hate group.

        • Gil Mertz

          I’ll ask Anthony to post samples of my gay bashing and my brand of hate but as we’ve learned, Anthony can never back up his reckless and irresponsible accusations with facts.

          • Anthony Breznican

            You just posted a defense of a guy who forced anti-gay literature on his employees at a fire station. There’s an example for you. You have been a steadfast defender of the hate group Family Research Council, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has cited as an advocate of discrimination against gays. In February 2010, the FRC’s chief of policy, Peter Sprigg, stated on NBC that gay sex should be against the law and that “criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior should be enforced.”

            It’s a group that thinks gay people should be jailed. So yeah — a hate group, in other words.

          • Gary Bierend

            Breznican: “You just posted a defense of a guy who forced anti-gay literature on his employees at a fire station.”

            Prove that he “forced” his book on anyone, or admit you lied.

          • Gil Mertz

            Can you provide the link of what Peter Spring said on NBC so I can see it in context and not just your narrow interpretation?

          • Anthony Breznican

            No, I’m afraid I can’t. For a very good reason.

          • Gil Mertz

            So you have no evidence, but he’s GUILTY! Sounds just like a wacky SPLC disciple. Mueller could use you on his witch hunt against Trump as you meet his criteria.

            How about evidence of where I attacked gays? Still waiting for that. And while you’re at it, you want to tell us why the SPLC diverts funds to off shore accounts in the Cayman Islands? Why do you keep dodging that question?

          • Anthony Breznican

            No, I can provide it. It’s just that when one asks for something, it’s good manners to say “please.”

            You didn’t say please.

            But … Since I’m a nice guy, Aw, heck, why stand on ceremony? Here you go …

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xEJPvQr9Bc&feature=youtu.be&t=8m40s

            Peter Sprigg answers “yes” when Chris Matthews asks him if being gay should be outlawed.

            That’s right after he says there should be “criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior.”

            Stick around for the second video right after it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gP3il6JBPUo

          • Gary Bierend

            Yup. It’s been two hours, and he has been posting that entire time, yet he hasn’t responded with a single example to back up his accusation of you being a gay-basher. Do you think he ever wonders why there is nobody here that comes to back him up?

          • Gil Mertz

            Nothing new from Anthony, Gary. His own article couldn’t prove that anyone was forced to read anything and yet he keeps shoveling this lie. I’ve asked him FIVE TIMES to explain why the Southern Poverty Law Center has millions of dollars in off shore accounts in the Cayman Islands as a “non-profit” but he keeps ignoring this inconvenient truth. And still he uses this sham of a far-left outfit as the gold standard for what is a hate group. There are few groups in America peddling in more hate and misinformation than the SPLC itself. Only zealots from the far-left swamp consider them credible because they agree with their toxic and divisive rhetoric about anyone who thinks differently from them.

      • Gil Mertz

        Did you actually read the article you posted, Anthony? Here’s what is actually says:

        “That book, city spokeswoman Anne Torres told Channel 2 in Atlanta, was distributed to some of Cochran’s employees. “We understand that he was distributing the book to other employees. We are still not sure what the circumstances surrounding them are,” Torres said. “The bottom line is that the [Mayor Kasim] Reed administration does not tolerate discrimination of any kind.” In a later e-mailed statement to The Washington Post, Torres said the administration was “not sure about how many employees received the book.”

        So they admit they don’t know the circumstances or who actually received the book, but HE’S GUILTY!! I pray if I’m ever accused of a crime that you’re not on my jury, Anthony. I prefer a fair trial, evidence, cross examination, and the actual truth before I’m judged guilty and then sentenced. To you guys on the left, these things are irrelevant to your ideology.

        • Anthony Breznican

          Hey, if he was sharing a prejudiced book, he was sharing a prejudiced book. Now he has to live with the consequences of that.

          But keep on valiantly defending prejudice, Gil! It seems like a real passion of yours.

          • Gil Mertz

            The Chief was quoting verses from the Bible, Anthony. Take it up with God.

            Please post samples of my passion for prejudice. And while you’re at it, post examples of my gay bashing and my brand of hate. Can you back up your ugly accusations?

          • Anthony Breznican

            There is a very hot place in the afterlife for people who weaponize the hateful parts of the Bible to stoke hatred of other human beings.

          • Brian Richards

            Does this apply to the religion of peace as well?

          • Anthony Breznican

            Yes, it applies to everyone who uses religion to foment hate and violence.

          • Gary Bierend

            Gil, did you notice how AB just glosses over the part where you call him on his lie? Comical!

      • Gil Mertz

        Like Gary, I also noticed your original post which said, “Here comes Gay-Bashing Gil with his own brand of hate to throw on the fire!” Can you post actual examples of my gay-bashing and my own brand of hate or did you catch yourself in your own lie and delete this mean-spirited and irresponsible comment?

      • Gary Bierend

        Breznican: “Here’s what Kelvin Cochran was fired for: He was forcing his self-published book comparing being gay to best iali ty on his employees at the fire department.”

        The link you provided says no such thing, nowhere does it say anyone had this forced upon them. Either provide proof, or admit your lie.

  • Sue Sylwester-Rice

    I’m one of those district parents who want the president of the school board to meet the standard of fact-based evidence, which thousands of Hart district students are expected to meet in school, when Messina presents a point of view. If a student had cited a fake news story from a clearly satirical website in support of an earnest essay argument and the teacher caught it, they would be penalized for it in their grade.

    I haven’t demonized Messina. I have not silenced, shunned, exiled him from the public square, taken any steps to get him fired from his ‘shock jock’ job, nor tried to outlaw what he says. That’s all hyperbole.

    I have indeed tried to encourage other people to be as aware and embarrassed and angry at the hateful things Messina posts as I am. I want his fellow board members to tell him his choices bring negative attention to the school board and set a terrible example for students. If they had a legal way to remove him from his elected position, I would encourage them to do so. I think any LGBTQ students could easily find the negative and disturbing personal opinions Messina has posted on the subject of homosexuality, and look at the position Messina holds in the school district, and feel belittled and denigrated by someone who has power over them. And that’s why we are asking Messina to post responsibly and keep his status in mind. Instead, he chooses to very carefully be publicly grossly insensitive and ‘academically’ fact challenged in his personal time. I don’t understand why.

    I love having discussions about the First Amendment, and I don’t find it pesky at all. I think it’s amazing, and it makes our country great. We have a right to freedom of speech, but not to a freedom from consequences. You have a right to say horrible things out loud, and private employers have a right to fire you for it if you bring shame and embarrassment and negative attention to your employer. We have the right to state our beliefs without fear of imprisonment. That’s why I’m so disgusted by Trump’s admiration for Putin and strong-arm leaders and dictators who imprison and murder people who disagree with them.

    And Mr. Baker, I really look forward to your column supporting the NFL players who are expressing their First Amendment given rights to free speech, while the head of our government, Trump, calls for them to be fired and silenced. I look forward to your rousing defense of those players and your strong words of condemnation for Trump and his inappropriate use of his title to quash free speech.

    • Gary Bierend

      This is an interesting challenge from you Ms. Rice, given that you castigated Baker for calling Breznican “kid”, which is clearly within his 1st Ammendment rights.

      • Anthony Breznican

        Gary is quick to squeal when his delicate feelings are triggered. Everything that ruffles his fragile feathers is a high crime while he and the Mean Girls clique here spew whatever silly insults they like.

        Comedy gold! ™

        • lois eisenberg

          Anthony ,KID, thank you for your input.
          So true *****

          • Anthony Breznican

            Awesome, Lois. Here’s looking at you, KID! ha ha ha

            🙂

          • lois eisenberg

            Same to you “KIDDO”
            Just adding a little flair to the conversation ****

          • Anthony Breznican

            So glad you are here, Lois. You never lose your cool, but you never back down.

      • Sue Sylwester-Rice

        Right. We had this discussion last week too in the comments section of Breznican’s opinion piece. I never said Baker didn’t have a right to continually refer to Breznican as a kid. I pointed out why I thought he was doing it (to rhetorically sound like he had some special authority over Brezinican) and that I thought it started to sound foolish and forced when he used kid in comment after comment. I’m unclear why you think engaging people in back-and-forth discussions are First Amendment challenges. So, just in case, I am not questioning your right to question me.

        • Gary Bierend

          Not in the least, I encourage you to exercise your right to free speech.

          I tried to give you some context as to why Breznican has no credibility in these threads, and you didn’t respond. I started with my very first post to him, and his response, did you read it? Did it help you to understand why he is considered a joke among his fellow posters? I have a library of his hateful juvenile posts should you need more examples.

    • Brian Baker

      “I haven’t demonized Messina. I have not silenced, shunned, exiled him from the public square, taken any steps to get him fired from his ‘shock jock’ job, nor tried to outlaw what he says. That’s all hyperbole.”

      No it’s not, because that’s exactly what Breznican has tried to do, as I detailed in the column. Just because YOU haven’t done it doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

      “If they had a legal way to remove him from his elected position, I would encourage them to do so.”

      But they don’t, happily for the liberty and freedom of expression in this country.

      “Instead, he chooses to very carefully be publicly grossly insensitive and ‘academically’ fact challenged in his personal time. I don’t understand why.”

      It’s not important whether or not you “understand”. What IS important is his freedom to do so.

      “And Mr. Baker, I really look forward to your column supporting the NFL players who are expressing their First Amendment given rights to free speech, while the head of our government, Trump, calls for them to be fired and silenced. I look forward to your rousing defense of those players and your strong words of condemnation for Trump and his inappropriate use of his title to quash free speech.”

      LOL!

      So… why would I “condemn” Trump for exercising the same First Amendment right as Messina did to express his opinion as a private citizen? Or that the players do with their stupid “protest”? Are you possibly saying that because Trump is President he’s no longer also a private citizen entitled to express his personal views?

      You STILL don’t understand the First Amendment, clearly. He didn’t call for government sanctions… DID HE?

      The NFL palayers are perfectly free to stage their silly “protest”, just as the team managements and the NFL are free to penalize them as their employers, and the fans are free to react by withholding their hard-earned ticket and merchandise dollars in response. There’s a whole lot of “freedom” to go around.

      • Anthony Breznican

        “It’s not important whether or not you “understand”.

        Oh, boo, could you be a little more of a condescending old codger? Maybe other people have rights to their views, too. Or did I miss that part of the First Amendment where it says it only applies to you and your BFF Joe Messina?

        PS – Since you delight in calling me “kid,” I’m sure you won’t object to “codger.” LOL. Or is “coot” better?

        You choose! I want to be sure I’m PC.

        • Brian Baker

          No, kid, I’m also defending YOUR right to post this silly nonsense you continue to write, as infantile as I think it is.

          You have every right to make as big a fool of yourself as you wish. Have at it!

      • Sue Sylwester-Rice

        Trump was standing at a presidential podium, not stating his opinion as a private citizen. I’d love to know at which time of day you consider Trump to be a private citizen now. Trump is the head of the federal government, so reasonable people can assume he is calling for the NFL players to be fired from his position in government, a right you say the school district would not have regarding Mr. Messina’s comments in his private time. I find your views incongruous with one another.

        • Brian Richards

          Are you saying Trump’s not entitled to an opinion?

          • Anthony Breznican

            This whole idea of “you can’t use your freedom of speech to criticize someone else’s speech” is just about the saddest, worn-out shoe of an argument.

            So pathetic. Try harder.

        • Anthony Breznican

          When people like this hiss after being criticized (“What, i’m not allowed to have free speech?”) what they’re really angry about is that the general public is seeing those words and they know the words are ugly.

          Joe Messina got caught spreading falsehoods and stoking hatred. Now his defenders rush around him saying, “It’s okay, he’s allowed to say that stuff.”

          Sure. He’s allowed. Agreed.

          Not he’s facing the consequences with voters.

          All they want, in their heart of hearts, is for us to be silent. That’s not happening anymore.

          “Isn’t Trump entitled to an opinion?” LOL

          • Brian Baker

            Now you’re trying victimhood: “All they want, in their heart of hearts, is for us to be silent.”

            Jeez, kid, when are you going to stop thrashing around? Nobody wants you to be silent. In fact, didn’t I just defend your right to make as big a fool of yourself as you wish? Does that make US “allies” now?

            I also defended Bernie Sanders, the Sacramento Dem/socialists, and 2/3 of the GOPers in Sacramento that I think are idiots.

            Hey! I must have a LOT of “allies” by now! I must be one popular guy!

        • Brian Baker

          “Trump was standing at a presidential podium, not stating his opinion as a private
          citizen.”

          Of COURSE it was his opinion as a private citizen. He wasn’t proposing an official policy or governmental action. The venue’s irrelevant, since a President is always “on stage”, no matter where he goes.

          Under your thesis, a President would have to spend four or eight years utterly mute unless he was proposing an official action, and that’s absurd and preposterous. Do you have any common sense at all?

          “I find your views incongruous with one another.”

          That’s your problem, not mine.

  • Ron Bischof

    Nicely done on this defense of the First Amendment, Brian.

    Mr. Breznican and his fellow travelers continually attempt to censure speech they disagree with by circumventing the accountability built into the electoral process.

    Did anyone else find his trite opening example of a juvenile “victim” rather… convenient?

    • Brian Baker

      Thanks, Ron.

    • Gary Bierend

      “Victim” is his defense of first resort. Do you recall the time he cried like a little girl when asked if he lived in the district? My God, it was hysterical!

  • Anthony Breznican

    There is quite a bit of noise here, so I just wanted to bump the original column.

    Brian Baker misrepresents it as an attack on free speech. That’s a lie. The column explicitly acknowledges Messina has a right to spread lies — but it also says parents, students and voters of the William S. Hart Union School District (as well as other board members) have a right to know about his actions.

    An election is coming up next year. We can’t allow people like Messina to slip through unchallenged.

    https://signalscv.com/2017/09/anthony-breznican-harts-messina-wrong-man-leadership-role/

    • Brian Baker

      Nope. Can’t dodge EXACTLY what you wrote, kid, because here it is again:

      “Breznican complains that in spite of those stated views ‘the district has taken no action to censure or demand even an apology from him about his inflammatory remarks.'”

      YOU wanted the district to “take action”, which is exactly what they CAN’T do. Those are your words, kid.

      Yes, the other board members are also free to call Messina out…….. on their own time, just as he did, and NOT as board members, but as private citizens in an unofficial capacity. But that’s exactly NOT what YOU called for them to do. It’s right there in black and white.

      • Ron Bischof

        Ah, the beauty of the written word, eh?

        • Brian Baker

          Heh heh heh…

      • Anthony Breznican

        Are you saying the other board members don’t have freedom of speech to speak their minds about Messina’s actions?

        • Anthony Breznican

          Non Discrimination Policy

          The William S. Hart Union High School District prohibits unlawful discrimination against and / or harassment of any student, employee or job applicant on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, age, marital status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, gender or sexual orientation at any district site and / or activity.

          http://www.hartdistrict.org/apps/pages/diversity

        • Ron Bischof

          Hahahahahahahaha! What a goat rodeo of obtuseness!

          Here it is again:

          “Yes, the other board members are also free to call Messina out…….. on their own time, just as he did, and NOT as board members, but as private citizens in an unofficial capacity.”

          Who’s having trouble following along? Or are you actually building straw men to boost you out of the hole you’ve dug for yourself, Mr. Breznican?

          • Brian Baker

            Yeah, gooooooooooooood grief….

          • Gary Bierend

            “Goat Rodeo”, is good, but the term I was thinking of begins with “Cluster”. This is nothing new with Ole Participation Award, it’s this way every time. It’s the Acosta/Wilk libel all over again. The cycle repeats ad nauseam: “Post Nonsense, Get Owned, Claim Victory!” Another poster, I think it was Gil, distilled it even further: “Wash, Rinse, Repeat”.

            It’s always a train wreck with this guy.

        • Jim de Bree

          I am gone for a week and it is Groundhog Day with Bill Murray. Remember my conversation with the judge? The Board members are NOT free to speak in their capacity as board members without violating the first amendment. They can speak on their own behalf as long as it is clear that they do not speak during board meetings, in Hart District venues and that they are merely expressing their own opinion.

          Furthermore, he cannot be censured for speech that was not made in his capacity as a Board Member or President. He can only be censured for actions undertaken in his official capacity. Again, as publicly elected official, the only remedies available are to start a recall or vote him out of office when he comes up for re-election.

          • Anthony Breznican

            Not according to some parents who researched the bylaws. The other trustees are well within their rights to say whatever they please, in whatever capacity they please. And they could take action against him if they wished.

            Joe Messina is not the only person with free speech in this community.

            Those board members have a duty to protect the students of the district, and if Joe Messina is endangering them, they aren’t just free to speak — they have a responsibility to do so.

            Furthermore, Messina is creating a hostile environment for students and parents, especially minority ones. If any hate crimes are committed, it’s possible that the district could be liable due to Joe Messina’s history of spreading hate messages.

            In short, there are many hypotheticals here. Your judge had an opinion about one of them.

            But yes — the longterm goal is to alert voters to his behavior.

          • Ron Bischof

            Assertions aren’t proof and bylaws don’t supersede the Constitution.

            QED.

          • Brian Baker

            As usual, kid, either you don’t know what you’re talking about, or you’re just flat-out lying.

            Here’s a link to the Hart District by-laws: http://www.gamutonline.net/district/whart/DisplayPolicy/195590/9

            Nowhere does it say anything at all like what you claim.

            The ONLY thing it discusses is how Board members should conduct themselves during meetings, or when addressing the public as a Board member. And even when doing that, all it requires is that the Board member identify any personal opinions as being personal opinions.

            It doesn’t even address a Board member’s personal behavior outside of his/her activities as a Board member. And that’s because the Board has NO SAY over what a Board member does or says as a private citizen.

            That darned pesky First Amendment again.

            Again, kid, you really should go find Paris and ask her what’s new with her purse puppies. You sure don’t know jack about what’s being discussed here.

          • Anthony Breznican

            I only referred to him as “your judge” because you brought him into the conversation. It wasn’t intended as a pejorative, and I’m sorry if you interpreted it as such.

            I don’t know how many times I can repeat this, but yes, Messina seems likely to be free to say what he wants. But there is disagreement over whether the district has any avenues toward addressing his actions. What’s wrong with asking the board to take whatever actions it can?

            We’ve been sidetracked by Brian Baker’s efforts to make this a first amendment issue when that was acknowledged quite pointedly in the original column. The point of the original criticism was to highlight Messina’s actions and disabuse people of the notion that he’s some mere “shock jock.”

            I’m glad the judge (not “your judge”) is alarmed by his behaviors. Most people are when they learn about him. That’s why I’m speaking out, so more people will become aware of who he is as what he is doing.

            Perhaps the board’s hands really are tied. You were casually dismissive of the parents who have investigated these bylaws, which is unfortunate because they have gone to great lengths and endured threats to themselves and their children because they expressed their own first amendment right to criticize Messina.

            Frankly, anyone who says the Board simply can’t consider the question is incorrect. They have had to address problems with Messina before, and they have chosen to take no action.

            January 20, 2016 by Jonathan Randles

            HART BOARD TO CONSIDER COMPLAINT OVER JOE MESSINA’S LGBTQ COMMENTS
            http://sclarita.com/2016/01/20/hart-board-to-consider-complaint-over-joe-messinas-lgbtq-comments/

            Parents Seek To Oust Board Member
            May 8, 2014
            https://santaclaritafree.com/gazette/101721

            I don’t see the likes of Brian Baker or anyone else defending the parents or students who suffer because of Messina. When parents do speak up, however, there is much handwringing about whether Messina has enough safe space for his scurrilous views.

            Apparently, the only crime is criticizing him.

          • Brian Baker

            You really are full of it, kid. You keep trying to repeat the same lie, so let me quote you AGAIN:

            “… the district has taken no action to censure or demand even an apology from him about his inflammatory remarks.”

            That’s because they CAN’T, kid, even though YOU ASKED THEM TO, regardless of how many times you now try to deny it. Those are YOUR WORDS FROM YOUR COLUMN.

            “Frankly, anyone who says the Board simply can’t consider the question is incorrect. They have had to address problems with Messina before, and they have chosen to take no action.”
            BECAUSE THEY CAN’T! Yeesh. You’re thick as a brick.

          • Anthony Breznican

            When he re-offends, they must re-address.

            They have before.

          • Brian Baker

            Pfffffffffffftttt……

            You can repeat that until you’re blue in the face, and it will still be as silly as ever.

            Nyet, Commissar.

          • Anthony Breznican

            And you can also keep repeating, until you are blue in the face, that Messina shouldn’t be held accountable for his actions.

            No one is going to stop talking about this issue. A proven bigot heads the 38th Assembly District’s Republican Committee. Tell me, Brian, why haven’t THEY addressed the issue of his bogus news postings and hate-mongering?

          • Brian Baker

            Maybe you need to address your inane question to them. I’m not even a Republican, let alone a member of any GOP committee.

            Your desperate thrashing around is truly comical!

          • Brian Baker

            BTW, I thought you already bid your farewell to this thread, at least for the day.

            What’s the deal, kid? Yet another lie?

            Big surprise…

            That was sarcasm, in case you didn’t get it. With you, one never knows.

          • Anthony Breznican

            I wish I could quit you, boo.

          • Brian Baker

            I find your man-crush flattering.

          • Jim de Bree

            I was not casually dismissive. My response clearly set forth why the board could not censure Mr. Messina. Their research makes no difference because the by-laws do not trump Mr. Messina’s rights.

            You stated that the parents found this golden nugget in the by-laws. I could not find the item in the by-laws to which you referred and asked if you could point me towards it. O am not being a smart aleck–I truly want to read what they found–I could not find it in my skimming of the by-laws.

            Gloria’s comments point out the problem. When a board member speaks on his own behalf, it is hard to tell whether his comments are his views when acting in an official capacity. This image can be reinforced if no other member speaks out against them. As you suggest, the other board members are free to speak out against them, but apparently they choose not to. The Board as a body cannot speak out and that is what you refer to having their hands tied.

            Again, Mr. Messina is an elected official, and as such, he is free to speak whatever he wants. He will have to deal with the consequences of his speech at the ballot box.

            By the way, I am not aware that the school district has done anything to create a hostile environment. Have any officials employed by the Hart District said anything or taken any actions that create a hostile environment? Employees, not board members, are responsible for the conduct of school activities. The board acts in an oversight capacity. Thus I would be surprised if a court would find that Mr. Messina’s comments in fact result in a hostile environment unless school employees acted on what Mr. Messina said.

          • Anthony Breznican

            I think you were rather glib in the way you cast off the the concerns of the parents, putting “concerned parents” in quotes. But … maybe that was unintentional, just as my referring to “your judge” was not meant to be a slight. So — we’ll put that behind us.

            I find it interesting that you found Gloria’s comments on behalf of the board to be a problem, but not Messina’s comments. I just don’t know what to make of that.

            But Messina is president of the school board. He is a leader in the Hart Union district, and his actions set a standard. If the president of the school board can get away consequence-free with overt bigotry and falsehood, what message does that send to students?

            And what if a student, having read one of Messina’s screeds against black people, Muslims, or gays, decides to take action? Words have consequences. Especially the words of people we trust with the education of children.

            We’re in the realm of hypotheticals, but the district’s trustees should consider the possibility that views like Messina’s trickle down into the population. And someone could very well get hurt.

            All of this argument seems to be about whether parents like me have a right to challenge Messina, have a right to ask the board to investigate their options. Why is it okay for him to say such hideous things, but it’s not okay to ask for him to be held accountable?

            And again: What message do his evil deeds send to students?

          • Brian Baker

            “If the president of the school board can get away consequence-free with overt bigotry and falsehood, what message does that send to students?”

            Here’s the message: “Hey, kids, the First Amendment actually means something!”

            I guess your farewell was yet another meaningless bleat, wasn’t it?

          • Jim de Bree

            I never said that I had a problem with Gloria’s comments. I stated that her comments point out the problem not that they were the problem.

            I put the concerned parents in quotes because I was quoting what you wrote. While I share their concerns, their comments certainly are not authoritative in the determination of any remedies available against Mr. Messina. Furthermore, I cannot find the material in the by-laws that they ostensibly located. Again, please show me where it says that in the by-laws. Again, if it is in the by-laws, it is unenforceable.

            Again, you miss the point about Mr. Messina NOT being an employee. My original comment in this thread was mistaken because I thought he was an employee based on your earlier comments. HE IS NOT AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DISTRICT. He serves as an elected official on a school board. Therefore he is subject to the first amendment rules applicable to elected officials.

            I share your concerns that someone may take action against what he says, if they listen to him. However, As I stated in an earlier post, what has the District done to create a hostile workplace. As a governmental body, they cannot censure him or demand an apology.

            Finally, nobody has said you do not have the right as a citizen to question Mr. Messina or the school board for not speaking out against him. Brian did not say you couldn’t. You questioned why the school board did not censure him, etc. Brian’s response was merely that they cannot do that.

          • Anthony Breznican

            And thank you for your interest in the bylaws.

            Here are the links that other parents have shared with me about areas where Joe Messina has violated the district’s rules and regulations.

            (You can see the link to this one below, but one of the key clauses would be: “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)”)

            That would appear to cover his involvement in a radio program that uses hoax stories to generate hate against a religious group, since other bylaws demand ethical behavior from board trustees.

            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

          • Ron Bischof

            Endless tendentious repetition. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

            There’s nothing to be gained with a further turn of the hamster wheel.

          • Gary Bierend

            Ole Participation Award keeps posting the bylaws, yet fails to point to the section that “proves” his point. Why? BECAUSE. IT. IS. NOT. THERE.

          • Brian Baker

            Yeah, no kidding.

          • Ron Bischof

            Participation Award will no doubt advise you to “read harder” until 2+2 = 5.

          • Anthony Breznican

            And thank you for your interest in the bylaws.

            Here are the links that other parents have shared with me about areas where Joe Messina has violated the district’s rules and regulations.

            (You can see the link to this one below, but one of the key clauses would be: “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)”)

            That would appear to cover his involvement in a radio program that uses hoax stories to generate hate against a religious group, since other bylaws demand ethical behavior from board trustees.

            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

          • Brian Baker

            Kid, you’re now the official winner of the Beating A Dead Horse Award.

            Aside from the fact that nowhere in the by-laws is there any assertion that the Board has any authority over what a member does outside of their Board duties, and in spite of my quoting from YOUR OWN LINK that the Board itself recognizes that limitation, you yet persist.

            And ABSOLUTELY NOTHING that you’ve bleated and squawked negates the FACT that the First Amendment supersedes any and all lesser jurisdictional laws and limits what the Board can do.

            So, kid, no matter how much you whip that nag, it just ain’t gonna rise from the dead and pull your wagon.

            LOL

          • Brian Baker

            A Golden Oldie from the Board, requoted:

            “In a letter the district sent Vest last month, Hart Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Michael Vierra said that the district lacks the authority to take action against Messina because he made the statements in his capacity as a private citizen.”

            Want me to play it again?

          • Anthony Breznican

            Clearly, the board members spoke out against him in the past. And from the post above, it’s clear the bylaws contradict him.

          • Brian Baker

            The board members are perfectly free to criticize him all they want….. AS PRIVATE CITIZENS, not in their official capacity. They’re free to speak their minds, just as he is.

            And no, kid, the by-laws DON’T contradict him, regardless of your wishful thinking.

            Is English even your first language? Because you sure seem incapable of understanding it, even in its simplest terms.

          • Anthony Breznican

            Why couldn’t they censure him for violating the bylaws I posted above? He broke their rules. Those are rules he agreed to when he took the position.

          • Brian Baker

            Asked and answered, at least a dozen times. You need a new script. Or go find Paris and her purse puppies.

          • Anthony Breznican

            You are incorrect.

            When this has been raised before, board members HAVE addressed Messina’s bigotry in their official capacities. However, their response has merely been: He doesn’t speak for us.

            Now that Messina has proven to be a repeat offender, it’s time for them to address this most recent round of his profane behavior.

            From 2014:

            https://santaclaritafree.com/gazette/101721

            In response to the whole issue, Hart District Board Member Gloria Mercado-Fortine commented on the board’s stance.

            “I’m speaking as the board and as a board member,” she said. “Obviously, I’m concerned. I believe that we need to treat everybody with respect. I strongly believe that the board represents everyone, and we assure that everyone is treated with respect and that we respect differences – especially because, as a board member, you are there to protect kids and to be their voice and to ensure that no one is discriminated against and is treated equally. That’s how I feel.”

            Mercado-Fortine went on to speak about Messina and his radio show.

            “It’s hard to wear two hats, especially when you’re an elected official, because people, from our emails, people feel that all of us on the board may have the same opinion that Mr. Messina has, but that’s not true,” said Mercado-Fortine. “Mr. Messina is acting on his own. He has his radio show, and … people may see it that his views reflect those of the board and they do not. There are people that are angry with the board because they feel that his opinion reflects the opinions of the district and the board and, as one board member, I would say they do not.”

          • Brian Baker

            Kid, oh obtuse one, I posted the link to the Hart Board by-laws. So why don’t you read them and then quote what part authorizes them to “censure” or “demand and apology” from Messina, or anyone else on that Board.

            Go for it, kid. Prove me wrong. It’s easy. I even gave you the link! Which means you can read it for yourself instead of depending on those apocryphal and probably fictitious “parents” you keep babbling about.

          • Anthony Breznican

            It must hurt to be proven wrong by quotes from past board members addressing Joe Messina’s bigotry. At the very least, bare minimum, the board needs to come out with another statement like the one I just posted, which disavowed his comments.

            As for the “fictions parents,” you can read all about some of them here. Not that I expect you to care. Your rage is quite revealing.

            But I’m not angry at you. On the contrary, I’m delighted you kept this issue going. Many more parents are learning about Joe Messina thanks to your straw man “counter” column. Thank you, boo!

            January 20, 2016 by Jonathan Randles

            HART BOARD TO CONSIDER COMPLAINT OVER JOE MESSINA’S LGBTQ COMMENTS
            http://sclarita.com/2016/01/20/hart-board-to-consider-complaint-over-joe-messinas-lgbtq-comments/

            Parents Seek To Oust Board Member
            May 8, 2014
            https://santaclaritafree.com/gazette/101721

          • Brian Baker

            Aaaaaaaand again failing to read your own linked article:

            “In a letter the district sent Vest last month, Hart Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Michael Vierra said that the district lacks the authority to take action against Messina because he made the statements in his capacity as a private citizen.”

            Epic fail yet again, kid.

          • Anthony Breznican

            I just posted bylaws above that contradict him.

            Your love and devotion to Joe Messina is sweet, though. Even though he is a hate monger, he clearly has a fan in you. It’s not often you see someone so passionate and devoted to another person.

            While I respect you may be friends or allies, you should really see about devoting your considerable emotion to someone more deserving.

          • Brian Baker

            Kid, as I said, you’re really dense.
            I’m not devoting one thing to Messina. He’s almost irrelevant to this discussion, and for someone who undoubtedly (and undeservedly, clearly) considers himself a smart guy, you’re about as obtuse as it gets.
            I’m devoting my energy to defending the First Amendment and the Constitution, which are MUCH more important than any single individual’s political opinions. In fact, kid, I made that perfectly clear, as in the course of the column and comments, in addition to Messina I’ve defended Trump, Bernie Sanders, Dem/socialists, the 2/3 of Sacramento GOPers I consider nuts, the NFL protesters, their bosses, the NFL itself, the Hart school board, and even your own right to write things as silly and inane as you like.
            It’s a UNIVERSAL RIGHT, and THAT’S what I’m, defending. Even my 8-year-old granddaughter would easily understand that.
            But not you, kid. You’re too “smart”.

          • Gary Bierend

            Brian, this is the same tactic Ole Participation Award used on his Acosta/Wilk libel. All the links and quotes from CalTrans officials proved he was completely wrong, but he insisted they proved his point. He is totally detached from reality. It’s laugh out loud funny.

            Comedy Gold!®

          • Brian Baker

            It really is, Gary. It’s been highly entertaining!

          • Brian Richards

            Brian, you’re playing chess with the pigeon again.

          • Brian Baker

            LOL!

            Target of opportunity.

          • Jim de Bree

            First of all, in my haste to get something posted yesterday, I misspoke about the first amendment in the context of elected officials. I used the standard for governmental employees rather than the standard for elected officials. At the time, I thought Mr. Messina was President of the Hart District (i.e., he worked in the capacity as an employee), but after reading the Hart District website materials this morning, it is my understanding that he is President of the Hart Board and serves only in the capacity as an elected Board Member. Based on comments in your original column, I confused his position with that of the District Superintendent.

            To be clear-an elected official can say whatever he or she wants either in the capacity of being an elected official or in another capacity. This applies to all individuals who are members of the Hart Board. If we don’t like what they say, the only recourse we have is to recall them or vote them out of office.

            I am sorry for any confusion that resulted from my previous post.

            However, the Hart District Board, as an institution, is a governmental body and it cannot censure any of its members solely for a matter of speech. Such institutional action by a governmental body would violate the First Amendment. By the way, I read through the Hart Board by-laws and could not find the provision to which you refer—I would appreciate it if you would direct me to that provision. I would like to read it.

            The standard for governmental employees is that they can say anything they want outside of the workplace as long as it is made clear that they are not speaking in their capacity as a governmental employee. Whatever they say outside of their official capacity is protected by the first amendment. Private employers can take action against any employee for speech violating corporate policy, regardless of whether it is spoken in the workplace or elsewhere.

            Mr. Messina is an elected official, not an employee of the Hart District; therefore he is free to say whatever he wants. If his speech constitutes the creation of a hostile work environment, which presumably is a civil matter, it could have economic consequences to the District but such comments are not grounds for his removal.

            Finally, the person who you pejoratively call “my judge” has nothing to do with me. I met him at a dinner party last weekend and spoke with him for twenty minutes about the Hart District situation and the topic suggested in your column. He is a retired Federal judge (who was likely appointed by Jimmy Carter). He is active in the Democratic Party, supports Bernie Sanders and is actively working to defeat Congressman Knight in the 2018 elections. He is dismayed about Mr. Messina’s comments. In short, he is not a guy from Fox News. Our discussion was multi-faceted and his responses were analytic and thorough. He answered all of my questions in an unbiased manner and much of what he said was consistent with Brian Baker’s remarks. I trust his analysis much more than I trust the opinions of “some parents who researched the bylaws.”

          • Brian Baker

            Jim, I linked the actual Hart Board by-laws in my comment just above yours.

          • Brian Baker

            Incidentally, Jim, according to Breznican’s “logic”, that judge is a “supporter” of Messina’s position, whether he likes it or not, simply by virtue of saying he has the right to make such statements. That’s how the Leftist “mind” works, apparently.

          • Anthony Breznican

            Don’t put words in my mouth. Lie on your own time and under your own name.

          • Brian Baker

            Oh, boooo-hooooooooo.

            You seem to feel perfectly free to put words and MY mouth, kid. Ever hear the term “turnabout is fair play”?

            Lame leftoids really hate logic. It hurts, huh, kid?

            Suck it up, snowflake.

          • Anthony Breznican

            Oh, boo. I love you. So angry. Blood boiling. Hair on fire.

            But I’m going to let you go and wish you a happy Sunday afternoon. Thanks again for helping keep the Messina issue going. More parents are becoming aware every day.

            And Messina’s involvement as head of the Republican Party’s CA-38 assembly committee just shows the kind of low character that Dante Acosta and Scott Wilk have chosen to associate with.

            This town is finally learning all about this creepy little clique. People are waking up. I’ve heard from a few Republicans who have told me confidentially how much they dislike the way he has warped the local party to aggrandize himself.

            Good on you for helping rouse them.

          • Brian Baker

            LOL!

            Dream on, kid. The day you can get me angry is the day you should buy yourself a lotto ticket. I do this for fun and entertainment, and I’ve gotta tell ya, you’re a hoot!

            You’re like a caricature of the dense leftist, stumbling around bleating mindless rhetoric completely unfounded in reality, utterly convinced you’re right in spite of the evidence, like some flat-earther. It’s hilarious!

            Kind of a self-parody.

            BTW, I notice that even though I gave you the link to the Hart Board’s by-laws, you couldn’t come up with a single sentence there to support your absurd assertions.

            What a shocker…

          • Ron Bischof

            “And Messina’s involvement as head of the Republican Party’s CA-38 assembly committee just shows the kind of low character that Dante A costa and Scott Wilk have chosen to associate with.”

            This reveals what’s the motivation behind the manufactured kerfuffle. It’s political, folks.

            Leftists like Mr. Breznican engage in guerrilla tactics to circumvent voters deciding at the ballot box.

          • Brian Richards

            Maybe you should go back to where you came from to avoid creepy cliques?

          • Anthony Breznican

            This is my hometown newspaper. I’m a subscriber. How dare you tell me I’m not welcome to post or comment?

            And I’ll be damned if I’m going to let the snarky old guys from The Muppets drive me away. This forum is open and free to all. And you won’t be running anyone off. Ever.

          • Ron Bischof

            On a mission from Up25 and Bryan Caforio aren’t you, messenger boy? 😀

          • Brian Baker

            And it just occurred to me, Jim. I guess YOU must be a “hater”, too!

            After all, you’re supporting Messina’s First Amendment rights. Shame on you!

            LOL

          • Anthony Breznican

            The board has bylaws that demand strict ethical behavior by members, which Messina is clearly violating. At the very least, his actions warrant investigation by the board to determine whether he is guilting of breaking their regulations.

            The most clear violation is this one: “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.”

            That would seem to cover the ethical violation of “spreading false news and generating hate against minorities to generate clicks for a for-profit radio show.”

            These are just a few of the bylaws he’s likely violating:

            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

          • Ron Bischof

            Facts don’t matter to ideologues on political crusades, Jim. The objectives distort reality and are extralegal.

            Mr. Hegg wrote a column about this behavior.

        • Jim de Bree

          Anthony–in your original column you complained that the district has taken no action to censure or demand an apology. Neither the District nor the Board can do so because it would infringe on Mr. Messina’s fist amendment rights. Brian’s column merely responded to your article by explaining how the first amendment works in this context. What Brian says was corroborated by a retired Judge with whom I spoke. Brian and the Judge are at opposite ends of the political spectrum and they maintain that the district cannot censure or demand an apology without infringing on Mr. Messina’s rights. A more appropriate comment would have been to state that no current board members have called him out and/or demanded an apology.

          We all understand your point that Mr. Messina’s comments are inappropriate. I would gather that most of the people commenting don’t disagree with that point. We disagree on the remedies that are available.

          This argument has continued for a second weekend. If you are so concerned, why don’t you start a recall motion?

          • Brian Baker

            Thanks, Jim, nicely stated.

            Too much common sense. Any minute now you’ll be accused of “supporting” whatever Messina said or wrote that got the kid’s knickers in a wad.

          • Jim de Bree

            That is why I am so astounded by this discussion. NOBODY agrees with what Messina purportedly said. Quite frankly, from what I have seen and read, it is highly unlikely that I would ever vote for the guy. He is not in my district, so I guess I won’t have the opportunity to vote against him. The point is that there are certain constraints on what can be done to deal with him. That has been pointed out ad nauseum in this column’s discussion and in the original discussion.

          • Brian Baker

            Yes, of course. I agree; “astounding” is an absolutely appropriate description. But Breznican can’t — or won’t — recognize the principle of free speech as being independent of one particular person’s political views, apparently. Further, he’s using a very SOP leftist tactic of trying to demonize his opponent in order to try to discredit him/them/me. We see it all the time, on a host of topics. You don’t accept the idea of amnesty for illegal aliens, for example? You’re racist/bigoted/xenophobic, etc. Nothing new.

  • Brian Baker

    So, let’s summarize, shall we?

    According to Breznican, I came to the defense of Joe Messina’s First Amendment rights, making him my “BFF”.

    On this page, in the column and comments, I’ve also defended Bernie Sanders, “every Dem/socialist in Sacramento, along with about two-thirds of the GOPers” whom I think are nuts, the silly NFL kneelers, their bosses, the NFL itself, Trump, and of course the kid’s own right to make inane comments.

    Holy guacamole! I sure have a lot of BFFs! Kinda dilutes the meaning of that “B” for “Best”. How many “besties” can one
    person actually have?

    Hey, kid, as one of my many new BFFs, wanna hang out? Maybe hit the range and bust a few caps? Check out a MAGA meeting?

    Whaddaya say?

  • lois eisenberg

    “Tom Price Resigns As Health And Human Services Secretary”
    “He cost taxpayers over $1 million by using private planes for official travel.”
    Who is next to go in this corrupt administration ?

  • Anthony Breznican

    It would be so nice if some of the people in this community were as interested in protecting the innocent people that Joe Messina slanders as much as they are interested in protecting a “safe space” for a middle-aged bigot who ought to know better.

    • Brian Baker

      What we’re interested in protecting is our constitutional rights, which apply to everyone. But apparently you’re too dense to grasp that simple point.

  • lois eisenberg

    “We need leaders in Washington who will put people before partisan politics”
    “Republicans in Congress are ignoring the American people and pushing Trump’s
    awful Agenda”
    59% of the people agree that Trump isn’t making America Great ***

  • lois eisenberg

    “BREAKING: Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner used private email to conduct White House business.”
    “Republicans who condemned Hillary Clinton for her emails MUST condemn Jared Kushner!”

    • Brian Richards

      Consider him condemned from me Lois. Now will you join me in condemning Hillary who had a slightly more important job than Kushner and had much more sensitive emails than Kushner?

      • Gary Bierend

        I made the same challenge to lois the last time she invaded a thread with her off topic nonsense. Unsurprisingly, she was mute to the challenge. Her hypocrisy knows no bounds.