Letters to the Editor
April 17, 2014

To the Editor:
Mary Ford, you have no integrity
Before I begin I need to make it clear, I am not speaking for the School Board or the District only as one Board Member of Five.
Once again, the anointed one, the oracle of Fillmore has spoken. The Gazette, Mr. Ashim, and Mary Ford have incorrectly described a letter that I received from the Office of the District Attorney. The letter was not a "reprimand" as stated. The dictionary defines reprimand as "a severe or formal rebuke". The letter from Michael D. Schwartz, Special Assistant District Attorney, states "This letter should serve as a reminder as to the public's rights under the Brown Act." My actions in that particular situation were not arrogant or extreme rudeness it was a mistake on my part and I own it. but for you to make it more than it was shows a lack of integrity.
You mention Mr. Mesfun and legal documents, there was no guilt found, only a settlement out of court. Is it possibles that Mr. Mesfun was holding teachers accountable and some ineffective, below average teachers decided to retaliate against him? Mr. Mesfun has a reputation of weeding out weak and ineffective teachers and that is why he was brought to Fillmore High School. You also mention Dr. Nishino"s accomplishments, schools that are failing, failed policies, distrust and fear among teachers , the legality of his contract. Before Dr. Nishino came to Fillmore all of our schools were in Program Improvement for well over five years. This was not his fault, he inherited a bad situation. The District was in danger of being taken over by the State. He and Mr. Johnson prevented the state from taking over the District. The Alternative Governance Board saved the District, an idea presented to the Board by Board Member Dave Wilde and Mr. Schieferly. When it comes to fear and distrust I will keep it simple, accountability and effectiveness in the classroom, I will leave the rest to your imagination! Dr. Nishino's contract is a public document, which has been reviewed by our attorneys. Mrs. Ford, all you have to do is do your homework.
Gate keeper yes, racist no. Let me be clear, I have never and do not ever believe Mr. and Mrs. Ashim to be racist. Your imagination and emotions have gotten the best of you. My comments were not designed to create an us versus them or white against Mexican or African American. Your last paragraph does nothing more than to incite people's emotions by raising the issue of racism. Is it your goal to stir the community with your insinuations? Many times I have personally congratulated you on your "Pride in America" program at the Middle School. But since your retirement when have you taken the time to talk to me about issues burning in your mind? When have you tried to understand the other side of the issue? When have you tried to take me aside and say, explain to me what this is all about?
In light of the season I am compelled to believe it is time to stop this nonsense of bickering and negative comments. We all have strong convictions about who has the greater virtue or moral excellence. In a conciliatory gesture I have come to the conclusion that it is time to forgive, for all to stop the anger and resentment towards one another. It is in my nature to speak my mind and say it like it is even if it hurts, but I can also be kind and respectful. Today is Holy Thursday and tomorrow Good Friday, the day Jesus Christ was sacrificed for all the sins humans have committed. And two days later, Easter Sunday, the glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ. Therefore, since we all have the same goal, to do what is best for all the students of this District, it is incumbent to work towards this end. So I say to Mary Ford, the Ashims and others, God Bless You, and most of all, God Bless America.
Tony Prado
School Board Member