In her email Thursday, Felarca asked people to call the Berkeley School Board, and King Middle School directly, to “let them know that you support me against the bullying and harassment by Trump’s supporters.” She said they could also come to the Berkeley School Board meeting Wednesday, Feb.
22, to make their voices heard during public comment.“As important as it is to me that I continue to teach the students whom I care about so deeply, it is even more important to the Berkeley community as a whole that the local school authorities not cave into the pressure of these right-wing extremists to get me fired,” she wrote.
As a teacher, your conduct was particularly reprehensible.” BUSD said Felarca went on to email fellow King employees “during District time, using the District’s email distribution list” to thank them for their support against “BUSD’s political harassment.” She invited her co-workers to sign her petition or come to her classroom to learn more.
As a result, the district said Felarca had to comply with more stringent rules to justify any leave, and said time away would need to be in compliance with the teacher contract.
The 30-page letter documents allegations dating back to 2009.
The letter said Felarca’s performance “reflected unprofessional conduct and unsatisfactory performance,” and said both are grounds for dismissal.
Middle School and a leader in the group By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), wrote to allies early Thursday morning saying she was “In Need Of Your Support Once Again.” “Fox News is waging a hysterical witch-hunt against me because of my prominence in the Bay Area movement against Trump and his Breitbart white supremacist backers,” she wrote.
“The fact that I stood my ground against a Fox News demagogue-journalist was a surprising humiliation to him and the Fox News audience, and has driven several hundred Trump supporters into a frenzied attempt to create a new witch-hunt.
The district has catalogued a long list of what it has characterized as possible grounds for dismissal dating back to 2009, but has been unable or unwilling to terminate Felarca’s employment.
“You are to treat all students equally regardless of their ethnicity.” The letter also instructs Felarca to avoid using “a defiant, rude or insubordinate tone” with district staff, and says, “You are not to lie or engage in any type of dishonesty,” or “try to bully or manipulate District officials.” The district said she had to remove her petition and any posts related to “this confidential personnel matter” from her Facebook page, the BAMN website and “other on-line locations available to the public.” The district said Felarca again mis-used leave in November and December 2014 to protest, in part, UC regents during regular school hours. 20 where BUSD said Felarca spoke to students and during public comment at a meeting, as documented on You Tube and by the Associated Press.
The next month, Felarca took part in large Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Berkeley and Oakland and BUSD said she missed work inappropriately as a result.
The district cited six Education Code sections related to its notification letter, which was dated June 30, 2016: immoral conduct, evident unfitness for service, persistent violation of or refusal to obey school laws, dishonesty, unprofessional conduct and unsatisfactory performance.
In 2009, according to the letter, Felarca “repeatedly solicited students to participate in protests” against a proposed charter school BUSD was considering, despite having been formally reprimanded about involving students in her political activities, and pursuing those activities during the work day.