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ELECTIONS: Yucaipa-Calimesa Schools Superintendent Answers IETA, ccs DAs

Sherry Kendrick sent a letter to the president of the Inland Empire Taxpayers Association on Wednesday Oct. 31.

The superintendent of the Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District responded Wednesday to concerns raised by the Inland Empire Taxpayers Association, who alleged district employees actively campaigned recently for Proposition 30 and against Proposition 32 on school grounds.

Sherry Kendrick sent a letter Wednesday to Chris Mann, president of the Inland Empire Taxpayers Association, and copied it to district attorneys' offices in San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

The letter reads in part:

October 31, 2012

Re: Election Matters - November 6, 2012

Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District

Dear Mr. Mann,

We are in receipt of your letter dated October 29, 2012 concerning election matters and the Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District ("District"). Thank you for bringing these matters to our attention.

We take public accountability and transparency very seriously. Our school district has not pursued a school bond in many decades. Voters and community members regularly ask questions about the proposed measure. We want to be sure that interested citizens receive prompt, consistent, factual and thorough answers.

The District is aware of current California law relating to limitations on elections activities. District Board of Education policies and District administrative regulations are currently in place which address prohibited activities (BP 1325, AR 4119.25/4219.25(a) and (b)).

The District has regularly advised District principals, officers, teachers and employees concerning permissible/impermissible campaign and election activities both involving the District and by individuals on their own personal time not connected with the District. With regard to the activities of October 24, 2012, referenced in your letter, District Administration did not authorize any campaign activities and was not aware of the proposed activities. As soon as District Administration was advised of these events, the District immediately notified District personnel that they should cease participating in such activities and reminded them of our District Board Policies and Administrative Regulations regarding campaign materials and prohibited activities.

With regard to District activities related to the District's bond measure ("Measure O"), the District has reviewed all materials with the District's legal counsel to be sure materials are neutral and fact-based in order to remain in compliance with the law. . . .

The District is not aware of any improper political speeches at "back to school" nights. All authorized activities have been structured to provide only factual and neutral information.

The District has worked hard to monitor activity within our purview and do our best to ensure that improper activities do not happen. We will continue to review matters to ensure violations do not occur. Thank you again for your letter. We appreciate your concern for the welfare of our community.

Very truly yours,

Sherry Kendrick, Ed.D.

District Superintendent

cc: San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office

Riverside County District Attorney's Office

A pdf copy of the full letter from Kendrick to Mann is attached to this report.

To read more about concerns raised by Mann and the Inland Empire Taxpayers Association, click here.

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Steve Mehlman November 01, 2012 at 01:04 AM
Facts, Dr. Kendrick? Facts only confuse IETA. Remember, here's an example of the kind of people you're trying to reason with: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTZMTTcvTm8&feature=player_embedded
Jack Smith November 01, 2012 at 01:20 AM
Oh dear ! We didn't mean any harm ! Nothing intentional ! Just doing our best !
Charles Ferrell November 01, 2012 at 01:42 PM
I'm surprised the letter wasn't set until Nov. 7, the day after the election. No politics in classrooms? Give me a break. Has anyone read school newspapers recently. Full of politics. Yes, the students in theory produce those publications, but does anybody think the teachers who oversee the student newspapers don't have any influence? Too much indoctrination and not enough education in public schools these days. And on all levels, too. Virtual complete lack of diversity of thought on campus, in the classrooms these days. This is not serving our nation well, and certainly not serving our young people well.
Gregory Brittain November 02, 2012 at 07:25 PM
OK, we got caught violating the law, we'll stop. I had no knowledge that District employees were openly and blatantly violating the law. ("As always Jim, if any member of your IM force is caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions. Good luck Jim.") "President Barack Obama’s Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius violated the Hatch Act, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel said Wednesday." Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/09/12/sebelius-violated-hatch-act-and-may-be-fired-obama-administration-lawyers-find/#ixzz2B5wgCiKF When all else fails, fall back on the Steve Martin defense. "Well excuse me." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zANvYB93u2g
Kristie Marino December 06, 2012 at 11:30 AM
Sherry Kendrick has knowlingly, and willfully violated the law since the old days of sanctioning retaliatory harassment of teachers at Yucaipa high for everything from Asbestos complaints to poor working conditions for substitutes. She is a conviving and underhanded administrator who functions in a world she believes is above the reach of the law because no individual stands a chance within the district of challenging her without direct adverse employment remifications. How she has remained in her position after doing SO MUCH wrong for SO LONG is beyond most of us in her own school system.

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