Supporters of former Walnut Grove Principal Jon Vranesh weren't in attendance at the Pleasanton School Board meeting Tuesday night, but he was still on the minds of some.
Representatives from both unions made veiled references to the circumstances that led to Vranesh being removed from office.
Peggy Carpenter, head of the Association of Pleasanton Teachers, quoted President Ronald Reagan, saying, "We have to to what's moral and what's right."
"A decision was made and it was hard," Carpenter told the board. "People helped to make it so that the rights of those involved were honored ... even if it came to the decision the board had to make in December."
In December, after a closed session that lasted more than seven hours, the board voted 4-1 to approve the hiring of a new principal at Walnut Grove, saying there was "merit to complaints" against Vranesh.
Those claims include allegations that Vranesh "created a hostile work environment at Walnut Grove through, among other things, the use of vulgar/derogatory terms to describe female employees of the district," according to a letter from the district's attorney, Kim Bogard of Kingsley Bogard LLC, to Vranesh's attorney, Paul Kondrick.
Alex Sutton, president of the local chapter of the California School Employees Association, told the board it had an opportunity "to fix our little dilemma."
"I'm a little bit concerned about morale in the district," Sutton said, alluding to problems the district has had with principals. "I'd really like to change the perception of this district to get back on track."
Vranesh's ouster marked the seventh of 16 principals to leave the district in the last year. Principals at all three high schools, at Donlon and Mohr elementary schools, and at Pleasanton Middle School have taken other posts or retired.
Vranesh remains on paid administrative leave, which began Oct. 25.
A request by the Pleasanton Weekly for documents surrounding his removal was answered with a reply requesting a 30-day extension. According to the letter from Bogard, "As a courtesy, our office notified Mr. Vranesh's attorney of its intent to respond and produce the documents requested in Pleasanton Weekly's request. Mr. Vranesh's attorney has notified our office of his: 1) client's objection to the production of the requested documentation; and 2) willingness to take legal action to prevent disclosure."
In an email to the Pleasanton Weekly on Monday afternoon, attorney Kondrick disputed the characterization of the response and stated there was not an objection to producing the documents.
In his email, Kondrick wrote, "Mr. Vranesh indeed did not take the position with the District that he would fight the release of information, but rather, he stated to the District's attorney that he 'expects the District to take all necessary legal and other action to preserve the confidence and privacy of those matters and documents,' as appropriate, and would be willing to 'join any legal proceeding' necessary to best assure the protection of the privacy rights of PUSD students, parents and staff/employees as pertain to these ongoing District matters."
The Pleasanton Weekly has been asking for, among other documents, an investigator's report on the allegations against Vranesh, something Kondrick has said neither he nor Vranesh has seen.