Dear Board Members,
The parents in support of reinstating Coach George Arnott just learned that in spite of the matter having been placed on your October agenda, Gary Bloom has ordered high school administration to put together a committee to find a replacement. This is clearly yet another underhanded tactic intended to keep this matter from being heard in a public forum. We will loudly and publicly protest any efforts to replace Coach Arnott before we have been heard. There are hundreds of people in support of his reinstatement, and that number grows daily. People we don't even know stop us in public places and ask whether he has been reinstated yet, and why not. Prominent members of the community, including at least one superior court judge, are disgusted by Bloom's tactics.
It is our fervent believe that you as a Board are here to protect us from the abuses of power that have occurred and continue to occur here. Bloom has publicly stated that he does not care how many people are in favor of reinstatement, he has made his decision. This is not responsive to the community, irresponsible to the students, and clearly indicates that he is unfit for the office he holds.
We ask you, the Board to whom Bloom is answerable, to direct him to cease his efforts to undermine the democratic process.
Dear Ms. Tracy-Proulx, President of the Board, Mr. Wagman, Ms. Threet, Dr.
Coonerty, Mr. Trujillo, Ms. Vestal, and Ms. Hawthorne:
Whether people use the phrase “conflict of interest” as a term of art or
in reference to Mr. Bloom’s decision not to renew Coach Arnott’s contract
as a result of his listening to two parents, one of whom is Mr. Bloom’s
friend, one thing cannot be denied: as Marcellus put it in Hamlet, “There
is something rotten in the state of Denmark” or in this case the
District. With so many people in support of Coach Arnott, the decision
simply does not make sense. The fact is that the ill informed decision
regarding Coach Arnott was made in a manner that was contrary to Board
policy and in violation of the ethical standards you have set forth for
Over 500 people have signed a petition for Coach Arnott’s reinstatement.
Hundreds of emails have been sent to the District and the Board in
support of Coach Arnott. Yet the response that your constituents have
received from Mr. Bloom and the District is that the decision has been
made and nothing the public has to say matters. These are not my words,
these are the words Mr. Bloom made to the public and the local press
before the last Board meeting. To say that Mr. Bloom or the District
have taken the support for Coach Arnott into consideration is
disingenuous when all actions and statements are to the contrary.
More recently, Mr. Bloom in an email to me (and I believe to others as
well) stated that the parents will have input in any selection of a new
coach if it should come to that. However, I have received information
that the District is now out actively soliciting for a new coach. Not
just placing an advertisement but rather actively seeking someone to be a
replacement. This all before the October meeting which we have been told
will include an agenda item on this situation.
The Board has the ultimate approval power over employee hiring. If you
allow an appointment to be made before the public has an opportunity to
be heard and to make its case for Coach Arnott’s reinstatement, you will
cement the opinion of the hundreds of people looking at this (not just
the SCHS baseball community, but the local press and the community as a
whole, including prominent members of the community) decision as a
backroom deal that is simply being “rubber stamped.” Should this happen,
the “something rotten” from the District will only get worse and the
voices from the community will only get louder and angrier. Certainly,
the trust that these people have in their elected officials will take
another enormous hit.
Do not let ego triumph over reason. The last time I looked, the
Superintendent’s job came with a code of ethics and a contract renewable
by the Board. It did not come with a crown.
To Whom It May Concern:
As a member of this community I am asking the board to call an emergency meeting regarding the SCHS baseball head coach position. You all know that postponement until a later date is ludicrous. You are all making the conscious decision of denying every student their right to be heard, until its just too late.
The students/players along with the rest of the SCHS student body are being disserved by the leaders of this board and the Superintendent. ALL high schools with the exception of SC are already gearing up for the coming season. All educators know the importance of bonding as a team. Let these students/players begin to heal from this mess brought down upon them from adults that can comport themselves better.
Teach the lesson of reason and humility; that no issue is worth destroying so many people's opportunities. Opportunity to do better at one's work place, to be a better parent, to be a better student/player, to be a better leader. I have faith that Mr. Bloom will rectify this miscalculation and guide the community towards a more amiable means. So, I ask you, please call a meeting ASAP. Show the kids how you can get things done in a timely manner for the good of their welfare.
Dear Santa Cruz City School Board of Education Trustees,
This is my second letter to you, in as many months. I thank you for continuing to listen to the concerned people in and out of Santa Cruz. This letter is again; in regard of the dismissal of Santa Cruz High baseball coach George Arnott.
After reading the recent news articles covering the last school board meeting, and Superintendent Gary Bloom thanking the attending students for coming to the meeting to learn about democracy, I must disagree that what the students were learning at that meeting was "democracy."
By Merriam-Webster's definition, democracy includes:
: an organization or situation in which everyone is treated equally and has equal rights
a : government by the people; especially : rule of the majority
b : a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections
: the common people especially when constituting the source of political authority
: the absence of hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions or privileges
What Mr. Bloom is actually teaching the children, parents, and employees of the Santa Cruz City School system is that instead of a democracy, the schools are, in actuality, run by an “oligarchy.”
By Merriam-Webster’s definition, oligarchy include:
: a country, business, etc., that is controlled by a small group of people
: government by the few
: a government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes; also : a group exercising such control
As it seems that only a couple of people have bended Mr. Bloom’s ear with a grievance, and Mr. Bloom took it upon himself to dismiss a coach that is obviously popular and well-supported by HUNDREDS of other people (his own team members included, MOST IMPORTANTLY), then this is teaching the lesson of an oligarchy. Where are all of these people who have swayed Mr. Bloom’s decision? Is it really ONLY one or two? True democracy listens to the voices of the many, NOT only the few.
The fact is the Superintendent did NOT get this right. He got it wrong. What proves that he got it wrong is the offer to the coach to become an assistant coach. If the profanity and behavior of the coach was so egregious to begin with, why would he even offer him a secondary position? It is because he knew that a mistake was made, and it was a weak attempt at trying to save face.
Regarding my previous letter in support of Coach Arnott, I was informed in writing by board member Steve Trujillo that the board does not have the authority to hire or fire school employees. The board only has the authority to hire and fire the Superintendent. Reading through each published news article on this story, and the subsequent article comments from the public, I appreciate Mr. Trujillo’s candor in the thread of comments. Mr. Trujillo was the only board member to respond personally to my first letter of support, I appreciate that.
The irony here is that you have an entire group of teachers and school support staff voting “no confidence” in their Superintendent, and yet he still sits in a position of power. While on the other side of the token, you have hundreds of parents, students, and community members voting “all confidence” in a high school baseball coach who turned down his pay, was fired because of a couple of boorish parents, and remains without the job he loved to do.
A last thought:
500+ signatures on a petition to reinstate the coach is democracy;
401 “likes” on a Facebook page made by team parents, past and present is democracy;
41 positive comments for the on a public newspaper article regarding the coach is democracy;
8 Letters to the Editor and 1 public newspaper Editorial published in support of a coach is democracy;
77.31% voting YES on a public newspaper online poll in favor of the coach is democracy;
2 parents complaining to the Superintendent in a back door conference, about a coach and getting him fired is an oligarchy.
You cannot make me believe, for all the baseballs in Cooperstown, that THAT is “democracy in action.” Superintendent Bloom needs to right his wrong, and reinstate Coach Arnott.
Melanie Arnott O’Connor