Fri09192014

News

Emotions rise over LASD board president's attendance

Tensions over the legal wrangling between Los Altos School District and Bullis Charter School leaders came to a head last Thursday night when charter school officials told the district’s board President Doug Smith to leave the charter school parents’ meeting.

The meeting, according to charter school officials, was supposed to be an update exclusively for charter school parents on the status of the ongoing legal battle over facilities. Smith said he understood it was a community meeting.

“I was very surprised (over the reaction),” said Smith, who left the meeting when confronted.

Joe Hurd, a member of the Bullis Charter School Board of Directors, saw Smith’s presence at the meeting as having “a chilling effect” on parent input, because Smith is directly involved in the other side of the lawsuit.

According to Smith, another official threatened him with arrest. Hurd said he didn’t recall the word “arrest” used.

Bullis Charter School parent Susan Mensinger said Smith’s presence “disturbed some in the room.”

Notice of the meeting was conveyed via charter school room parent emails. Mensinger said the meeting did not qualify under the Brown Act – the state’s open meeting law – because the majority of the school board was not in attendance.

Hurd said he and Smith have since discussed the matter and are back on good terms.

“Our working relationship is fine,” Hurd said. “We’re back to work.”

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