Ash, Cathy. Political agenda may be behind ROP teacher's firing. The Argus: Opinion. Fremont, Ca. Jan. 22, 2007. Retrieved January 24, 2007 from

The article is pasted below in case the above-link no longer works.

(to view more information about this event, and see ME with a bullhorn, read the article written in The Argus on January 18, 2007, by Linh Tat

Cathy ASH Political agenda may be behind ROP teacher's firing
Article Last Updated: 01/22/2007 05:27:36 AM PST

Iwant to commend parents for their support of the teacher recently fired by the ROP board in Fremont.
As a teacher at Irvington High School, I was privy to information about the political fiasco only because I am peripherally involved in technology.

Nobody on campus was informed of anything, other than that the teacher was not here. Rumors abounded.

While I appreciate parents' support and letters to the editor regarding accountability and the raising of one's own children, I feel that the student behavior versus teacher comment could not have been the sole reason for "the firing."

This monthlong firing process — generally hidden from public eye — occurred even though, according to an Argus article, the local police felt the matter "unsubstantiated."

From where I sit, teachers, students, parents, were kept out of the loop as much as possible during the allegedly "just-trial-investigation" system.

This wasn't about the child, a teacher comment, or anything else that was allowed to be seen on the surface.

The secretive nature of these dealings (staff could not talk about what was happening if they knew, meetings were called 24 hours in advance, and the parties involved were not given any warning or the decency of a timely notice), force me to conclude that someone's political agenda was at the forefront of this recent, mortifying ruckus.

I'm now left not only with a bad taste in my mouth about political agendas in the Fremont public education structure, but I'm also forced to question how I support fellow colleagues with whom I work.
If our school can't stand behind great teachers who bring new programs, challenge difficult students and engage youth who might otherwise have given up on school, then who am I to stand behind and support all of the other teachers in our school?

The fact this employee was contracted through a different agency, with no union backing, should not keep the school community from getting behind him 100 percent.

The fact is, most of the community wasn't even told there was a situation.

This made it impossible for teachers who would have shown support to attend the impromptu, allegedly public, hearings.

I have since found out the board involved in propagating its own political agenda is a publicly run educational structure.

Shame on you, Fremont, for supporting backhanded political agendas; shame on you for losing quality teaching staff to the vagaries of politics; and shame on you for not being forthright in any of the alleged investigation or publicity of the alleged event.

It is clear to any and everyone who is aware of the situation that some other political agenda was on hand.

Cathy Ash, a resident of Oakland, has taught at

Irvington High School for eight years in English and library media. Last summer, she worked with Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education as a fellowship teacher going into the business world, and worked at Intel Corp. in Santa Clara under the fellowship.