Board votes to fire Modesto High campus supervisor

naustin@modbee.comOctober 23, 2013 

  • ABOUT THE REPORTER
    alternate textNan Austin
    Title: Education reporter
    Coverage areas: K-12 education, Yosemite Community College District
    Bio: Nan Austin has been a copy editor and reporter at The Modesto Bee for 24 years. She has an economics degree from CSU Stanislaus and previously worked at the Merced Sun-Star and Turlock Journal.
    Recent stories written by Nan
    On Twitter: @nanaustin
    E-mail: naustin@modbee.com

— The Modesto City Schools board voted to fire a longtime Modesto High School campus supervisor after a lengthy closed-door meeting following a student injury in March after she broke up a fight.

“The board has deliberated and believes there is cause to dismiss a classified campus security supervisor. The board approved to terminate the employee by a unanimous vote,” was the announcement made in public session shortly before midnight Tuesday.

The vote was 6-0 to dismiss Jackie Munn, said Aaron Castro, president of the California School Employees Association. Board member Steve Grenbeaux recused himself because he knows Munn, Castro said.

The decision came after 5½ hours of hearing evidence and arguments, and an additional 90 minutes of board discussion. The special meeting was called for solely that case, which stemmed from an injury to a Modesto High student in March. Neither side would discuss the nature of the injury, but Castro said he understood it did not involve any bleeding or require hospitalization.

Munn has been on paid leave since that time, Castro said, adding the decision came as a disappointment. “We were not expecting this to go to termination. We were expecting her to be returned to work,” he said. Castro said the union will meet with its legal counsel before deciding its next steps.

Superintendent Pam Able said the district will present legal findings of fact to the union by Nov. 5, and the board will take a final vote on Munn’s dismissal at its Nov. 12 meeting.

In the meantime, more than 750 signatures in support of Munn had appeared on an online petition at www.change.org as of Wednesday afternoon. Dozens of testimonials can also be seen.

“Jackie has done over a thousand things right. She is the best campo we have had, and I have been here for 19 years,” wrote MHS teacher Susan Vlahakis.

“I remember witnessing Jackie having to break up multiple fights at Modesto High, and I always admired someone who put their own safety in jeopardy to keep students from seriously hurting each other,” wrote Jennifer Castillo of Sonora.

Bee education reporter Nan Austin can be reached at naustin@modbee.com or (209) 578-2339. Follow her on Twitter @NanAustin.

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