THOUSAND OAKS (CBSLA) — A school board in Ventura County Tuesday voted unanimously to rebuke one of its trustees over allegations he tried to threaten the employment of an outspoken parent.
The Conejo Valley Unified School Board voted 4-0 to censure Mike Dunn over an email he sent last month to a local business owner who employs an outspoken parent.
Parent Jessica Weihe believed the school board was being too restrictive over certain student material in the curriculum, and addressed it at board meetings and on her blog. Her actions prompted Dunn to send an email to Weihe’s supervisor in January asking that she be stopped from speaking at board meetings.
“It’s pretty problematic and concerning when you speak up at a public school board meeting, which you have the right to do, that a board member would retaliate against you by reaching out to your work and threatening your work,” Weihe told CBS2 back in January.
Dunn’s threatening email read, in part: “I am told that you approve of the political activities of Jessica Weihe. Every time she slanders or libels the school district or a school board member during public comments at a board meeting, I am going to respond that Jessica works for Mustang Marketing.”
Dunn spoke to CBS2 by phone back in January, and admitted sending the email.
“Jessica Weihe is trying to use the district schools to promote her agenda and indoctrinate the students,” he told CBS2. “She is known for her profanity and telling lies. She is opposed to people who hold religious beliefs. I wrote that email to protect the school district.”
Dunn did not attend Tuesday’s meeting, saying in a statement that his wife asked him not to. He added that the attacks against him had crossed a line and he never should have responded.
However, Weihe’s boss, Scott Harris, addressed the board.
“The fear that you (Dunn) are feeling right now, where you’re afraid to show up at a board meeting, where you’re a board member — apparently you couldn’t get your wife’s permission to attend — imagine the fear that the rest of feel, when you attack us from your elected position of power,” business owner Scott Harris told the board Thursday.
Dunn was also censured in 2007 for violating three board protocols.