Back-to-School: Can the Valley get any more controversial?
On the day that STAR (Standardized Test and Review) results will be released, I have only one question: can Valley schools get any more controversial?
Can Buchanan advance from their dismal year as the home of the butt drag and drunk students? Or can the Fresno Unified School board move past its scuffles, ranging from its Superintendent’s awful driving record and alleged assault of a fellow board member?
We’ll never know. But as school will start (or for some people, already started), let’s take a look back at the top 5 controversies of Fresno’s local education system in recent years:
No doubt, Fresnans will likely not forget the infamous butt drag wrestling move that landed one Buchanan senior out of the district and suing to maintain his innocence. A top the mountain of puns using the wrestling move’s name was a larger debate about school activities and whether a student should be punished for “doing as he was told.”
Then again, we’ve still got the Butt Dragons (courtesy: Mike Oz)
MICHAEL HANSON’S DRIVING RECORD
As part of their campaign to enforce school uniforms at Bullard High School, Bullard Pride pulled out every stop to place pressure on sympathizing Superintendent Michael Hanson, including releasing details about his terrible driving record.
Among the revelations released from supporter, and former LA Times journalist, Mark Arax told the Fresno Bee that Hanson had once almost run-over a 5-year-old boy.
Naturally, this opened a very large wound for Michael Hanson in the middle of a very nasty period of school politics on the Board of Trustees. Mind you it climaxed when Board member Larry Moore filed a police report stating that Hanson had assaulted him when they both exited a board meeting earlier in the year.
BUCHANAN STUDENTS CITED FOR DRINKING AT PROM
Talk about yellow journalism. The story started as a report from ABC 30, who reported that over 100 students were cited for underage drinking following their prom. The following day, the Clovis Police Department clarified that 38 teens were considered under the influence of alcohol. Of the 38, only 5 were cited with parent consent.
BULLARD STUDENTS WRITE RACIAL EPITHET ON SCRABBLE DAY
A group of Bullard Students decided that Scrabble Day, a day when students wear a t-shirt with a letter on it, would be the perfect opportunity to spell out the word “N*gga,” then take a picture, then upload it to Facebook.
And then it hit the paper and news broadcasts.
CLOVIS WEST STUDENTS CHEAT ON SAT, CAUGHT
Two students, Ben Milam and Alex Lloyd, were caught cheating on the SAT in 2007. Lloyd a 4.5 GPA student at West, was headed to Columbia and hoped that Milam would join him at the New York university. Lloyd took the SAT for Milam, son of ABC 30 anchor Liz Harrison, and was caught after a parent hired a private investigator to look into the matter. The SAT scandal was the start of a long spiral downward for Milam and didn’t really affect Lloyd all that much after his punishment in 2007.