Revanna Gonzalez and Vanessa Gamez
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Revanna Gonzalez and Vanessa Gamez love what they do: on top of work, family, and attending college, they coach cheerleaders for the Sweetwater Union High School District…or, they used to.

Revanna and Vanessa were former co-captains of the cheerleading squad at Otay Ranch High School and graduated in 2007. According to them, their sorry-wage saga began with Sweetwater when they were hired to coach students at Montgomery High School for one year.

At first, Revanna and Sandra (another former Otay cheerleader) were contacted through their Facebook pages by a district cheer advisor, Sesha-Haynes. She met with the two women at a Starbucks and laid out the district deal. Sandra dropped out and Vanessa Gamez took her place.

Gonzalez and Gamez went to work for the district in June 2012. They were given to understand that they would be coaching students for one year and that one of them would be paid $2695 through a district stipend twice during the school year and the other would be paid the same amount through fundraising efforts.

During the summer they worked at least four days a week with junior varsity and varsity cheerleaders. When the school year started, they worked with the students five days a week as well as attending an open-house, assemblies, district camp, and conducting fundraising events. During football season, they attended evening games.

It was clear to district personnel, parents, and students, Gonzalez and Gamez maintain, that there were two people working. The pair worked several weeks into January and have yet to see a dime. They, and the attorney they briefly engaged, have been told several different stories by several district representatives regarding pay — or lack of it.

According to Gonzalez and Gamez, the district parlayed their December pay into January and then told Gonzalez (but not Gamez) that she had to get a tuberculosis test, a drug test, CPR training, and fingerprinting. Aside from the delay for being paid, the requirements would cost several hundred dollars.

Meanwhile, Ida Spector, the mother of Gonzalez, called district superintendent Ed Brand. According to Spector, Brand reassured her and said not to worry, “we take care of our own.” He promised to pay both women and even suggested to Spector that when her daughter received her teaching credential “the district wanted first shot at her.”

Brand then referred Gonzalez and Gamez to the Montgomery principal, Tom Rodrigo, who reportedly told them he could not find pay for both of them and, further, he had cancelled the cheer program for the remaining part of the year.

And what of the fundraisers held by the cheer club? William McLaughlin, chief compliance officer at Sweetwater, wrote to the attorney retained by the women. McLaughlin acknowledged that the women conducted fundraisers but stated that money “has not been received yet.”

Though the district argues that the agreement was not for a full year, McLaughlin stated, “It appears that the agreement for Ms. Gamez’ compensation was contingent upon money left over after the payment of the expenses for this year’s activities and Cheer banquet.” The banquet is held at the end of the year.

The district has now dropped the demand to complete the employment requirements and simply wants Gonzalez to fill out her Social Security information. However, at this point Gonzalez and Gamez assert there are discrepancies and circumlocutions in the district’s offers, including, they say, an offer of a cash buyout at one time.

They are also concerned that their reputation has been damaged with the Montgomery community and they intend to take their grievance to the school board on May 13.

Chief compliance officer McLaughlin was contacted by email on May 8 about hiring procedures for this collectively bargained stipend position. He did not respond by district closing time.

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Comments

angrybirds May 9, 2013 @ 12:14 p.m.

Sweetwater is the gift that keeps on giving isnt it. Holy crapola dont these people think before they open their mouths. You know SUHSD it is a lot easier when you tell the truth you don't have to think so much about how to cover your tracks. Pay these poor girls their wages that they are owed and stop foolin with them. Oh and by the way WTH you let these girls coach without even being fingerprinted? This district is a lawsuit waiting to happen. SUHSD get a grip and understand your ship is sinking so let the captain go down with it and start to rebuild

7

maindent May 11, 2013 @ 6:11 a.m.

I totally agree with angrybirds. How does a public school allow this to happen. These girls put the time in and need to be compensated. This must stop and not be allowed to happen again. This is CRAPOLA.

5

Woodchuck May 9, 2013 @ 1:13 p.m.

I feel really bad for these girls. To enter into any agreement with this district is a huge gamble. Sweetwater needs to short or cheat those in a vulnerable position (Starbucks planning?) in order to keep pumping money into real estate misadventures. What the district does the very best is pass the buck. Laurel and Hardy, The Keystone cops, Luci Ricardo, etc. must have been the model when writing the employer training manual. Come on SUHSD, pay these girls now!

7

amb May 9, 2013 @ 1:19 p.m.

How can a school make an employment agreement with people, watch these people perform their agreed upon services day after day for a long period of time and NOT PAY THEM??? WHAT A DISGRACE!!!

7

Alexxxandra May 9, 2013 @ 2:03 p.m.

This is beyond ridiculous! I completely agree on what these comments are saying. If these girls worked their butts off day after day for a whole year, how can the school NOT PAY THEM?! I feel so bad for these two girls and the young cheerleaders at Montgomery cause now their program has been cancelled. The school district needs to man up and do what is right and pay these girls and stop doing shady stuff like this!!!

8

mbb May 9, 2013 @ 2:39 p.m.

It is a sad shame when girls that were former students take their time to coach cheerleading with the understanding that they would be paid and to later find out that, in fact, they couldn't trust the school district they went to is incomprehensible to me. Spending four to five days a week for as many months as they did, the amount owed to them is not substantial. They deserve so much more and should be paid immediately!!!

7

anniej May 9, 2013 @ 3:09 p.m.

Just when we think we have seen our district leadership at it worst!

"It's all about the kids", yes, Ed Brand it is all about the kids PAY THESE COACHES!!!!

2,4,6,8 who do we appreciate Revanna and Vanessa!!!!!!!!!!!

Decisions like this should serve to show why we do NOT need Bill McLaughlin heading up a break away CIF division. If his decision making is so poor as to refuse to honor a payment for services rendered how, why in the world would we trust our student athletic programs to him and Brand?

Wow, what a first impression to the world of employment SUHSD has left these young women with.

7

eastlaker May 9, 2013 @ 3:38 p.m.

Classic SUHSD, attempt to bully those who appear to be in a position of powerlessness.

Also classic Ed Brand, the Bully-King of Sweetwater. Ed must be unfamiliar with the home page of the State Board of Education--referencing how bullying is not to be tolerated in the schools.

Sure wish the state would bear down a bit and enforce that for the sake of all the Sweetwater students and teachers.

Is there nothing too low for Ed Brand and Sweetwater? Apparently not.

6

erupting May 9, 2013 @ 5:57 p.m.

angry birds, you are correct if the Human Resources packet was not completed finger printing, being the most important,plus the health and safety class, TB testing etc.these girls would not be able to be hired in the first place. What is also interesting is that they let them work all that time and now refuse to pay them. You can't get cheaper employees than that. Until Brand and his minions are gone this type of activity will continue,because of our impotent board of untrustees. Pay these young ladies!!

7

patsic May 9, 2013 @ 6:11 p.m.

I am from out of town and just happend upon your fine paper. i read the article regarding the two lovely cheerleaders who were exploited by the san diego school system. what a terrible shame! No pay for the girls, no cheerleaders for the school, what is happening here!?!?! cheerleading is more american than apple pie for XXXX's sake! sober up school board people and live up to your promises and commitments! lead by example, do the right thing. I hope these girls lawyer up and go afer your union protected jobs, how would you like to be treated in this manner?!?!?!!?

7

eastlaker May 9, 2013 @ 7:16 p.m.

Just to clarify, the young women haven't been exploited by the San Diego school system--they have bee exploited by the Sweetwater Union High School District!

Must give blame to those who are blameworthy!!

6

bvagency May 9, 2013 @ 7:45 p.m.

Great to see new faces on this site!

This is a microcosm of the poor leadership in this district. How can very basic HR hiring rules be circumvented? How can state wage laws be circumvented? Only in a district with such poor leadership.

I blame Ed Brand for this, i blame the board of trustees for this!

It is an absolute embarrassment to our community that this district is so poorly run.

These young ladies need to be paid, and Montgomery nee to get their cheerleading squad back!!

7

guido May 9, 2013 @ 8:20 p.m.

It is amazing to me that once again the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. To promise these young ladies certain payment for their involvement and then turn on them is NOT acceptable. I have always thought that our school districts were all about preparing it's students for their arrival as adults. I'm also aware that if I want 'fair' I can always go to 'Pomona'. Come on school district you are suppose to set certain standards and this is NOT one of them. Let's get it together so you too can 'cheer' for these girls. They deserve every dollar they were promised!

7

Nikih May 9, 2013 @ 9:08 p.m.

I cheered with Vanessa and Revanna at Otay, and I am sure that these two put their hearts into the teams they coached:) it's a shame the district is making this so difficult. Sending positive vibes your way ladies:)

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oskidoll May 9, 2013 @ 9:48 p.m.

How sad! What a crazy way to run operations.... "A district 'cheer advisor' recruits cheer coaches at Starbucks yet, and offers 'district stipend' to be paid out of some funds yet to be raised. The eager coaches sign up, do the work, and are stiffed. Fast Eddy Brand, ever the smooth one, oozing charm to pacify an irate parent, bucks them back down to the school principal for payment. Yet another version of his shell game.

What about the 'DISTRICT' stipend, and what happened to the District's 'cheer advisor' who reeled them in? This is worse than sloppy personnel management.

Again, we have evidence of malfeasance in spades and more exposing the District to legal liability on several fronts!

6

friendtofairness May 10, 2013 @ 7:50 a.m.

So let's concentrate on what we want....which is fairness to these girls. There are readers out there who know how to move this forward and accomplish two things:

  1. To get the positive young ladies paid for a job well done and

  2. To ensure the school district receives the correct disciplinary action so they won't be doing this type of sleight of hand again. :)

I don't have these skills but some of our readers do or will know someone who does. Let's get that person(s) on board and see some positive action!

Keep the good attitude going, Ladies!

7

shawlaura May 10, 2013 @ 8:05 a.m.

OMG!! Where is the honor?!! Do the right thing for a change!!! Pay these girls!! Tell yourself they're YOUR daughters and maybe you'll find your integrity. Shame on you Sweetwater Union High School District... and all involved in the deception and scheme to use these ladies for free. Typical of government these days, appalling.

As for the Gonzalez & Gamez gals, stay classy, but don't give up the good fight. Fear not about your reputation because the cream always rises to the top. Demand a full detailed accounting of their books. Best to you, and KEEP US POSTED on the proceedings.

7

maindent May 11, 2013 @ 11:09 a.m.

There does not seem to be any honor here.

3

anniej May 10, 2013 @ 10:23 a.m.

I would HIGHLY recommend all attend the board meeting Monday night. Help these young ladies by turning in a speaker card and demanding that our board and superintendent pay them for the services they rendered.

7

angrybirds May 10, 2013 @ 12:12 p.m.

Maybe the Prez of this board will hold his employee responsible. Yeah thats right buddy!!!! Brand you are the freaking employee not the other way around. I think I might take popcorn to this board meeting just to listen to that little spit fire Lopez actually demand a response from Brand. Thats right Brand submit that respectively. Oh yeah maybe we can also expect the Ricasa lady to give another lesson on respect, well lady you earn respect and your employee has not done that...

Take a look at this video: http://youtu.be/1EcqvxrsEEg

6

Barbee May 10, 2013 @ 12:49 p.m.

I find it totally irresponsible that these young ladies were treated so badly. It is a total disgrace to the system for this to have happened. They gave of their time and trained others while under the impression they were employed to do so. This has done irreparable damage to them as well as their reputations.

6

dorylu May 11, 2013 @ 9:22 a.m.

I'm sure the banquet was lavish and to base the pay of an employee(s) on the "money left over from expenses" is cerrtainly not the way to operate. The employee(s) needed to be paid first and the balance used for celebration. The caterer was certainly paid "up front", why not the girls who gave of their time and talent for the event..

What is this telling the community, Come work your heart out and if we have some extra change we might throw it your way, don't worry about what we agreed on. Don't you think it will be hard to get any more outisde help after this. Where is the trust we place in our school officials.

5

lsquared May 11, 2013 @ 10:12 a.m.

Not much of a surprise that these 2 young ladies are being taken advantage of. Stories and promises keep changing from the district. Nothing like spewing out lie after lie to avoid accountability. I'm glad these girls are fighting back and speaking out. I hope their case prevails and the district pays up, with interest and penalties to boot.

7

DC1 May 11, 2013 @ 11:08 a.m.

Firstly, a big thank you and kudos to Susan Luzzaro and the San Diego Reader for bringing this injustice to the public's attention and awareness!!

ALL of the comments are amazing!!! Let's keep up the pressure on this District that is wholly lacking a moral compass. And I agree with anniej above!! It would be great for these young ladies to have a live show of support from their community by attending this Monday evening's meeting even if you don't want to speak!! Hopefully the news cameras will be rolling as well!!!

Also, hope the Montgomery High Cheerleaders and their parents that now know the truth will also start to leave comments and show up at the meeting. But of course, what is not well known is that Sesha Haynes has now taken the place of the coaches she hired and has scheduled try out practices at the same time as the meeting! Nice!! Coincidence?
I think not!!

Apparently, there are willing staff participants at all levels in this deception as well.

6

eastlaker May 11, 2013 @ 5:20 p.m.

This would be the collusion mentioned down the line in the comments.

Not surprising when one knows how Ed Brand does business...

Makes one wonder what has been promised in exchange? Pathways being made straight? Bonuses? Ed loves to bring more people into his organization (as distinct from SUHSD, although it is possible to be a member of both).

3

maindent May 11, 2013 @ 11:12 a.m.

I would like to see if administrators work with no competation. Do they put their time in and not get what was promised to them?

6

DC1 May 11, 2013 @ 12:21 p.m.

What is further not well known is that coach Sesha Haynes and cheer advisor, Maria Estrada, who also just happens to be Montgomery principal Rodrigo's secretary, in collusion with NON-compliance officer, McLaughlin, with the full knowledge and approval of Superintendent, Ed Brand, all lied to the coaches and told them they had cancelled the cheer program in an effort to cheat them out of the remainder of their contract!!

To quote Brand, "I can't make Mr. Rodrigo continue the program when most of the work has already been done and there is not much left to do the rest of the year." WOW!! Way to go to cheat these young ladies out of their full year's due!! Take their sweat equity up front and then kill the balance of the dollars fully owed!! It's like offering a construction contractor half the pay for a job in which 90% of the work was already done!!! Unreal!!

But it gets worse!! To cancel the program would have been outside of compliance with District guidelines as ALL the high schools within the District must offer the same programs and it is not within their authority to cancel one high school's program only!! But of course Mr. NON- complaince himself would have known this. Ya think?

SO, what did they then do? Sesha Haynes and Maria Estrada then told the Montgomery cheerleaders and their parents that their coaches, Revanna and Vanessa, up and quit on them without good-bye or any notice!! Nice!! Some cheerleaders have been so tainted against these innocent coaches that they have NO interest in even hearing the truth!! This goes far beyond money, folks!! These girls have suffered irreparable harm to their otherwise good names and pristine reputations; not to mention the emotionally draining and distressing interruption of their lives and their all but now shattered dreams to launch their own local private cheer program.

Keep in mind these were outstanding graduates of Brand's own District. Gamez was one of the most outstanding flyers of their cheer team in high school, popular and admired. And Gonzalez helped put the then new Otay Ranch High on the map when Channel 10 news did a feature story on her at the end of her freshman year, allowing the school and its principal to share in the glory of her accomplishments. Gonzalez was in Otay's Academy of Justice and Criminology program. She was featured because she was one of an exclusive group of students (one per state per year), and the youngest ever to attend, invited to participate in the FBI Youth Academy in Quantico, VA. She trained along side FBI agents earning the pysically intensive honor of the coveted Yellow Brick. Channel 7 also did a story on her. And guess what? Brand was superintendent at the time!! Yepp!!!Way to treat your own, indeed!!

7

eastlaker May 11, 2013 @ 3:05 p.m.

Again, classic Ed Brand. The man apparently doesn't have an honest bone in his body.

5

bibi30 May 11, 2013 @ 12:49 p.m.

THESE GIRLS NEED TO GET PAID! NO ONE WORKS FOR FREE! THIS IS SAD AS A SAN DIEGO NATIVE, I AM EMBARRASED THAT OUR CITY CAN TREAT THEIR OWN COMMUNITY LIKE THIS! I KNOW FOR A FACT THAT NO ONE IN THE SWEETWATER DISTRICT IS WORKING FOR FREE, BECAUSE OF THEIR GOOD GRACES. DO THEY THINK THIS ISSUE WILL BE THROWN UNDER THE RUG BECAUSE THEY ARE YOUNG GIRLS? ANYONE CAN COME TO THE BOARD MEETING! PLEASE COME AND JOIN AND SUPPORT! THIS IS NOT FAIR FOR THE GIRLS NOR THE GIRLS ON THE CHEERLEADING TEAM WHO ARE LEFT WITH NO TEAM, BECAUSE OF THE DISTRICTS CORRUPTION!

7

mcrarys May 11, 2013 @ 1:14 p.m.

I personally know how hard these girls worked and its just wrong for the district to not pay them.

6

oskidoll May 11, 2013 @ 1:50 p.m.

According to the above article, "Meanwhile, Ida Spector, the mother of Gonzalez, called district superintendent Ed Brand. According to Spector, Brand reassured her and said not to worry, “we take care of our own.” He promised to pay both women and even suggested to Spector that when her daughter received her teaching credential “the district wanted first shot at her.”

So, Ed, just exactly WHO are 'our own'? It does not appear that he mean these hard-working and trustful coaches, now does it?

Perhaps by 'our own' he means, instead, the indicted members of the Board of Trustees. Again I ask, WHO is paying their legal bills as they prepare to defend against their indictments that include charges of extortion, bribery, perjury, etc.etc.etc.

6

DC1 May 11, 2013 @ 2:10 p.m.

No moral compass, indeed!!! It's solely the self-serving "buddy system" at play here! Ruining lives and cheating people outside of their inner circle of is all in a day's work!

6

eastlaker May 11, 2013 @ 3:04 p.m.

Yes, in case anyone has still been wondering, this latest escapade amply demonstrates what Ed Brand is really all about: lying, stealing from others, creating an atmosphere that misleads, colluding with other staff members (definition being conspiring to commit a fraud), being a public source of misinformation...I could go on and on.

This is the way Ed Brand does business on a daily basis: he has done this when it comes to his CIF Grand Designs, he has done this with all the cancellations of successful and needed programs throughout the Sweetwater UHSD, he has done this via underhanded agreements with universities (one a Christian "for-profit), forcing public school counselors into strong-arming a quota of Sweetwater students into taking classes their parents will have to pay for--when our taxes are already paying plenty.

He has diverted and misdirected funds so that Mello-Roos monies are misapplied; he has mandated the maximum annual increase in our Mello-Roos fees while not applying those fees in the correct and legal way.

He has done his best to keep information from the Bond Oversight Committee, trying to keep them in the dark so that they can't track down the full extent of his wrongdoing.

He has publicly shown his lack of respect for all of us: students, parents, teachers, taxpayers through his extreme arrogance and bald-face lies.

The lady for whom the auditorium at Eastlake High School is named, Ruth Chapman, was known to have said: "If Ed Brand's lips are moving, he is lying!"

That is the one thing that can be relied upon with Ed Brand.

It is long past time for this community to be done with Ed, his lies, his schemes and his vicious, bullying personality.

Let us all show up at the board meeting this Monday, and tell Fast Eddy exactly what we think of him and his lying, thieving ways.

6

bankalchemist Aug. 20, 2013 @ 1:14 p.m.

Fast Eddy brings a vast array of schemes and scams to any project. He has idolized Tom Hassey and Michale Ellis of Metabolife for years. He uses their play book everyday of his life. I really like your take on Fast Eddy that if his lips are moving he is lying...this is so so true. He has often stated he brings the MOJO to the project and leaves the MOFO for all others.

0

viewer May 11, 2013 @ 3:16 p.m.

I make 1ST claim of all you commentators above: in that none of you have said "TAXPAYER" nor "TAXPAYER DOLLARS." (in terms of) "WASTE." [most of all, when commentators be against a 'school district']

As that be hypocritical, to the beliefs of the typical San Diego County 'taxpaying' citizen. But then such citizen sacrifices this be a case about kid$. In sacrifice, this be a time when taxpayers have TOO MUCH MONEY, so to not complain of WASTE.

I can imagine about San Diego's future about 'pets.'

0

oskidoll May 11, 2013 @ 5:24 p.m.

Eastlaker, you are so very on target! This situation has all the 'odor' of the serial lies, bobbing and weaving, sleight-of-hand and foot-in-mouth we saw from the District and Fast Eddy in regard to the toxic-dirt brouhaha at Southwest High School. Same disregard for the taxpaying pubic and for the innocents he has again deceived.

Viewer, you must be new to the conversation so we will let you know that this is indeed about the taxpayers (us) and the taxpayer dollars (ours) that are flying out the window as wasted resources every second Fast Eddy is in charge.

BUT, this is also about ithe District leadership personnel WE PAY and their lack of integrity, honesty and fair dealing.

Good fiscal management and scrupulous management should go hand in hand. Sadly, Fast Eddy and his hacks, and the corrupt Board, have no ethics or principles. THAT is why we continue to protest actions taken by this school district that are unfair and unprincipled. Such actions are wasteful of taxpayer money because they put the District in legal jeopardy. It is likely that tons of OUR taxpayer money will be expended in the District's attempt to justify their malfeasance. Their lawyers are expensive, and of course, we Taxpayers end up footing the bill.

5

eastlaker May 11, 2013 @ 5:39 p.m.

Chula Vista Elementary School District's motto is "Each child is an individual of great worth."

Ed Brand's motto for Sweetwater might just as well be "Each child, parent and taxpayer is a potential mark and source of money for us (my loyal voting block and myself) to scam, extort and bleed dry."

5

viewer May 11, 2013 @ 6:54 p.m.

(of your 5:24pm comment, to what you said to me): As so long that I come in YOUR city, and spend as a consumer. Paying sales tax. I, too, am a taxpayer.

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oskidoll May 11, 2013 @ 7:18 p.m.

Viewer: sales tax does not a property tax payer make! FYI, our schools are funded by way of the property taxes collected throughout the district. We are the taxpayers who are being wronged, and our children who are supposed to be served by the School District we fund. Nevertheless, we are all in this together. What's the dispute here?

6

viewer May 11, 2013 @ 7:33 p.m.

oskidoll: Those from other cities, who come in as customers to your city's retail businesses. And paying the sales taxes. Are only +ASSISTING+ your city's economy. -Not a loss to your city's economy.-

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viewer May 11, 2013 @ 7:40 p.m.

We are ALL 'taxpayers.' Be they renters or homeowners

0

anniej May 11, 2013 @ 7:53 p.m.

viewer: while I do not know who oskidoll is I know his/her posts. Please know I do not believe the comments made were negative or intended to be a slight. WE, ALL OF US are the community. Oskidoll has been in the fight to bring about change at Sweetwater for a very long time.

5

viewer May 11, 2013 @ 8:26 p.m.

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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anniej May 11, 2013 @ 8:08 p.m.

It is important to note that it was McLaughlin who made the decision not to pay the young ladies.

My question is this, why is McLaughlin heading up the Athletic Dept when we have others on our District who would do a far better job? We have persons in our district who went to school at OUR schools, they were star athletes, they earned ATHLETIC scholarships and returned to pay it forward. Yet Brand brings in McLaughlin whose only credentials seem to be 'part of the good old boys club of Brand'. These are the creds we value? That would be a NO!!!!

Rumor has it it that Brand is looking to bring Grossman in in some vague capacity. Just what we need a homophobic, woman hating, n word using mentor. For confirmation please read Grossmans book, hard to believe Brand would publicize his admiration for the man by allegedly telling a recent BOC candidate that he (Brand) would like to work Grossman into our District.

For all of you new to the Sweetwater District discussion I would highly recommend you research past articles on our district that have appeared in the READER, also past articles on the largest corruption case in San Diego history appearing in the UT.

Please be motivated to attend the board meetings, help us prepare for the 2014 elections when we will be able to vote out three of the board members. Also, follow the corruption case which will begin early next year and read the soon to be released Grand Jury transcripts.

It is important to educate yourself on the issues.

6

erupting May 11, 2013 @ 8:25 p.m.

The board will support Fast Eddy and McLaughlin on this issue as they always do. There stories will not match but that never stopped this board from supporting anything they want to do. Tell them off Lopez then pass Big Ed's hat around to see if we can pay these young ladies.

6

outpouring May 11, 2013 @ 8:46 p.m.

This is an outrage. These young ladies need to be paid. How would you feel if it was your daughter. Do the right Thing.

6

viewer May 11, 2013 @ 9:01 p.m.

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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do_the_right_thing May 12, 2013 @ 8:50 a.m.

As a 40-year veteran in the California educational system, I am not surprised with this turn of events. Yet it still shocks me that the very system that should be supporting and rewarding these young ladies, who give their time and resources to teach values to our children, is instead punishing and diminishing their efforts. Shame on you! DO THE RIGHT THING and represent the California educational system properly. Let the children, parents and community that you represent be proud of your decisions rather than ashamed. DO IT FOR THE CHILDREN.

6

anniej May 12, 2013 @ 11:14 a.m.

What has enraged the many is the fact that Brand said the young ladies would be paid, yet McLaughlin overturned the decision. Sweetwater has become 'dysfunction at its best'.

6

SB28 May 12, 2013 @ 12:30 p.m.

WOW!**!!UNBELIEVABLE!!! Are we for real here???!!! It is such a shame that these two young ladies have to learn that not all people will "Do The Right Thing"...but to learn that from those who represent the California educational system! If you can't help instill in our young people the values of fairness, honesty and integrity in "leading by example" then you shouldn't be where you are! It is a crying shame that the young ladies have to put up with such B.S., enough already..just pay up and stop their frustration, time and money to deal with this!!! None of this is necessary if people in charge of this step up to the plate and DO THE RIGHT THING**

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oskidoll May 12, 2013 @ 1:14 p.m.

MEMO TO FAST EDDY: It is really so much easier to take the high road, do (as so many others are saying) the RIGHT THING, tell the truth and admit that mistakes have been made here.

If you tell the truth, you will not have to scramble to make up cover-your-ass stories and remember what lies you have told about what and to whom. You can avoid playing the blame game, and pointing fingers at your staff.

Own up to it....try it...it will feel so much better. Apologize to the coaches and those you have blamed...take the hit yourself EVEN IF someone else goofed up. That is YOUR JOB and why you earn the very, very big bucks. And for GOD's sake, PAY THEM what they have earned!! If you pay them on Monday, I'll bet you will avoid some of the verbal tomatoes that will otherwise surely come your way during Public Comment session in the Board Meeting.

You have a PR person: have that person write a statement that accepts the blame and says you are sorry and that the girls are being paid NOW. THat is what leadership should look like. GEESH!

6

oskidoll May 12, 2013 @ 1:27 p.m.

MEMO TO FAST EDDY (CONT'D): Oh, and Ed, I am guessing you have some sort of discretionary fund in your Superintendent's budget, perhaps funded by some of the revenue that comes in from Pepsi or Coke vending contract that will cover the payment to these coaches. It is a relatively small amount after all, especially compared to your compensation. You could probably cover it out of your montly expense account. Won't take long to write the checks.

6

DC1 May 12, 2013 @ 2:54 p.m.

You brought up a great point, oskidoll, that reminded me of what Ed Brand indicated when he backed Montgomery's principal, Rodrigo, in cancelling the remainder of the cheer program because it wasn't worth it. Brand indicated that there were indeed funds availbale to Rodrigo if he wanted to pay both girls and continue the program. According to Brand, Rodrigo need only, and I quote, "borrow from Peter to Paul." And there you have it.

6

Stacy39043 May 12, 2013 @ 1:57 p.m.

It is absolutely wrong to have Revanna and Vanessa do all that work and not pay them!!! I'm sure anyone of those individuals who work for this district would be pretty pissed off if they weren't getting the money for their work

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DC1 May 12, 2013 @ 3:02 p.m.

Three people with power to pay these young coaches have collectively decided that the it was in the school's and District's best interest to instead cheat these young ladies, secretly replace them with the very coach Sesha Haynes who hired them, now that her job is a cakewalk at this juncture. And even further who cares if they all destroy the repuations of these young ladies in the process! You know Haynes likely had her job threatened bt these three culprits, specifically McLaughlin, Rodrigo and Brand in that order.

To make matters worse, the President of the Board, Jim Cartmill, was asked to investigate this complaint against Mclaughlin's and Brand's handling of the matter in private session, which is the manner in which a personnel complaint should be handled according to the Brown Act.

However, Mr. Cartmill handed the issue back to Mclaughlin to investigate himself anfd Brand!! This, mind you, is ALL in writing with McLaughlin misquoting the Brown Act, in keeping with his position of Mr. NON-compliance officer, in support of Cartmill's suggestion that McLaughlin investigate himself!! SO, ALL of these guys are deserving of whatever tomatoes hit them in the face publicy as they were ALL given every opportunity to make things right privately and avoid public humiliation.

But it gets even better, as McLaughlin tried to pass the distinguished honor of investigating himself on to Student Services suggesting that this complaint be taken to Mercedes Lopez and/or her boss, Ramon Leyba. Lopez was utterly confused about this and indicated that this was NOT her job and that McLaughlin ONLY reports directly to Brand!! She confirmed that this was the job of the Board to investigate a complaint against McLaughlin and Brand. ALL of this in writing as well!

I am afraid that McLaughlin has duly earned the name McStupid in this fiasco, misquoting the law, public and District regulations, in writing no less! All of this in an effort to be in totalitarian control of his mission to investigate himself, intimidate, bully, cheat and defame these coaches! And all with Rodrigo, Brand and Cartmill being complicit! This stench is worse that the wind currents from our local landfill!

You would think Cartmill, being under indictment would want to avoid this kind of public scrutiny, and minimally render the appearance of re-habilitating himself, insincere as it may be. And Brand, Cartmill or ANY Board member, for that matter, as they have ALL been duly notified of this issue, dare not attempt to keyhole this is as a private personnel matter at the meeting, as they have all been reliant upon the veracity of Mr. NON-compliance himself who is on the record claiming the very opposite! Deservedly you are indeed, McStupid!

This is all so pitifully corrupt that it literally evokes a visceral response!!I Hope to see many just as sickened faces on Monday!

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oskidoll May 12, 2013 @ 4:59 p.m.

Very interesting turn of events, all to make even more chaos, more smoke and mirrors.

IF the cheer coaches are actually considered employees (and it seems they have not had any of the formal 'hiring on' processes such as fingerprinting, social security number, W-4 forms, etc) the discussion can be property dealt with in closed session as a personnel matter.

However, per the Brown Act, any employee whose 'service' to the public ageny is on the agenda for closed session discussion may requst and be granted the right to have that conversation in public session.

However, it seems to me that these cheer coaches may not be actually employess, but are rather performing contracted service. How are the athletic coaches hired at the sites? If they are not 'regular' employees (and I believe that not all are regular PE teachers) there should be some protocols for payment of their stipends.

So, just who is the Brown Act supposed to 'protect' here via closed session? If there is a formal complaint against McLaughlin and /or Brand, that can be handled in closed session, but either MAY elect to have the discussion in open session. Again, why don't they elect to take the high road and stop making buck-passing excuses. and have the Board deal with the matter in public, and do what elected officials are suposed to do and DIRECT their CEO to get on with it and PAY UP.

And why is Brand making Rodrigo a scapegoat if the cheer coaches were hired by a DISTRICT employee known as a 'cheer advisor'? Why is he now mandating that it be the site principal who must find the money? Again, Brand has the resources to just PAY THE BILL NOW.

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anniej May 12, 2013 @ 8:10 p.m.

I would urge ALL TAXPAYERS to read the NEW READER article regarding Alliant University. Also you might want to sit down before reading the Union Tribune Watchdog article on Sweetwater and The L Street property.

Folks it is time for us to take our district back. There is a law suit on the horizon as indicated by the Union Tribune.

I am wondering if Brand is making anything on these property deals? Pay attention here folks!!!!!!

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MissLee May 13, 2013 @ 10:59 a.m.

What a shame!!! How unfortunate that our school district is putting these young women through such a mess. These girls should be compensated for their hard work. I was a cheerleader in high school, and I know how much time and passion the coaches pour into their team. Countless hours of practice, games, and fundraisers... It's not right that their dedication and time isn't being considered. I hope the school board takes a good look at how poorly these girls were treated and that they find a way to make it right!

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rlee May 13, 2013 @ 11:07 a.m.

This is a shame!! I personally know these coaches and they are dedicated to cheer and the girls they coach. They put in the time and should be fairly compensated. This is time that they took away from their lives in good faith working for their former school district and coach, all of whom they thought they could trust. What's happening school Board? Why is it not that simple to just pay them and do the right thing?!

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teachersrock May 13, 2013 @ 4:54 p.m.

We need to replace the 3 board members that are coming up for re-election. We want community support and involvement. Please send your contact info to saveadultschools@gmail.com

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Visduh May 13, 2013 @ 9:51 p.m.

Strange how things work. The indignation over these two cheerleader coaches being stiffed their wages could figure far larger in upcoming elections than any or all of the revelations about corruption, bribes, double dealing, shady connections, and all that jazz. In fact, some more criminal investigations could also result from this. If it goes that way, the So County voters will do the right thing for the wrong reason, i.e., voting the bums out and going for a real reform slate. They SHOULD be voted out for all the corrupt acts and their rubber stamping the Brand proposals and all the financial shenanigans and failed real estate deals and dubious connections with shaky universities and . . . But what could bring them down is the matter of a couple cuties being gypped a few hundred bucks they were promised. Go figure.

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oskidoll May 14, 2013 @ 10:24 a.m.

Visduh makes a terrific point! I can see the 'hit piece' mailers now.

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bcupac53 May 24, 2013 @ 3:21 p.m.

in regards to this story: anybody that has been involved with cheerleading in the south bay, these last couple years has been terrible, with all the stuff going on about fund raisers, competitions, etc, I can tell you the reason they cancelled the cheer program, it had nothing to do with the coaches, the cheer season is over, nothing to cheer for, football is over, basketball is over, wrestling is over, district competition is over, what else is left to do? only tryouts, and since they changed that, everyone makes it, but I agree with everyone else, pay these girls, my two daughters both did competitive cheer, and school cheer, I know what these girls went thru, it is a tough job. I hate to say I live in this district, my daughters went to hilltop, I know what their coach went thru. last but not least: PAY THESE GIRLS.

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