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Ex-principal files lawsuit against Pleasanton school district

Original post made on Oct 21, 2014

Former Walnut Grove Elementary School principal Jon Vranesh has filed a lawsuit against the Pleasanton Unified School District but has not yet specified the amount of monetary damages sought.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, October 21, 2014, 2:25 PM

Comments (66)

21 people like this
Posted by Justice for JV
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 21, 2014 at 3:23 pm

Its about time this all came to light. Shame on the district and I hope that JV receives what he is asking for. This definitely confirms my vote for Wright and Miller!


27 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Parkside
on Oct 21, 2014 at 4:45 pm

This fiasco will have cost Pleasanton Unified School District not only MILLIONS OF DOLLARS but it has clearly affected its reputation. As a home owner in Pleasanton I would like to see action taken to correct the damage caused by this event. I hope other residence are taking note and exercising their right to vote in two weeks to change the school board leadership. However, even with a change in the school board, it is clear that those in the highest management positions have done an extremely poor job handling this HR issue, and a change must occur there. This event shows how high the financial cost can be for poor leadership (and last time I check public education didn't have a large pool of money to waste). I hope once this costly law suit is done Pleasanton is able, and it may not be, to attract quality candidates for new leadership.


12 people like this
Posted by Swankville 2
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2014 at 5:01 pm

Wow! Yet again. The Pleasanton Weekly just can not get enough of this. Maybe the Pleasanton weekly should publish a book with Jon Vranesh and call it Swankville 2. They seem to love the drama.


34 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2014 at 5:03 pm

This isn't gossip - this is information about a formally filed lawsuit against our school district by a principal. How could a local newspaper not report this news?


14 people like this
Posted by Wayne
a resident of Val Vista
on Oct 21, 2014 at 5:09 pm

I think this situation shows a lack of leadership, morals, and a dire thurst for power from the school district. I think this situation may actually attract candidates that want to "do" their jobs, and not play politics. Also, assuming a victory for Vranesh would show the union that the district runs the schools, not them. I think good administrators will also want to come here when they know they're supported by the superintendent once the current problem is gone.


11 people like this
Posted by How sad
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2014 at 6:07 pm

This is so sad. Our district is better than this. I hope that people can see this lawsuit for what it really is. A joke and Jon Vranesh wants money.


32 people like this
Posted by Wayne
a resident of Val Vista
on Oct 21, 2014 at 6:39 pm

How sad,
are you kidding? Did you read the complaint? No one would ever go to this level for money. I hope you'll follow the case since you've already made up your mind, and be man or woman enough to admit you made a wrong judgment. Read the complaint in full.


19 people like this
Posted by Carpark
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 21, 2014 at 6:53 pm

Well I would want money too if the district did to me what they did to Jon Vranesh. I hope he gets two hundred and forty five thousand x 1000.

The whole mess is a joke, it has to be doesn't it? There is no way on earth here in beautiful Pleasanton (voted number 4 in the best places to live in the US) that we could really have a bunch of incompetent bozos running our schools, could we? After all the time money and effort spent, WG still has serious issues.

No one wins in this. Jon doesn't win no matter how much money he gets. The teachers don't win, as we have seen how they really conduct themselves, the administration loses as we see how they take a simple HR issue and turn it into a multimillion dollar fiasco and least of all our kids don't win. Millions of dollars, not to mention time and effort has wasted on this which could have been put into the education of our children. We should all be ashamed at what has gone on in our district and stop trying to bury our collective heads in the sand like a bunch of Stepford wives.


24 people like this
Posted by highdiver
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2014 at 6:54 pm

First, I would like to complement Amanda Aguilar for writing an excellent article. Second, I would like to complement Jon Vranesh for following through on his quest to clear his name.

Several things in this fiasco come to mind, the investigation by the hired investigator, which pretty failed to make a valid conclusion and included erroneous information, which resulted in a $500.000 payment to 2 teachers, one of whom thought Vranesh was a great person. Another is no written action taken by the Board detailing why Vranesh was demoted, then just given home leave with pay.

Since the citizens of Pleasanton are paying for all this, via property taxes, one would hope the Board and Superintendents are better shepherds of our money.

Most , I bet, after all this time would like to hear the truth. And yes, I can handle the Truth.


12 people like this
Posted by Registered Joe
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2014 at 7:27 pm

There are two stories floating around about what actually transpired while Jon Vranesh was the Principal at WG:

(1) He actually did create a hostile work environment by using all those nasty words he's allegedly said, and thus he was removed.

(2) A bunch of teachers at WG didn't like him because he was demanding that they change work habits and become more effective; as retaliation they created the hostile work environment allegations, and thus he was removed.

Inexplicable to me is why he either wasn't terminated outright (if 1 is true), or reinstated as Principal (if 2 is true).

The District did the right thing by initially moving slowly and cautiously. But allegations are in and the depositions made, and there is still no action by the District.

We are stuck in a loop where three distinct parties are playing to their own interests: (1) the local union (the APT) which through inaction is backing the claims of the teachers at WG, right or wrong; (2) Jon Vranesh, whose career has been effectively destroyed, either by his own actions or by the actions of the APT-supported teachers; and (3) the District, which is trying very hard to follow the letter of the law, and at the same time completely failing to explain its actions to the community.

If and when the lawsuit is brought to court, perhaps some of the truth will come out.


9 people like this
Posted by Clean up the mess
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2014 at 7:54 pm

Anyone who has read the lawsuit would find it unbelievable that the District was attempting to follow the law

Absolutely astounding!


12 people like this
Posted by Enough is Enough
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2014 at 8:02 pm

This lawsuit is not only intentionally timed right before a big election (with the hopes of getting more Miller/Wright supporters) it is a joke. Mr. Vranesh was in the wrong. He harassed some teachers and they spoke up. Sadly, when the teachers spoke up they were shunned as well. Mr. Vranesh claimed to be shunned, but maybe he should have been. He made a mistake and didn't take responsibility for it which has led to this huge mess. Situations like this always get messy. This could have been avoided. These teachers did not deserve to work in an uncomfortable environment. What is ironic is he is saying the district has wasted money by paying him to sit at home and do nothing. Now we find him asking for millions of dollars from the district. He says he came back to Pleasanton to work and make a positive impact and is asking for his job back, but how positive is it that he takes millions of dollars essentially away from students? Could PUSD have handled this situation better? Probably. Could Mr. Vranesh have stood up in the first place by admitting he was wrong, accept his consequence and move forward? Yes. If the latter was originally done, then we wouldn't even be talking about this today. We wouldn't have a lawsuit and wouldn't be spending millions of dollars to repair this situation. Mr. Vranesh could have moved on whether it be to another community or back into our own. I believe (want to believe) the people of Pleasanton would have been forgiving if he had just admitted to his wrong.
It is extremely disappointing that many members of this community can't go back to the original problem and see it for what it really is. Harassment in the work place. It is sad that because some teachers spoke up about how they were being treated has now given the perspective that all teachers are complainers. PUSD is getting a lot of negative attention lately. PUSD is still a good district. A good district with amazing teachers, administrators, parents, specialists, aides, office clerks, maintenance staff,.......the list could go on. The ones who will suffer most whether it's right in from of them or not are the students. Our community needs to be the good examples we have always been. Support our district, support our students, support doing the right thing, support learning, support character education,.......Let's not forget that Pleasanton.


8 people like this
Posted by You know what they say about assuming
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2014 at 8:10 pm

Anyone who wasn't there doesn't really know what happened.

An impossible situation

Ignorant to assume JV is guilty before proven. Oh that's right. Hearsay can never be proven.

Lets assume the opposite now. He's innocent. Hearsay is difficult to disprove.

A damaged reputation. Perhaps unhirable.

Hence, the lawsuit.


16 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2014 at 8:11 pm

So "enough is enough" how do you explain the district's lack of response to Mr Vranesh? And why is he still employed if there is enough proof he did something substatial wrong? And what about some kind of remedial action if there were earlier complaints? And what about the allegations that the union daughter wasn't doing her job and be was trying to keep the school clean?


20 people like this
Posted by CarPark
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 21, 2014 at 8:22 pm

He harassed teachers? Even in their own words they said they heard him say mean things about OTHERS. Who gets a 245 thousand dollar pay out because they heard someone supposedly say mean words about others? Teachers in the PUSD that's who.

What JV said is alleged, what the teachers said is in black and while in their own words provided by the district's own investigators. In those documents they were guilty of everything they accused JV of doing.

JV wasn't the only person targeted by a very small group of disgruntled women. Those that come here to bash him often forget that.


12 people like this
Posted by another parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2014 at 8:24 pm

Enough is enough - Have you read the 165 page lawsuit? I don't think so!


18 people like this
Posted by Miley
a resident of Amador Estates
on Oct 21, 2014 at 8:24 pm

And so it begins.....
Jon Vranesh gets his day in court- and so do the teachers who accused him, Peggy Carpenter, Bill Farragan etc. The truth will prevail. If Jon Vranesh isn't scared to go to court, nobody else shoud be. Unless some of the other players have something to hide. Not just incompetence (Farragan) but any other dirty little secrets will all come out in court. Wonder who made the witness list?
This is not about an election. This is about a cluster........


17 people like this
Posted by CarPark
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 21, 2014 at 8:26 pm

It is also ludicrous to say he filed a lawsuit to help two other people win a school board election. They are running for school board, not president. How ridiculous!

He has been in limbo for a year. Isn't a year enough? Even murderers have the right to a speedy trial. For some reason the PUSD wants to prolong this mess with JV maybe you should ask the PUDS why they are waiting and waiting? Seems to me Luz, ahmadi, and the 100 "does" have more vested interest in the outcome of an election then JV.


23 people like this
Posted by Eric
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Oct 21, 2014 at 8:34 pm

Just from reading the allegations made by Mr. Vranesh it seems that the school district has handled this situation as poorly as could be handled. The incumbent board member that took money from the lawyer getting fat pockets on this scandal and attempting to use Vranesh as a stepping stone to get re-elected is about as scummy and slanderous as it gets. To those poo pooing this, you obviously have not read a single page of the suit, extremely convincing and damning. Those being charged in this lawsuit better be taking this very seriously, laws have been broken, jobs should be lost. Ultimately who pays for this? The children.


7 people like this
Posted by @enough is enough
a resident of Amador Estates
on Oct 21, 2014 at 8:48 pm

@enough is enough.... You sound just like A candidate for school board who's not going to be re-elected. Enough clearly isn't enough because this law suit will cost a lot. You can be dismissive but that attitude is part of the problem.


11 people like this
Posted by jv supporter
a resident of another community
on Oct 21, 2014 at 8:54 pm

Has anyone noticed the irony that JV was accused of creating a hostile work environment by allegedly saying mean things about others (boo hoo) all the while Cesares is dropping f bombs all over the district office? There is an old saying that goes something like those the most guilty accuse others of their own crimes. And to drag this out for a year, that is just terrible. To leave anyone's life in limbo that long would just make anyone crazy. However, I read the 165 pages and have to say that while the glaring incompetence of the Cabinet is astounding I highly doubt that JV was targeted because he was male. I just don't buy that. While you have been deeply wronged JV, be careful not to lessen your credibility by overstretching your claims. My heavens, you don't need to!!!!


4 people like this
Posted by Looking forward to moving on
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2014 at 9:00 pm

Do I believe Mr. Vranesh should lose his career or reputation over what allegedly occurred? No I do not. Do I believe that he made a mistake with the words he used towards women in the work place? You bet. I cannot help but think that if Mr. Vranish has accepted his consequence and moved on, Pleasanton would be much better off. I wish the district had handled this situation better, but it still do not believe that Mr. Vranish is the victim here. Ultimately the kids are. This cash grab will cost them.


8 people like this
Posted by You know what they say about assuming
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2014 at 9:11 pm

Anyone who was nt there making assumptions about JV and professing knowledge about his guilt is simply making a baseless accusation.

Read the whole lawsuit. Nobody could make this much up!

I like the poster who once mentioned : a "defendant" who screams for a public viewing signals a coverup.

The district house of cards is tumbling down


11 people like this
Posted by Wayne
a resident of Val Vista
on Oct 21, 2014 at 9:20 pm

I don't think timing by Vranesh had anything to do with the filling date. A complaint this size must have taken quite a long time to do correctly, and to say he did this just to support candidates for the school board election is nothing more than a display of being willing ignorant (dumb on purpose). Peoples lives and reputations are on the line and I highly doubt he would put a complaint like this together unless he could back it up somehow with proof unlike the few teachers @ WG that helped create this mess. So let the haters hate, and the supporters support. In the end the truth from the court room will settle it once and for all, but the personal scars will remain forever.


9 people like this
Posted by Swankville 2
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2014 at 10:45 pm

It is laughable that this community is blindly accepting the behavior of this one man. WG had a very good reputation as a school before Jon Vranesh showed up for a little over a year. In that short time, he stirred up enough tension with the teachers that they started letting administration know. There was nothing more than that. It is a given right to speak freely and openly about concerns in the workplace. In a year since he was removed, he has stirred up enough drama with his school board antics, that many bloggers are ready to get rid of all the PUSD administration. Really? In all the years before Jon Vranesh, everyone knew of the great reputation of the Pleasanton School District and WG community. I read all the reports. Multiple people reported similar stories and concerns. Tonight I read his report. It doesn't even relate to what he was originally asked to leave for. That just doesn't make sense unless you have lawyers who are going after something bigger because there is nothing else to do. Of course I feel bad for someone when they loose their job. But it happens. First he ruined the reputation of WG and now he is going after the district. This all affects our town. There are two sides to every story. And then there is the actual story. The common thread. 1 guy. Oh! And let's not forget the Pleasanton Weakly's coverage if this story every week. Healthy reporting weakly!


4 people like this
Posted by helenayers
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Oct 21, 2014 at 10:56 pm

helenayers is a registered user.

Read through that filling,,or scan through it---very long:

Web Link

Wow!!
Don't know what is true or not true, but makes our school system, and those quoted (allegedly quoted) as being anything BUT good. Count the number of times the F word is used (allegedly used.)and NOT by Vranesh, according to him, that is. Not proud of this district anymore.
Bet this is all settled out of court for millions.


2 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2014 at 11:08 pm

Page 7-8 is a good place to start.


7 people like this
Posted by Truth set free
a resident of Del Prado
on Oct 21, 2014 at 11:36 pm

The trial will expose the truth for all.

Bad teachers--your lawyers won't be able to cover up your crimes any longer.


16 people like this
Posted by CarPark
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 22, 2014 at 12:17 am

First of all Vranesh was at WG for 2 years and 3 months. Second WG had issues long before Vranesh was at the school and they still have them now.

JV was Principal for such fun times at the school such as a 30:1 ratio, common core and the end of discovery. He was at the helm for rough waters. Gone were the days of 20:1 classes and auditioning people to get into Discovery. A few disgruntled staff took their frustrations out on their boss. Not uncommon. What is uncommon is how the district administration handled the situation they took some complainers and turned it into a multi million dollar mess.

Also staff never went to administration with their issues with JV, they waited until their union came calling. The same union who wanted several principals ousted last year. While I know for a fact that teachers went straight to the Superintendent with other issues. Seems suspect strong women heard their principal using foul language but sat quietly until their union happened to drop by? Just doesn't make sense. I don't think anyone can accuse any WG teachers of just sitting by quietly for anything. You read the reports and you say several people had similar concerns? Could it be they had similar concerns because they all got together at a meeting (which was described by the teachers themselves as very emotional) and discussed their stories? It's easy to see how stories would sound similar knowing they got together to discuss them! They were asked if they ever heard JV say mean things about anyone, but were they asked if they themselves ever said mean things about anyone? They said they heard foul language, but were they ever asked if they used foul language? Not by the "investigator" hired by the PUSD.

Yes I believe the current administration should be held accountable for bungling this mess, just like they would be held accountable if they worked for private industry. You don't cost a company millions and get a free pass.

You want to talk about a perfect record. It seems JV had one until he went to WG or the administration wouldn't have promoted him? What the heck did they do to the man to make him into some sort of tyrant when he was a well loved and well respected vice principal and teacher just 2 years prior? Look at the filing, he had a perfect job performance review just 2 months before all this happened.



5 people like this
Posted by Fairness
a resident of Parkside
on Oct 22, 2014 at 8:27 am

A staff member just resigned at Walnut Grove. The intnable environment stopped her from going on disability despite that is what she is doing now. The sitaution and environment was brutal. From what I am hearing the new Principal is brutal and has no touch what so ever around her staff and parents. I know I have talked to her. She was hand picked by Ahmadi. Ahmadi had issues in Fremont yet hired. Wlanut Give Principal had issues in Brentwood hired. Ahmadi is and was in charge so it is all on mher.


1 person likes this
Posted by JustMe
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 22, 2014 at 8:32 am

Looks like a bunch of angry women.


16 people like this
Posted by A resident of pleasanton
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Oct 22, 2014 at 8:42 am

It is obvious the School Board and the Superintendent need to go. They only do what they want, teachers and principals are leaving, the quality of our schools is detoriating, and our kids are paying the price. Most of us now have tutors for various subjects for our kids, and this is for the ones that can afford it. What about the kids that can't, they will be getting left behind while the very people we pay only bicker and enter into pointless games. All of this has started since we hired our present superintendent,I say its time for us to find someone who actually wants to make our schools better and soap opera. She is fooling only a few.


3 people like this
Posted by pleasanton was nice forty years agao
a resident of Del Prado
on Oct 22, 2014 at 8:57 am

@enough is enough and swankville 2. A five year old can read the documents and figure out what happened. A few women who did not like JV got together to get him removed and hopefully collect a fat settlement. Which they did. they did not like being told to do their job and went after him for it. I believe anyone who hires and investigator who lies about who they interviewed and stands by it is also dishonest(
pusd administration.) Any one who supports the dishonest people in the district and the law firm and the investigator is bankrupt of any cognitive reasoning skills. I believe the two women who were never asked by the investigator but their statements appeared in the investigators report. They have come out and stated they never said what was reported and they were never interviewed. So I believe the investigator hired by the law firm that was hired by the district flat out lied. if you believe other wise feel free to be naive and clueless. The accusers in my opinion made up the whole story out of spite. Sounds like high school all over again. The scary thing is we have these immature sociopaths around our children and some morons defend them. I guess if a man uses foul language get rid of him but if a women uses foul language they get a promotion. Can you say sexual descrimination. JV CAN. I work in the school district so i know from which i speak. Lots of cussing and lots of people who dont care about children. Clean house now and get rid of the trouble makers in this case it is the original complainers and the simple minded naive clueless supporters.


5 people like this
Posted by pleasanton was nice forty years agao
a resident of Del Prado
on Oct 22, 2014 at 8:57 am

@enough is enough and swankville 2. A five year old can read the documents and figure out what happened. A few women who did not like JV got together to get him removed and hopefully collect a fat settlement. Which they did. they did not like being told to do their job and went after him for it. I believe anyone who hires and investigator who lies about who they interviewed and stands by it is also dishonest(
pusd administration.) Any one who supports the dishonest people in the district and the law firm and the investigator is bankrupt of any cognitive reasoning skills. I believe the two women who were never asked by the investigator but their statements appeared in the investigators report. They have come out and stated they never said what was reported and they were never interviewed. So I believe the investigator hired by the law firm that was hired by the district flat out lied. if you believe other wise feel free to be naive and clueless. The accusers in my opinion made up the whole story out of spite. Sounds like high school all over again. The scary thing is we have these immature sociopaths around our children and some morons defend them. I guess if a man uses foul language get rid of him but if a women uses foul language they get a promotion. Can you say sexual descrimination. JV CAN. I work in the school district so i know from which i speak. Lots of cussing and lots of people who dont care about children. Clean house now and get rid of the trouble makers in this case it is the original complainers and the simple minded naive clueless supporters.


15 people like this
Posted by Gram-ME
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 22, 2014 at 9:07 am

I find it quite interesting that while the name of Mr. Vranesh has been "out there" and "drug through the coals", the names of those who received $250,000 (rounded out) are kept from public view. Seems what's "good for the goose" should be "good for the gander"! We should know where, to whom our money goes!!
And for those who think it's not a male thing going on with the "powers that be", it seems rather interesting that two years ago at least six principals (male) left about the same time. Coincidence (retirement, other opportunities, etc.), I think not! It doesn't take long to put 2 + 2 together!!


9 people like this
Posted by Todhibs
a resident of Amador Estates
on Oct 22, 2014 at 9:20 am

This lawsuit provides a bigger picture and exposes the shameless and incompetent people running the school board. If this can galvanize all residents to vote then out and put a better and more competent team then it's a win for our residents. Else it's just a waste of our tax dollars paying these jerks!! Shame on them !! End of story


6 people like this
Posted by another parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 22, 2014 at 10:16 am

Gram-me - the name of one of the teacher's receiving the $245k can be found on page 34/35 of the lawsuit.


13 people like this
Posted by Sad WG parent
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 22, 2014 at 10:32 am

This is a complete nightmare for this WG parent. JV, as well as the amazing office staff were so good to my child!! They are all gone now, including the FANTASTIC health clerk. We have lost several of our amazing teachers including the wonderful Science Specialist. You can see why. Why would ANYONE put their child in this school that clearly has the darkest cloud over it? The kids are paying the price with the horrendous way that this district conducts themselves. The Super hired a friend from Fremont to come in and be principal? Are you kidding me? We need to get RID of this Super AND get new people on board. I am so so thankful that my child has only one year left here. It makes me so sad to see what has happened to this once amazing school.


6 people like this
Posted by Tanglewood Way resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 22, 2014 at 10:32 am

Obviously this is a re-hash of the Chris B vs Jim F campaign against Jim F now turned into a campaign against Jon Vranesh. Also, if state and federal agents on Tanglewood Way that backs to Harvest Park and Walnut Grove have staked out these campuses for year for the Tri valley University sting, how come they reported no inappropriate loudspeaker PA announcements. I live on Tanglewood Way and heard nothing inappropriate. Is the school district implying that the FBI, DHS and State investigators are deaf? And why did this Shon investigator person not knock on doors in the neighborhood to interview neighbors?

The allegations these women made are straight out of the campaign playbook from 20 + years ago, the same year the 'whisper campaign' about Tom Pico not having a CPA was making the rounds.

In fact, a previous posting on the Town Square forum refers to it. (Removed) made references to it on the Discovery Program (some people call it the Caucasian Club) thread from 2 years ago. Here is the post:

Beginning of Post

Posted by Marcia
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Apr 2, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Chris B was one of the most political teachers I/we ever knew. There were many times parents and school staff wondered if she spent more time doing politics than teaching. Sad. She and a couple others polarized the school way back then to the point of concerned dysfunction. WG was not united because of her and a few other (Discovery) teacher(s)/parents. The teachers at WG at the time so remember that time. Fortunately, most parents and majority of the school staff rose above it enough to keep the kids focused and learning. Too bad we lost some really good teachers then. In hindsight, one can't help but wonder if it was directly related to Chris, Discovery and politics. I know. My child suffered academically so bad that serious concerns arose....the last day of school. WE kept expressing concerns but got nothing but praises for our child. Iowa basics told differently

End of Post

So it seems the campaign mudslinging against Jim F has been repackaged and the mud slinging (almost exactly) has been targeted to Jon Vranesh.

Pat Kernan works for Kinglsey Bogard, does he not? So Kingsley Bogard has gone through all the motions, collecting the fees, knowing very well that this is the exact thing that happened 20+ years ago.

Better re-enstate Vranesh, settle for millions, Board and put the superintendent and her cronies on leave tonight, fire Kingsley Bogard, sue for malpractice, before this ends up in criminal court.


14 people like this
Posted by Really?
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Oct 22, 2014 at 10:43 am

Wow, I want a job as the WG janitor so I can falsify my time card and not get fired. Is time card fraud illegal? Last time I checked it was.


9 people like this
Posted by John Smith
a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Oct 22, 2014 at 10:44 am

The PUSD administration has always had issues. They do not listen to the local residents.There needs to be a revamp and get some fresh blood.As far as the Board is concerned I feel we should throw out the incumbents as they have mishandled the situation which has cost us (taxpayers) more then a million dollars which would otherwise have been spent on our students. To all those who are criticizing the weekly for continuing to follow the story my question is what is a good newspaper supposed to do. Shove the whole thing under the rug and pretend nothing is happening. They are just doing their job and not making false stories.What is this thing about closed session. I think we have a right to hear how the board is making these vital decisions which is costing us millions of dollars.PLEASE VOTE.


12 people like this
Posted by Clean up the mess
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 22, 2014 at 11:05 am

Vote Miller and Wright


13 people like this
Posted by Pro Women
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 22, 2014 at 12:19 pm

Mr. Bowser, the sane among us appreciate the fact that you stood up for the rights of women. You shouldn't be hung out to dry for doing the right thing. Kudos to you and the board for your handling of very unique and delicate situation. Walnut Grove is far better off now, and anyone with sense knows it to be true.

And for those of you who truly wish to support your friend, encourage him or her to get the help they need.


19 people like this
Posted by marie
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 22, 2014 at 12:41 pm

You really think Mr Bowser is someone to vote for, wow after I heard all the places he is getting his donations I was even more sure that I would not vote for him!


18 people like this
Posted by Pro Human
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Oct 22, 2014 at 12:45 pm

If I lived in a world where Bowser's voice was considered to be the sane one, I'd be on the first shuttle to Mars.

This situation was neither delicate or unique other than in the way it was so poorly handled.


11 people like this
Posted by Patsy
a resident of Del Prado
on Oct 22, 2014 at 1:52 pm

JV should prevail--after all this was like a "witchhunt" Recently Ahmadi brought in a person from her old Fremont ties,to be a principal at Walnut Grove. This person has also created a fairly hostile environment at this same location---there are suggestions of her high handed ways and "my way or the highway attitude" there has already been a resignation there of a long time employee and the beat goes on-----------what will it take to oust Ahmadi?


7 people like this
Posted by Justice
a resident of Danbury Park
on Oct 22, 2014 at 2:06 pm

It's a matter of principle for the principal, I believe. You have to fight for what you feel is right, and stand up to injustice sometimes. I have a feeling Mr. Vranesh could care less about the money. It's long overdue for the school district to have some integrity and accountability.


11 people like this
Posted by KARA
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Oct 22, 2014 at 2:15 pm

I hope the board gets a second legal opinion on how to proceed. There have been many missteps and it seems its time for another set of eyes. Are there any other potential complaints or lawsuits that the administrators or board is aware of currently on the horizon? Reading the filing, there were many issues and not just harassment. This filing raises many issues from non responsive and unprofessional administrators, to lack of resources including non compliance with special education laws without a resource specialist. Lack of support and response to the teachers and administrators can lead to many issues. Its ultimately the kids that are being effected. Our teachers have done an amazing job at continuing to educate our kids in this trying time and with a great attitude even with background noise. We are losing teachers with experience. These are the teachers that have led our kids and district to being a high performing district. Without appropriate support, we will lose these resources and that is concerning. How many teachers left last year?

I had heard one comment by a board member that only 7 principals left to pursue opportunities with other local districts. That seems like a lot. We should support our principals and teachers so that they don't choose to retire because they find the new changes at the district too challenging. Most employees don't tell their company that they are leaving because they are disgruntled or unhappy with their direct supervisor. Look at what is really happening!!! We can do better. Poor management is costing this district a lot of money.


6 people like this
Posted by Patsy
a resident of Del Prado
on Oct 22, 2014 at 2:59 pm

yes KARA where are all the resource and reading specialists Barton is gone,what a shame it is need very much does every family have the ability to pay private tutors around town so their children learn to read I know I'm going off the beaten path here but with all the money raised by PPIE and school fundraisers WHATS UP ????


1 person likes this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 22, 2014 at 3:15 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Teachers are part time for all students, especially for K-through 8th grade. It is the parents responsibility to continue the teaching in the home. Give your child a book, take your child to the library, etc. If your child is using the computer at home, assign the child work, reading etc.

When I was age five I was reading comic books, at age six I was reading Nancy Drew mysteries. When I was growing up, the first year of school was at age six in the first grade. At age eight in the third grade I had a daily assignment every morning was to read to the eight grade class.

The parents are responsible for the child's development, to teacher is only an aid in the childs development.


9 people like this
Posted by KARA
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Oct 22, 2014 at 3:41 pm

I was referring to the incident on Page 8 of the complaint that speaks to a school being out of compliance with special ed laws by not having a qualified resource specialist and the lack of support and response by the district office in replacing that specialist. Disregard or lack of understanding by the district office for compliance is the bigger issue. So rather than finding a tutor, which as someone else mentioned above seems to be something that is occurring more often especially for math right now, this is actually a legal compliance issue.


10 people like this
Posted by Concern Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 22, 2014 at 4:45 pm

Reading this 167 pages complaint is extremely upsetting and big disappointment. And these are the people that we trust to manage and make decisions for our children and their education..... and Cazares do not belong in the office.


13 people like this
Posted by Jackie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 22, 2014 at 5:36 pm

Page 34 says "Cronin and M---r. [Portion removed because it was speculative] They clearly lied about what they said. Isnt that a crime? Read the whole 165 pages and you will be disgusted. Guess you can lie and cheat and get huge settlements from PUSD. In the meantime both the recipients are remodeling their homes while the rest of us work to pay property taxes to the corrupt PUSD. Pleasanton residents should be outraged.


14 people like this
Posted by Concerned
a resident of Castlewood
on Oct 22, 2014 at 6:20 pm

This document outlining the horrific culture of our School District’s administration, along with the District’s approach to Common Core Math (my child should not be a guinea pig for the district’s experiment – text books for Common Core were approved by the state last spring!) and the fact that 3 members of the School Board (Bowser, Laursen and Grant) seem to know what is the best calendar for our community and not the more than 800 people who actively voiced their opinion that the community should be involved in this decision, make it clear that if drastic changes aren’t made and soon our children’s education will quickly decline as will home prices – hope you all are considering this when you vote on Nov. 4 – Vote for Miller and Wright – they are not politicians and will do what is best for our kids and the community not for their political careers.


2 people like this
Posted by WG Mom
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Oct 22, 2014 at 7:10 pm

I have two children at Walnut Grove, and one has been in the resource program since 2nd grade. I remember when our first resource teacher retired and the following year we had Ms. Kate Crawford. Last year and this year, we have Ms. Debbie. I'm not sure why it says there was no resource teacher at walnut grove that year, because I remember having Ms. Kate and she was very experienced. She told me that she had been working with children with learning disabilities for maybe 25 or 30 years.


12 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Amador Estates
on Oct 22, 2014 at 8:25 pm

So sorry Mr. Vranesh. I feel for you and your family and what you have been put through in the last year.


1 person likes this
Posted by ???
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 22, 2014 at 8:27 pm

Did anyone attend and speak at the special meeting before the Board went into closed session?


25 people like this
Posted by JV Made a Difference
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Oct 22, 2014 at 8:32 pm

The Resource Program was impacted while the prior Resource teacher was still teaching. Ms. Crawford was brought in to work with the "overflow" kids who did not fit into one of the official Resource classes. She worked primarily one-on-one, or in small groups, during pull-out sessions. She was not the official Resource Teacher.

The 2012 -2013 school year started with a new Resource Teacher. He struggled and the teachers were not kind or patient while he tried to figure it out. It was a great big mess and he quit about a month into it. And then it became the Year of the Substitute. Every once in awhile a qualified, dedicated sub would fill the position but it never lasted because there is some rule that says substitutes can only sub for so many days. I can assure you that IEP goals were not being worked on and most IEPs were out of compliance that year. I know, because my child's IEP was one of them.

It is very important to note, however, that hiring a Resource Teacher is NOT the responsibility of the principal. While I am sure he is part of the process, the actually hiring is done by (are you ready for it????) the DISTRICT OFFICE. Specifically HR and the Special Education program. So that means Jon Vranesh had to carry ALL the burden of disgruntled parents and teachers and was completely powerless to do anything about it. Meanwhile the District office sat back and watched him fail - because, by then, that was what they wanted.

On a personal note, I would like to say that Jon Vranesh did a marvelous job supporting our child and family throughout the entire year. He attended every IEP and personally ensured a seamless transition to Middle School. We owe him nothing but gratitude and praise. In all my years of raising children, I have never known a more involved, compassionate and caring principal than Jon Vranesh. Thank you Jon for making a difference! You really are in for the kids.


20 people like this
Posted by lll
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 22, 2014 at 9:33 pm

I am glad the suit is here for all to see and the behavior of Cazares is being put in public. As a member of the public and somebody who has been on community task forces at the district, I have never had the opportunity to work with somebody who was more of a bully than Cazares. She is rude and will bully you if you have an opposing viewpoint to her. She does not belong in a job that has is essentially a government service and she would be fired in any private sector job for her behavior. I have been very involved in the city and the school district for decades and she is the rudest person I have ever had to deal with, by a longshot. We need new members on our school board so she can finally be fired. Make sure you vote for Wright and Miller.


22 people like this
Posted by Leslie
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Oct 22, 2014 at 11:06 pm

I agree with the comments above. I think that Ms. Cazares is about as cold and calculating as they come. I was on the facilities master plan committee and I hated working with her because she was so arrogant rude. I sincerely hope that she is the first one to go. Ms. Ahmadi is incompetent, but Ms. Cazares is downright evil.

I hope that the school board has the courage to make sweeping changes. If it were up to me, the entire cabinet would be cleaned. And if it were up to me, there would be no more concessions to the unions. I know I'm not the only one who is just plain sick of the praise and adoration bestowed on the union reps every time Ms. Ahmadi opens her mouth. At the district PTA meeting, Ms. Ahmadi thanked "our wonderful classified employees, who we love," for merely doing their jobs. Really? They deserve high praise for washing the floors and sorting the textbooks during the summer? First of all, I'm a Lydiksen mom and I know the floors weren't all that clean. And the math books still haven't arrived. And, here's a reality check. Normal people do their jobs. Normal people work all year long, even in the summer. Normal people know that if they are incompetent or falsify their timecards or bully their boss, they will be fired. That isn't the case with the current cabinet. You do those things and you get rewarded--$250,000 worth of rewards.

I'm sick of this nonsense. Please remember to vote for WRIGHT AND MILLER on November 4th. If you care about our district, you must vote for change.


5 people like this
Posted by William Tell
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 23, 2014 at 8:45 am

Could Mrs. Ahmadi and members of the board be in cohoots with this law firm (financially)? Are they splitting the million that's being channeled to the law firm for the so-called investigation? Will Mrs. Ahmadi and the board keep making bad decisions thus enriching the law firm more? Quite a scam if you ask me...


11 people like this
Posted by Varnesh was managed by Ahmadi
a resident of California Somerset
on Oct 23, 2014 at 9:47 am

Think about your job, if there is a problem, you get your manager involved, they go through the details, sit down with the disgruntled employees and show leadership to settle the disagreement.

For too long superintendent Ahmadi did nothing. She could have disciplined employees in error and handled this like a true leader, but she did nothing.

Add the School Board that never dealt with a problem like this and did not have the tools to do it, and we have a bungling of poor leadership for most of the School Board.

It is time to clean house. I am voting for Wright and Miller, and I truly hope they are the type of leaders that will demand action from their superintendent and start acting like representatives that need to initiate change on behalf of our students and school district.

I ask you, how many new superintendents could we have hired with the wasted money spent on the teacher pay out and now the principal's lawsuit?


4 people like this
Posted by Reality Check
a resident of another community
on Oct 23, 2014 at 10:02 am

Remember that six separate elementary school teachers collectively reported that JV:

(1) called teachers[removed]
(2) called female teachers the "c-word"
(3) dropped 'f-bombs' when referring to teachers, and
(4) said he wanted to "bludgeon" teachers.

The District investigated these investigation found that the teachers' complaints were corroborated.

Who do you believe?...JV or the multiple independent elementary school teachers (whose complains were corroborated)?


16 people like this
Posted by CarPark
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Oct 23, 2014 at 11:15 am

CarPark is a registered user.

Let's get the story straight. If you think the truth is on your side why do you have to LIE and embellish?

2 people said they heard him call SOMEONE ELSE foul names.
1 person said they heard him say he wanted to "bludgeon someone on the top of their head with a 2 x 4" Let's get real. Who talks like that
I never saw one complaint of the f word in all of the FIOA documents.

The elementary school teachers also claimed he had no friends as a child. He wouldn't let them speak until the end of a meeting. They claimed he was Hitler. They ridiculed his height. Made comments about his size. When you look at the rest of the ridiculous claims and allegations they made you see how mean spirited they are, and how they accused him of doing things that they themselves are guilty of.

District hired an "investigator" one never once asked the women if THEY used foul language or spoke badly of anyone else. Strange isn't it? Seems to me if you are reporting someone used foul language at work it and you didn't like it you had better not have done the same things yourself.

They can hide behind the protection of innocent "elementary teacher" but their own words revealed their true character.


22 people like this
Posted by Love my Kids
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Oct 23, 2014 at 4:35 pm

Love my Kids is a registered user.

To understand Walnut Grove, you first need to understand that, up until very recently, it was UNLIKE any other school in the District. It was essentially two schools, one principal. The Discovery Program, while probably well intentioned in its infancy, grew into an organizational beast with very complicated social and organizational implications. By the time my children arrived, the Discovery program was selective, elitist, and down right discriminatory. Only children with strong family units (to support the program) and no behavior issues were placed in Discovery. Children with learning differences were soundly discouraged to apply. Upon reflection, I can't think of a single ESL child in the Discovery Program.

The 4th Graders in the Regular Program took a day excursion to Columbia to pan for gold, the 4th Graders in the Discovery Program spent two nights in Coloma immersing themselves in the Pioneer life. If you were in the Regular Program your year ended with a slice of pizza and movie. If you were in the Discovery Program the teachers/parents planned an all day BBQ extravaganza. You get the idea. The inequities were huge.

There was a definite sense of we/them and it generated bad feelings and a pack mentality. The packs moved in unison. This was true for the teachers and this was true for the families. This dynamic was the backdrop for the ensuing events.

I'm sure that Dr. Young (JV's predecessor) saw the writing on the wall and that's why he got out of there as soon as he could. Jon Vranesh was placed at Walnut Grove as a young principal in this powder keg of a situation. And then the "fun" began.

Everyone (and I mean EVERYONE!) was unhappy when JV took radical measures to secure the school. You should have heard the uproar. But then Sandy Hook happened and suddenly we had parents/teachers monitoring every nook and cranny.

Our school rooms were filthy. I mean seriously filthy. At one point I volunteered to stay after school to clean the desks and vacuum. That idea was squashed before I could finish the offer. "No can do! THAT would be a violation of the Union contract." BUT there was NO janitor doing the job. And forget about after school activities. Bathrooms were locked, children sat on the floor and spills were allowed to congeal. It was a big problem that Jon Vranesh tried to correct. Read the report - you'll see how well that worked out for him.

And then there was the year with no Resource teacher. Don't get me started on that one. JV did well by our family, but that year was a WASTE for every single resource child at Walnut Grove. The compliance issues alone, could be a law suit worth big bucks. JV got all the blame but had absolutely no authority to fix it. Although he tried and tried. I saw it with my own two eyes.

And don't forget about the new "Pledging" system for field trips (imposed by the District), causing all our teachers to become fundraisers and holding our field trips hostage until we all chipped in enough money to cover those who didn't pay. Sounds a little like extortion to me.

And lastly we come back to the demise of the Discovery Program. What a political hot potato. It needed to go and the District made Jon Vranesh the scape goat.

So, you ask if I believe Jon Vranesh OR six elementary teachers moving in a pack? I believe Jon Vranesh. His only mistake was trying to right, too many wrongs, too fast.

Did Jon say a swear word in frustration? Perhaps. Did he voice his frustration in a weak moment to the wrong person? Perhaps. Is this enough to END A CAREER? Absolutely NOT!

His complaint smacks of the truth. He has a case my friends. This isn't going away anytime soon. I guarantee it.

And for those of who think JV should "Do the right thing and drop it for the kids sake" are you kidding me? PUSD is not only a public school system, it is an EMPLOYER. PUSD must be held accountable to the same law that our own employers work with. They can't destroy a career and get away with it. Next time it could be you.


18 people like this
Posted by AnotherParent
a resident of Country Fair
on Oct 23, 2014 at 4:55 pm

AnotherParent is a registered user.

I Agree with Love My Kids. This post as well as JVs claim paint a very clear picture of what WG was at that time and the challenges involved. One of those challenges was the Discovery Program and whether to continue it as it was, revise it our discontinue it.

I was a parent of a child in the Discovery program. Many aspects of this program served my child well. That said it was very apparent that as class sizes grew, and parents were less available to volunteer in the classroom, this educational model put more and more of a strain on the teachers and school. Classroom management became very difficult. In turn, learning became very difficult. The decision to end this program was made by those who were qualified to make it. JV left the decision to the Discovery Teachers who knew the program the best! They were the experts! NOT Joan Laursen as a previous parent of a child in the program, NOT previous teachers who were at WG in the prime of the program and not even me as a parent of a child in the program at it's end. JV supported their decision and took it one step further! He took the responsibility for the decision in regards to the backlash. I applaud him for doing what was right by the school, in this situation!

I for one do not want a Board member who can not see past the romance of what was, and recognize a need for change. My vote will be for Paige Wright and Mark Miller!


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