UTLA’s Hypocritical Stance on Dr. Ref Rodriguez

In case you missed it, Dr. Ref Rodriguez, a supporter of education reform and charter schools, has been accused of campaign money laundering. He was the President of the Los Angeles Board of Education, but he stepped down from that role as board president on Tuesday. He remains a school board member.

As expected, the teachers union has pounced on the drama surrounding Dr. Rodriguez, but it’s kind of hard to take the union’s position seriously. There is definitely a level of hypocrisy given how quick the union is to defend the bad behavior of the teachers it represents. UTLA is now calling for the resignation of Dr. Ref Rodriguez from the board. Apparently, the constitution is a stupid little meaningless instrument that the union leadership should just be able to arbitrarily ignore when convenient. The presumption in our judicial system is that those who are accused are innocent until proven guilty. Shouldn’t Rodriguez have a chance to go through the process before leaving the board?

I’m sorry, but when a teacher was feeding his students semen, I did not hear not one time from UTLA that he should resign! Never did I hear that any of the accused child molesting and abusing teachers placed on perpetual administrative leave should resign. Using the logic that UTLA has applied in regards to Ref Rodriguez, there should be no admin leave with pay. Anyone who is accused of any wrongdoing should just resign immediately, once he or she is charged.

There is no presumptive innocence according to the UTLA. Do you see the absurdity of the union calling for Dr. Rodriguez to resign from the board!? Well, I do, and I think it’s ridiculous.

None of this is condoning the actions, if they are proven to be true, of Dr. Rodriguez. But by the standards of the UTLA when it comes to its teachers, nobody resigns without due process. So why would the union have the audacity to ask Board Member Rodriguez to quit when he hasn’t even been proven guilty?  

Let’s address the elephant in the room once and for all.  Anyone can go on the FPPC website and see the hundreds of people that have done exactly what Dr. Rodriguez is being accused of doing. Candidates launder money all the time, and many times it is within the bounds of the law because of loose campaign finance laws. Of course, I think that this charge against Rodriguez is politically motivated. Rodriguez and others who support school choice are always targeted. Most candidates get a literal slap on the hand and maybe a fine. Seldom are they hauled into court. Seldom are they charged with conspiracy.  

I have a better idea. Why doesn’t UTLA call for the resignation of all 137 teachers on paid leave in the infamous LAUSD teacher jail? Yes, there is a teacher jail for teachers and staff who are accused of misconduct. If the union is going to play cop, why not start with the teachers within its ranks who are accused of things like sexual misconduct, violence, the use of inappropriate language, etc.?   

What do you think?

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Leticia Chavez-Garcia

Leticia Chavez-Garcia

Leticia Chavez-Garcia is a Mother, Grandmother, former Middle School Teacher, former Member of a School Board of Education and an Education Advocate for hundreds of parents and students in the Inland Empire. Having become a mother at 15, Leticia knows what it’s like to be a single mother trying to navigate the education system. Leticia received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science and Public Administration from California Baptist University and a Masters’ Degree in Education Technology from Cal State Fullerton in her 30’s. Leticia has used her knowledge and experience to help hundreds of families as an Education Advocate in the Inland Empire and currently works as an Education Specialist.

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