Elfrida teacher accused of inappropriate language and touching of student

Oct 31, 2007 Full story: The Daily Dispatch

“It will make your eyes roll back in your head.”

Richard Anderson, left, and his attorneys listen to testimonies from teachers and staff at Valley Union High Tuesday afternoon. via The Daily Dispatch

Full Story
Mike Jackson

Pearce, AZ

#1 Nov 1, 2007
The entire hearing is probably null and void.

The law says the school "shall file a statement with the clerk of the board of supervisors stating where all public notices of their meetings will be posted and shall give such additional public notice as is reasonable and practicable as to all meetings," Arizona Revised Statutes 38-431.02.A.2.

In January, the school sent a letter to the clerk of the board of supervisors, saying "Notice of each meeting is posted at the high school administration office and at the Elfrida Post Office ...." But that wouldn't satisfy the extra requirement for "such additional public notice as is reasonable and practicable as to all meetings."

"Reasonable and practicable" notice includes notice on the school's website. That's what the school has already decided. The school's website ( http://www.vuhs.net ) has a link to "Governing Board Meeting Agendas."

The school used that page to post agendas for meetings on August 7, September 7, and October 12. Obviously the school finds it "reasonable and practicable" to use the internet to post agendas.

The page even encourages people to rely on its webpage. The page says "By Arizona law, Governing Board meeting agendas shall be post at least 24 hours before the meeting takes place." Any reasonable person would believe that agendas will be posted on that page at least 24 hours before a meeting.

But the school didn't post notice of the firing hearing on its website. The school didn't until after the third session of the hearing. Then, on or after 8:30 p.m. on October 26, notice was posted that "the Board will hold a special meeting open to the public on Tuesday, October 30, 2007, at 8:30 p.m.... regarding possible discipline of Mr. Richard Anderson ... I, Gary Walker, certify that this notice of public meeting and agenda ... was posted on the 26 day of October, 2007, at 8:30 P.M."

After posting that notice, the school can't argue that it was unreasonable or impractical to post notice of the original hearing. So there's a strong appearance of prior violations of the Open Meeting Law law.

Worse, the October 26 hearing began at 8:30 a.m., not p.m. as advertised. Anybody relying on the posted notice would miss the meeting. A notice that misleads people into not attending a meeting doesn't satisfy the Open Meeting Law.

Any doubts about the matter should be resolved in favor of applying the Open Meeting Law: "any person or entity charged with the interpretations of this article shall construe any provision of this article in favor of open and public meetings," ARS 38-431.09.

If the Open Meeting Law was broken, "[a]ll legal action transacted by any public body during [the hearing so far] is null and void," ARS 38-431.05.A.

Another fine mess that county employees have got into, by carelessness about the Open Meeting Law.
Elfrida Resident

Elfrida, AZ

#2 Nov 12, 2007
Maybe someone should look into other Vally Union employee's as this is not the first issue of teacher or staff misconduct (sexualy) I don't see their jobs on the line or a big deal like this being made maybe because their students were not Football player's I see Vally Union Won State I wonder if these boy's that accused Mr.Anderson, if rumer is true were not going to be able to play. And ended up playing anyway? Please post anything you know about other incidents you know about or have heard This school needs to be accountable for our childrens education and I don't mean hands on sex ed.

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