In December, newly installed Board of Trustees member Ashley Drain met with Weston Ranch High School officials as she tried to intervene and prevent a student from being suspended.
The female student happens to be someone whom Drain was mentoring during her private time through her Emotional Development Program. The incident was marked with racial tensions arising from some statements made by the student in connection with the way she was reportedly treated by a member of the school staff.
Drain’s role in that intervention effort is being questioned by a concerned Manteca resident who said that the trustee violated sections of Board Bylaw No. 9000(a) governing the role of elected board members. This individual did not want her name mentioned because she was concerned about possible negative repercussions that might arise given the fact she is a Manteca Unified School District staff working at one of the elementary school sites.
Asked if she was acting as a private individual or as an elected trustee when she intervened on behalf of the student in question during the December incident at Weston Ranch, Drain replied, “I was acting as Ashley Drain. However that was perceived by whatever individual that has you asking this question is really none of my business.”
Some of the policy sections specifically pointed out by the resident in her complaint included the following sections on:
uActing with dignity and understanding “the implications of demeanor and behavior,”
uUnderstanding the “distinctions between Board and staff roles” and refraining “from performing management functions that are the responsibility of the Superintendent,”
uUnderstanding “that authority rests with the Board as a whole and not with individuals,” and,
uGoverning “in a dignified and professional manner, treating everyone with civility and respect.”
Policy No. 9300 of the board bylaws also states that “all actions of the Board of Education shall be taken only in official Board of Education meetings called, scheduled and conducted according to these bylaws and the statutes of the state.”
Board president Deborah Romero of Area 7 said that in instances when someone has a complaint about any of the elected trustees, they can file those complaints by filling out a form at the district office which is intended for such purposes. They can also go to the board meetings and speak out during the citizens’ comment portion of the agenda.
After the article about the Weston Ranch High incident appeared in the Manteca Bulletin, Drain posted the entire email she sent to the paper about the incident on her Facebook page since, as she explained it, many of her quotes were not included in the story.