Sunday , April 21 2024

Raisin City School Board Keeps Superintendent Despite Felony Forgery Conviction

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<div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en"><font size="2"><span style="font-size: 11pt;">The criminal record of Raisin City Superintendent Anna Ramirez was the subject of about three and a half hours of discussion at the school board meeting Tuesday.</span></font></span></div> <div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en">&nbsp;</span></div> <div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en"><font size="2"><span style="font-size: 11pt;">Two years ago, Ramirez pleaded no contest to felony forgery charges, and she said she had been transparent from the beginning. </span></font></span></div> <div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en"><br /></span></div> <div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en"><font size="2"><span style="font-size: 11pt;">The meeting was long and heated, but in the end, the board voted to support Ramirez and keep her as superintendent.</span></font></span></div> <div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en"><br /></span></div> <div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en">“<font size="2"><span style="font-size: 11pt;">We have three votes to one that Mrs. Ramirez is supported in this community. She will remain in employment in this community, and we will not talk about it again,” said School Board President Tony Monreal to the crowd’s applause.</span></font></span></div> <div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en"><br /></span></div> <div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en"><font size="2"><span style="font-size: 11pt;">Ramirez said she had been upfront about her record from the beginning with all board members, including board member Evangelina Urias, who was elected in December. </span></font></span></div> <div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en"><br /></span></div> <div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en"><font size="2"><span style="font-size: 11pt;">Urias brought the item to the agenda Tuesday, saying she had not been aware of Ramirez’s record until recently. </span></font></span></div> <div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en"><br /></span></div> <div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en"><font size="2"><span style="font-size: 11pt;">&quot;Our school, you know, it runs with over a million dollars budget, and that’s very concerning to me being that she’s the CEO at our school,” Urias said.</span></font></span></div> <div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en"><br /></span></div> <div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en"><font size="2"><span style="font-size: 11pt;">But why bring it up now, Ramirez asks. She calls it a personal attack. Ramirez admits to the felony. She said she only pleaded that way to put a long-time personal issue behind her.</span></font></span></div> <div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en"><br /></span></div> <div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en"><font size="2"><span style="font-size: 11pt;">&quot;Whatever I have in my past was due to an issue with my ex-brother in law, like I stated, and it had nothing to do with my job,” Ramirez said.</span></font></span></div> <div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en"><br /></span></div> <div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en"><font size="2"><span style="font-size: 11pt;">More than 100 people showed up, with just as many kids as adults present. A large Spanish-speaking crowd was in attendance, and the entire meeting was translated in Spanish.</span></font></span></div> <div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en"><br /></span></div> <div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en"><font size="2"><span style="font-size: 11pt;">Some had just learned of Ramirez’s record, but many said it didn’t make a difference to them or the district.</span></font></span></div> <div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en"><br /></span></div> <div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en"><font size="2"><span style="font-size: 11pt;">&quot;I didn’t know about all of this, and it’s not relevant. If it’s not happening while she’s on the job, then it’s just a bunch of BS,” said Juan Avitia, president of the Mexican-American Political Association (MAPA).</span></font></span></div> <div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en"><br /></span></div> <div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en"><font size="2"><span style="font-size: 11pt;">&quot;Everybody has a past. But don’t look at the people because of the past, look at what they’re doing good,” said a parent.</span></font></span></div> <div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en"><br /></span></div> <div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en"><font size="2"><span style="font-size: 11pt;">Opponents said there is a reason to question Ramirez because she’s essentially the CEO of the district and she was convicted of forgery.</span></font></span></div> <div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en"><br /></span></div> <div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en"><font size="2"><span style="font-size: 11pt;">Students also spoke, saying they were disappointed in the behavior of many of the adults.</span></font></span></div> <div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en"><br /></span></div> <div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en"><font size="2"><span style="font-size: 11pt;">&quot;It’s sad to say that me, as a 14-year-old, [I] have more courage, respect, anything than all you people here discussing and fighting,” said a former student of the district.</span></font></span></div> <div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en"><br /></span></div> <div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en"><font size="2"><span style="font-size: 11pt;">The majority of the people spoke in support of Ramirez, saying they want the attention and focus to return to the students.</span></font></span></div> <div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en">&nbsp;</span></div> <div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en"><font size="2"><span style="font-size: 11pt;">With picketers outside the schoo</span></font><font size="2"><span style="font-size: 11pt;">l a few times a week, the whole ordeal has been distracting to students, said Belinda Contreras, a teacher at the district.</span></font></span></div> <div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en"><br /></span></div> <div style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span lang="en">“<font size="2"><span style="font-size: 11pt;">They come to school worried about who’s going to be fighting, who’s going to be yelling,” Contreras said.</span></font></span><br /></div></div>

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