Bejarano: Why I quit my East San Jose school board
Alum Rock Union School District Trustee Ernesto Bejarano resigned from his position in February. File photo.

    In an effort to avoid any potential distraction to the appointment process for filling the vacant seat left by my resignation, I have avoided responding to questions or providing a response to any assumptions that have been made.

    In short, as my resignation letter stated, my decision is unequivocally, 100% due to personal reasons.

    There has apparently been some speculation or assumption about a connection between my resignation and a situation at Adelante I Dual Language Academy, but any such thought is absolutely inaccurate and without merit.

    I would like to clarify in no uncertain terms, that the situation (real or perceived) at Adelante had absolutely no bearing on my resignation. In fact, my decision had for the most part been made prior to any of the incidents alluded to in the media, blogs or social media. My decision was based solely on a personal situation that presented itself to myself and my family.

    As far as I am concerned, the district has been as transparent as possible with the events at Adelante, and it is very clear that any further “transparency” that has been requested is not possible due to the fact that there’s been an ongoing active investigation. There are rules prohibiting the sharing or disclosure of personal information by the district.

    Some have suggested that my departure was due to the fact that things got “too hard” at Adelante and I left because I could not handle the challenge.

    Those people are entitled to their opinion, but in my 4+ years on the board, I navigated numerous audits, investigations, legal challenges, school closures, layoffs, financial distress, a global pandemic, public accusations and defamation, threats, media scrutiny, and much more. The clear cut nature of the situation, as well as the district’s response at Adelante, therefore had absolutely no impact on my decision relative to everything else that I experienced as a board member.

    That being said, the safety of our children district wide has always been the top priority, which is why I led the effort and introduced the resolution to vigorously fortify the district’s efforts to ensure that staff understand their mandated reporter responsibilities.

    I extend my congratulations to Andrea Flores Shelton for her appointment to the (previously) vacant seat on the board, and I wish her and the rest of the Alum Rock team nothing but the best going forward.

    Ernesto Bejarano is a former Alum Rock Union School District board member who resigned last month.

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