By Robert Haugh
The Santa Clara Unified School District has been in the press a lot lately. That’s because of Santa Clara City Councilman Dominic Caserta. He’s also a teacher at Santa Clara High School and has been accused of sexual harassment and improper behavior with his students and young campaign workers.
Now, there’s some more controversy created by SCUSD Board of Trustees President Noelani Pearl Hunt.
A few weeks ago, she made an appearance at the Santa Clara County Democratic Party to “speak against the white power structure in the city of Santa Clara and their racist system,” according to multiple people who attended the meeting.
This is interesting because Hunt was appointed to Santa Clara’s 2016 Charter Review Committee. That group discussed creating districts in the city to help minority candidates. But they decided to keep the current system.
Hunt only attended the first introductory meeting and missed dozens of other ones and didn’t participate at all, according to a city staffer. When she had her chance to do something in 2016, she didn’t show up.
Recently, Santa Clarans received a robocall from Hunt opposing Measure A. That’s the measure on the June ballot that will create two districts in Santa Clara. It also may allow for ranked-choice voting if the technology is available in the future. Measure A opponents don’t think it helps minority candidates enough.
We got some complaints about Hunt’s robocall. So we tried to get some info. Hunt did not respond to our inquiry.
But another SCUSD Trustee, Andy Ratermann, did. Here’s what Ratermann told us:
“She identified herself as the President of the Santa Clara Board of Education. Nowhere in the call did she indicate that this was a personal opinion, which left me with the opinion that she was speaking for the school district.”
Is she allowed to do that? No, according to Ratermann:
“The SCUSD school board has not agendized nor discussed Santa Clara Measure A. As such, the school district does not have a position on this measure. A school board member has no authority on their own. ”
Looks like Hunt may have created another controversy for the district to deal with.
But Hunt is no stranger to controversy.
In the summer of 2016, 10 Buscher Middle School teachers wrote a letter to the community saying they were concerned about “a stunning breach of ethics” by Hunt who was then named Noelani Sallings, for an alleged extramarital affair with a Buchser teacher’s husband. Ouch. That’s a really unusual move for teachers.
Thanks to Hunt, Caserta isn’t the only controversial person associated with SCUSD these days.
Editor’s Note: Thanks to astute readers, we corrected the date hunt served on the Charter Review Committee.
[…] District (SCUSD) Board President and got herself caught up in some controversy this year when she said the City Council was racist for not creating council districts. She was also on the 2016 charter review committee that decided not to create them. But she only […]
I live in a very blended area of Santa Clara. It seems most new home purchases are by Asian decent.
I don’t believe Santa Clara is racist in the least. There were several Asian candidates in the last election. I am uncomfortable changing our process. It seems wrong to change what is happening naturally until we achieve someone’s idea of diversity.
Maybe we need to focus on promoting voting for all cultures.
Has she lost her mind? Why doesn’t she go after the Sexual Oredator that has been running roughshod over fellow teachers and his female students his entire career?
Why doesn’t she go after the SCHS and SCUSD “Leadership” that has allowed such horrible transgressions to occur whine they look the other way!
She should focus on the kids and the teachers being affected daily, not whatever larger personal agenda she may have.
My family is bi-racial and I strongly feel that we have had the same opportunities as everyone else in this beautifully diverse city. As the years go by, some of the newcomers who stay will take over roles of power and politics. It doesn’t happen overnight. I’m more concerned that ONE year can’t go by without an embarrassing scandal in our school board or city council.
I was part of the 2016 charter review, we had time frame to get the issues we working on.
1 term limits ,salary for the council and appointment in case of a resignation.
2 was the creation of districts.One idea that I did encourage was having 2 candidates from each zip code.
since our population in the 95050 and 95054 is increasing it will balance.
We did not have enough time to debate the district issue . our number one priority was term limits.
In Santa Clara just about every block looks like the United Nations , so to say we are racist is incorrect.
2 candidates from 3 districts will make it easier for a larger pool of candidates to run for office since it could bring the cost of running for office ,at the same time the candidate will be intune with issues concerning his constituency.
Are you about a size 14?
It seems as though being born a white male is a bad thing in California.
For some, I would imagine it’ll be better once we allow Mexico and Central America to infiltrate into California. So much guilt…
Too true Richard. However in this case Noelani is not wrong. SC is a racists place compared with the surrounding communities.
Ignoring the impact and damage of white imperialism and white privilege is unacceptable under any circumstances.
Race baiting is unacceptable under any circumstances.