Superintendent hiring, firing sparks grassroots effort

June 14, 2006

Friday, June 9, 2006

Group questions school board's decisions.

By DEEPA BHARATH
The Orange County Register

 
WHAT’S NEXT
The group announced it would hold a rally in support of Nguyen-Lam on Thursday at 6 p.m. outside the school district an hour before the regularly scheduled school board meeting.
 

WESTMINSTER – The school board’s hiring and firing of a respected member of the local Vietnamese community has sprouted a grassroots group that is questioning trustees' decisions and demanding answers.The informal group, which calls itself Keep our Voice, Keep KimOanh Coalition, organized its first meeting this morning outside the Westminster School District building on Cedarwood Avenue.

Attorney Daniel Do-Khanh, who heads this group, said the school board’s decision has confused community members and left them with more questions than answers.

"This was a very thorough selection process," he said. "How could (KimOanh Nguyen-Lam) be qualified one week and unqualified a week later?"

Phu Nguyen, president of the Vietnamese American Community of Southern California, said Nguyen-Lam has inspired and touched the lives of many students, especially those who cannot speak English.

On May 23, trustees voted 4-1 to hire Nguyen-Lam, but rescinded the hiring a week later in a 3-2 decision, with two board members changing their minds. They said they believed Nguyen-Lam lacked relevant experience.

Trustee James Reed said this week that he initially felt pressured by the search firm and other board members to pick Nguyen-Lam.

Nguyen-Lam, who works as associate director for the Center of Language Minority Research and Education at Cal State Long Beach, has said she will pursue legal options to try to clear her name.

She was not at today’s meeting. Do-Khanh said he was not currently her attorney.

County Supervisor Lou Correa, who spoke to the group, said he was saddened by the board’s actions and knows Nguyen-Lam is qualified for the position.

"I’m glad you’re doing this," he said. "Elected officials must answer to what happened and why."

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One Response to “Superintendent hiring, firing sparks grassroots effort”

  1. truthfully Says:

    The white school board racists are not sound-minded; they change their votes and can’t be reliable.


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