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Saturday, November 26, 2005

Freedom of Speech and Steve Rocco 

I dropped the Steve Rocco story after November 2004, but it blipped up again in March 2005.

Trustee Steve Rocco scoffed Monday at warnings from the Orange Unified school board president to stick to district issues at meetings after he gave a 16-minute speech on charter schools, credit unions and his father's death.

In his initial speech, delivered Feb. 10, Rocco criticized the district's handling of Santiago Charter Middle School after a teacher's arrest on sex allegations and spoke of problems at the teachers credit union.

But he also spoke of his father's death....

"Today, the concentration camps are the nursing homes and medical facilities. And who are the inmates? The inmates are your loved ones," Rocco said.

The speech prompted a reprimand last week from board President Kathy Moffat citing board bylaws.

"The health concerns of your parents and previous interactions you may have had with law enforcement are not relevant to the functions of our school district," she wrote.

She warned that the board president may deem a topic appropriate based on whether the board can act on it.

Rocco equated Moffat's letter to "censorship."

"If you're going to give me parameters of how I can talk, that's the same as not speaking," he said. "If you just want a rubber stamp, I can do that, and others too, but I'm not going to."...

Well, I'm not going to take the time to review Rocco's activities in every board meeting, but here's what he said in the October 13, 2005 meeting:

Mr. Rocco acknowledged that former Assemblyman Mickey Conroy and Mrs. Kathy Moran’s husband had both passed away and he offered his condolences.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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