The Tracy Unified School District Board of Education has taken disciplinary measures against one of its members, who spoke out regarding a closed-session matter.
On Tuesday, the board voted 6-1 to censure Trustee Ameni Alexander, with Alexander the dissenting vote, based on comments he made regarding a closed session Oct. 8. In that closed session, the board discussed the dismissal of the district’s special education director, Christopher Crone, and supported Superintendent Brian Stephens’ decision to release Crone on a 6-1 vote. Alexander cast the lone vote in opposition.
California’s open meetings law, the Brown Act, sets guidelines for issues that a public agency can discuss in public and behind closed doors. Personnel matters are among those that are discussed in closed sessions, and the law further forbids officials to disclose confidential information discussed in closed session.
The resolution approved Tuesday also makes note of board bylaws that prohibit members from discussing any information from closed sessions unless a majority of the board authorizes release of that information.
After the Oct. 8 meeting, Alexander talked to the Tracy Press and other members of the public about the vote to release Crone. While he did not share details about the board’s discussion of Crone’s performance as special education director or the superintendent’s reasons for releasing Crones, he did state his reason for dissenting on the 6-1 vote and also made remarks critical of the board’s decision.
The board’s censure is a formal reprimand, declaring that Alexander’s conduct was “inimical to the interests of the Tracy Unified School District, its community, staff and students” and directing him to “cease future disclosure of confidential information.”
The board also directed the superintendent to send the resolution and other information about the case to the San Joaquin County Civil Grand Jury and district attorney.