Here we go again
Yet another PUSD board member faces censure
By André Coleman 09/05/2012
Pasadena Unified School District attorneys are expected to soon be discussing the possible censure of a Board of Education member — the third board member to face censure in less than a year.
This time longtime Board member Ed Honowitz finds himself under the gun for allegedly violating the privacy rights of a special education student.
According to Sierra Madre resident Tony Brandenburg, Honowitz violated his autistic son’s rights at a meeting after angry parents began demanding the boy be removed from Sierra Madre Elementary.
In June 2011, Brandenburg and his wife, Mary, claimed their 8-year-old, whose name they’ve asked to have withheld, was bullied out of his second-grade class at Sierra Madre Elementary by classmates and their parents, the latter of whom, they report, held meetings off campus to discuss his removal from the school.
According to the couple’s allegations, parents at the school filed police reports against their son, who was not charged with a crime.
Brandenburg presented his case to the district during last Tuesday’s school board meeting, after requesting the censure item be placed on the agenda. He is supported by Ron Thomas, whose son Kelly was beaten to death by two Fullerton police officers who now face murder charges. Kelly Thomas had been previously diagnosed as schizophrenic. Ron Thomas attended last week’s meeting.
School board members would not discuss specifics of the alleged breach of privacy, nor would they tell the Weekly if the child was still attending a school in PUSD.
“We have to send it to our attorney, that is our process,” said Board President Renatta Cooper. It was not immediately clear when the Honowitz censure question will be taken up by the board.
In October, PUSD Board member Scott Phelps received a written reprimand for violating the confidentiality of the board’s search for a new superintendent the previous June.
In another censure vote shortly after that, Cooper was accused of divulging details of a closed session meeting that ended without a censure or reprimand.