Voice: What really happened with CUHS teacher?

March 24, 2001

I find myself more than a little interested in the recent firing of a Central Union High School history teacher.

If Dick Fragale found it necessary to have Simon Marquez escorted off campus even before his school day was finished, it would surely have to be a higher crime than a personnel issue.

The melodramatic way in which this was handled would be a sure-fire way to raise the students' ire.

The girl who videotaped the protest, Bea Booher, was said to have supported Marquez but not the rally for his reinstatement. How would the public know about this firing unless this assembly had taken place? Would the Imperial Valley Press care enough to tell us about it without 100 students hitting the pavement in protest?

These kids handled this situation in an orderly adult manner and under our Constitution have the right to peaceful assembly. Let the school administration watch on. If this had been handled in a more straightforward manner, perhaps the students would not have felt the need to react to a seemingly sly decision that would result in depriving them of a popular teacher. The fuzzy reasoning given in the newspaper article should be backed up with something better than an allusion to "a personnel problem."


If Marquez's teaching style is unorthodox, so what? The students know him as someone trying to teach them "to go the right way." This is a battle in a public and private school not easily won but worth the fight.

Is there a lawyer out there interested in hearing what Marquez has to say about his startlingly public dismissal? What if the students demonstrate again and 200 show up this time?

Are you I.V. Press people going to send a scout down this buffalo trail to find out specifically why this massacre took place?

If Marquez is some kind of menace to society, you reporters find out for us and explain it to the students and public. If that's the case, they seem intelligent enough to give him up. If this is some kind of trumped-up charge because he stepped on some august toes, the board ought to stand down and allow the students their victory.

Board pride is expendable and Marquez may be too valuable an asset to this community for us to give him up so easily. If a miscarriage of authority has been made, let press investigation uncover it and public opinion challenge it.

In the future, these students will use their votes as the rudder that will move the congressional ship through stormy waters in this great country we call the United States of America. They have conducted themselves well enough to be heard now.


El Centro

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