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Friday March 30, 2012
Local Teachers Outraged by Hammond and Pedroza’s Deception
Candidates claim to be teachers, do not hold CA
Santa Ana, CA — Robert Hammond and Art Pedroza, candidates for OC Board of Education, 1st District, have begun their campaigns for county school board by attempting to mislead voters into believing they are teachers. Neither holds a CA teaching credential or has any formal training, or experience, as a classroom teacher.
Mr. Hammond claims to be a teacher because for the last eight years he has tutored his home schooled children and he has helped others to do the same.
Mr. Pedroza, a part-time instructor at Cerritos College, believes instructing adults in a vocational program is the same as being a CA credentialed teacher. Indeed, the Cerritos College directory lists Mr. Pedroza as an hourly instructor.
“This is a slippery slope,” was the reaction of Leo Figueroa, Santa Ana teacher. Figueroa went on to say, “As a social studies teacher, I am a full-time, classroom teacher and I think this is what comes to mind when voters see the word teacher. I don’t think someone who tutors their children at home should be called a teacher. Teaching adults part-time, something I have experience in, is completely different from teaching children and the voters need to know this Information. With all the budget cuts and challenges public education is facing, the last thing we need are ethically challenged school board members, eager to mislead the voters and disrespect teachers.”
Mariella Ponce, a high school math teacher said, “It is very upsetting to think of all the hard work I went through to become a teacher, the money, time, sacrifice, so some weasel, political wanna be, can just call himself a teacher. It reminds me of how tobacco companies got away with lies for generations even though everyone knew smoking was harmful to your health and it caused cancer.” Ms. Ponce stated further, “That is what these guys are, a cancer on our system and they are not getting my vote.”
Paul Halpin, high school English teacher, agrees with Figueroa and Ponce, adding, “Becoming a teacher is not easy. We have to meet strict state standards which have only become stricter to ensure we can actually educate students. I don’t like the idea of someone taking advantage of my hard work and my profession to get themselves elected; it is especially bad when it is for a school board election. These two owe real teachers an apology.”
Eleazar Elizondo said “When I first learned Hammond and Pedroza where trying to pass themselves off as teachers I thought is was an early April fools joke. But this is not funny. It is misleading and dishonest.”
The Orange County Board of Education, 1st District is comprised of Santa Ana, Garden Grove and parts of Tustin and Fountain Valley.
Eleazar Guardiola Elizondo is a former elementary school teacher, college instructor & adjunct professor. He is a graduate of Mater Dei High School, Orange Coast College and Chapman University. He earned his Masters in Political Science, and will soon complete his Master’s in Mass Communications, from CSU-Fullerton.
Note from Greg: I have sometimes referred to myself as a “cop” and a “firefighter” and a “social worker” in dealing with students, clients, and fellow people in politics — but I don’t think I ever thought about doing it in a ballot statement! Why is the title “teacher” any different?