Thursday, November 20, 2008

Citations Issued To Alleged Vandals

Eight teens arrested for Villanova incident

By Sondra Murphy

Update Nov. 21:
According to Ojai Det. Steve Michalec, Gregory Martin Kiddie, 18, turned himself in to the Ojai Police Department today. He was cited and released on suspicion of violating PC 594.3(a), vandalism of religious property, and PC 594(b)(1), vandalism over $400.

Nov. 20 post:
Ojai Police Department issued citations to seven juveniles and one adult yesterday in connection with the Oct. 3 vandalism to Villanova Preparatory School. Paint, manure and salt were used at several locations on the private school’s campus in the early morning before Villanova was to play Nordhoff High School in a varsity football contest.
The eight teenagers were arrested on suspicion of violating PC 594.3(a), vandalism of religious property, and PC 594(b)(1), vandalism over $400. Damage was estimated at $5,100.
Ryan John Drury, 18, is the lone adult cited on Thursday. The identity of the other adult will not be released until he is cited. He is expected to turn himself in to the Police Department today. The names of the juveniles were not released.
Ojai Police Department Administrative Sgt. Mo Hookstra said that all those involved have been very cooperative. “It took so long because we had to follow all leads and conduct a fair and balanced investigation,” said Hookstra. “The investigation has determined this is not a hate crime. We did not find that this investigation was motivated by hate.”

***************************
OJAI POLICE DEPARTMENT MEDIA RELEASE 11/21

Nature of Incident: Felony Vandalism of Religious Property
Location: Villanova Preparatory School, 12096 North Ventura Avenue, Ojai

Date & Time: October 3, 2008, 5:30 hrs

Unit Responsible: Ojai Police Department

(S)uspects
(S) Ryan John Drury,18
(S) Gregory Kiddie, 18
(S) Six (6) Male Juveniles, 17
(S) One (1) Male Juvenile, 16

Narrative:
On November 20, 2008 Ojai Police Department detectives arrested two adults and seven male juveniles in connection with the October 3, 2008, vandalism at Villanova Preparatory School. During the investigation, detectives determined two separate groups were responsible for the vandalism. One group vandalized an antique marble statue of Saint Thomas of Villanova and other graffiti nearby. The second group poured manure and salt in the swimming pool and on the football field. Damage was estimated in excess of $5,000.00. The incident took place the night before a rival football game between Nordhoff High School and Villanova Preparatory School. This was the first game between the schools in 33 years. Although some of the damage was done to religious symbols, there is no evidence to suggest this was a hate-motivated crime.

Officer Preparing Release: Sergeant Maureen Hookstra
Date of Release: November 21, 2008
Approved By: Captain Chris Dunn / Ojai Police Department

97 comments:

Anonymous said...

It looks like these kids could face a year in jail or pay a fine. It seems a bit unfair to publish the one kids name who is probably only a couple of months older than the others.

Anonymous said...

I just heard on the news that the Tea fire in Santa Barbara was traced back to 9-10 Santa Barbara City College students. SBCC is not getting involved in the situation because the young people were not involved in any sanctioned school activity when the conflagration was initiated. Seems much the same as the situation with the Nordhoff kids. I think Nordhoff should somehow make the kids who were suspended make up the time that they were out of school and purge the situation from their school records.

And no, I am NOT in any way related to any of the kids, and I do not know their parents.

Anonymous said...

To 11/20, 6.26 pm.

True, the unlucky two who were over 18 bear the unpleasantness of having their names published, but that is they way things work. You do not get to vote if you are a couple of months shy of 18. You cannot legally drink if you are a couple of months shy of 21. This will give kids who ARE 18 who are running around doing goofy things reason to think before they act.

One of the poor kids who started the Ranch Fire in upper Ojai a few years ago was days past his 18th birthday. He got no breaks because he was a few days over 18. Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.

Anonymous said...

Now that these kids are arrested if proven guilty they should be expelled from Nordhoff.

Anonymous said...

There is no reason these kids should have been suspended, and there is no reason they should be expelled. They were NOT participating in any function directly related to a school-sanctioned activity. Using the analogy that seems to be involved here, any Nordhoff student who gets in trouble off-campus could be suspended and possibly expelled. Would SOMEONE please show us school district statute that dictates their control over students out goofing off on their own time??!!

On the other hand, throw the legal book at them to the fullest extent for their extremely stupid behavior!

Anonymous said...

hmmm, one of the kids the son of a school board member, and one the son of a teacher. small world.

Anonymous said...

Why they should be expelled or transferred?
The OUSD expells kids for infractions like drug possesion, weapons, fighting etc. Why are these kids expelled? Because they are not the influence we want the other kids exposed to. So rather than portray this as an expulsion, let it be viewed as a OUSD transfer to Chaparral. This would seem to be the appropriate action and the district will still get their ADA. Everyone is a winner!

Anonymous said...

The OUSD has no business getting involved in the behavior of the off-campus, non-school sanctioned activity of students! See the second comment in this thread relating to the unfortunate situation regarding the SBCC students who ALLEGEDLY started the Tea Fire.

It is akin to what employees do during their off-time. None of the employers business as long as they behave themselves 8-5.

Anonymous said...

Its a shame the football field is considered religious ground. It would not nearly have been such a big deal if the vandalism had been on Thatcher School or Ventura High property. These are good kids for the most part who made a stupid mistake- a mistake very familiar to the pranks of generations past. Its unfortunate that they are being slapped with felonies.

Anonymous said...

Baloney!! If this had been Villanova kids committing what at least has been debated as hate crimes to Nordhoff, we never would have heard the end of it and I bet our media would have been all over it ... this politically correct town would have had a field day with it -- instead, its been tamped down (big surprize)

Anonymous said...

Yeah it would have been "those right wing intolerant Christians -- what a bunch of hypocrites" .... but you know what?? It wouldn't be the Villanova kids doing this because the vast majority of them understand the true meaning of religious etc tolerance and right and wrong and some of that perception and understanding is actually based on Christian principles that they have been taught . Go figure.....

Satan said...

I love it when all the religious freeks start flipping out.


I will be seeing you later at my place.

Love satan

Anonymous said...

Yes these are good kids gone bad. They now have arrest records and possible felony convictions. If that is not a good reason for them to be removed from Nordhoff then what is? They are lucky they were not charged for a Hate Crime.

Anonymous said...

how come the OVN and ventura paper did not say what was written on cement around statue?? and the other stuff done?? whaz the cover up about?? What happened to a free independent objective press??? anyone know???

Anonymous said...

hey satan, the religious "freaks" (see you just made my point ...) are not "freaking out" just stating facts my friend. You are a perfect example of what I was describing. Thanks for helping me illustrate my comments -- couldn't have done it better myself.

Anonymous said...

So, let's start checking up on the criminal records of all the snots at Nordhoff and kick ALL of the brats out. While we are at it, let's serve search warrants on homes and home computers of the faculty and see how many are smoking funny stuff and watching porn and fire them!

Anonymous said...

if ya did probably be a better school -- good idea. Theres reasons(lots of them) almost everybody who can has fled the Ojai school district -- maybe the school board etc should try to figure out why so many people do not want to send their kids and why so many kids do not want to go to school in Ojai SD. Why do ya think that bond measure did not pass?? But God forbid that the school dist folks etc should actually look at the real problem(ie themselves and their lack of good goverance) and address any of them they just keep alienating students and families one after the other...

Anonymous said...

There is a systemic problem of bad behavior and no discipline at Nordhoff. It is tolerated by the OUSD and many parents do not seem to care. There could be change if we had some real leadership on the School Board, in the Supt. office, and among the faculty. Until that happens we will continue to see declining enrollment, as the public schools look to be the last resort for education in Ojai. OUSD could take a firm stand and send these kids to Chaparral.

Anonymous said...

I do not think declining enrollment has a thing to do with discipline, or lack of. The largest class ever to graduate from Nordhoff was, I believe, the class of 2000. The class sizes have been getting smaller ever since. This has to do with the fact that the "bulge" of kids produced by the baby-boom generation peaked that year, and also the housing situation has forced families to move elsewhere. Sure, there are those in the valley that have chosen other educational options, but that is nothing new.

As far as parents not caring about bad behavior being tolerated at Nordhoff, the bad behavior patterns begin at home, so maybe they just do not notice.

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone pay $35K for Thacher, $30K for OVS, or $15K for Villanova when Nordhoff is free?

Anonymous said...

OVS will take anyone who has the bucks, The administrators there are just happy to have the money to support their needs. Thacher and VPS do not accept kids just because they can pay.

Anonymous said...

Nordhoff has to accept everyone, it is a public school. But if there were vouchers available how many parents would take advantage of that and send their kids to private school? Nordhoff could be a shining example of public education, but unfortunately it is not, and these arrested kids represent all that is wrong with the public school system.

Anonymous said...

"these arrested kids represent all that is wrong with the public school system." That is harsh it is not the school it is the family values they grow up with. on another note there was protest today on the federal reserve who are taking down this country. watch the video and listen and learn. The world is changing and not for the good of America.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fekzR-uDibM

SATAN said...

I love bloggers, You are my voice, keep it up.

See you sooner or later,

Love,
Lucifer

Anonymous said...

Nordhoff is in no way to blame for what these kids did. IT STARTS AT HOME!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Its really funny how Chaparral is associated with all the bad kids...

VERY FUNNY. There are actually very smart people there.

Nhs just isn't right for them.

Some have other activities consuming
their time therefor they can not
make the attendance policy requird at NHS>...

Anonymous said...

you cannot simply excuse away "declining enrollment" by saying there are just fewer kids. There are kids filling villanova and the other private schools in this area from Ojai so the real question is ... why isn't Nordhoff getting these kids most of whom are not troublemakers. Also a lot of the parents who do contribute time and money to things have left public school system in Ojai and sent their younger kids to private schools. Why?? these are the questions the school board, the superintentant should ask, BUT THEY DON"T -they don't want to hear the answers ... way too much arrogance on their part ... these are OUR tax dollars and Nordhoff should better serve the taxpayers .. we do need vouchers cause that would force the people running schools like Nordhoff to look listen and change what does not work. The school should be for the benefit of the students not the adults running it. Nordhoff will get no better until they seek and accept the feedback but they need to put the kids and community first and look at their own contribution to this problem. . We need far better leadership to begin with ...

Anonymous said...

so where did the parents think their kids were going in the middle of the night to do this vandalism?? didn't they hear the cars and trucks leaving their houses??theres a good question ... or did they just not notice they were gone or did they know what they were doing and OK'd it??? and since it was obviously planned out, paint bought gloves fertilizer transport (no small feat) etc ... did they hatch the plan at school?? not one teacher or parent or Nordhoff adult etc knew they planned this? Hmmm .... it just gets curiouser and curiouser. Anyway you look at it, a lot of people dropped the ball here.

Anonymous said...

These filthy criminals attended
Nordhoff High School and were part
of a Nazi gang (Church of Skatan).
Their invasion and desecration of
Villanova High School is and was a
hate crime (swastikas).Any questions?
Go ask Mayor Horgan. She supported
their hideout (Ojai Skate Park).Ojai
Skate Park is located next to the
OUSD. Home of this criminal street
gang (Ojai Church of Skatan).NHS staff and administrators should be
jailed too. The Church of Skatan
planned their attack on Villanova
from the campus of Nordhoff and
boasted openly of it.Their still
bragging.Send them all to state prison.

Anonymous said...

For the most part there are some good comments here, with the exception of the satan stuff. I hope the OUSD is reading and learning. There are lots of people who would like to send their kids to public school but see the current school board, adminstration, and some faculty as being totally clueless. We need complete reform not a temporary bailout from a parcel tax. It will be painful but in the long run it will make the public schools better. For ideas on reform in the public schools google Michelle Rhee.

Anonymous said...

One more time, what the heck does the OUSD have to do with any of this? These kids did NOT sneak off campus during the middle of the school day to go and do these crimes. Do not get me wrong, I am not a huge fan of Arce and crew, but the crimes were not done on their watch. This should all be between the court system and the kids involved.

Anonymous said...

you are 100% right -- complete overhall starting with a new superintendent, new school board some teacher changes, the works.
And some boundries with how the school speaks to the parents (ie respectfully) and deals with problems brought to them. stop telling parents to hire a lawyer when problems arise, instead start fixing stuff. also more guidelines for how teachers deal with things are needed and more support for the schools to expell unruly kids -- hey, how about a dress code?? look at what does work in private school and do some of that stuff. But start with a fresh group running things -- these bozos have made a mess of it.

Anonymous said...

Now that is a great idea, a dress code. And close the campus, no leaving for lunch. Have classes run until 4:00PM. And teach the kids the basics. Bring back Strunk and White for English. Get rid of the teachers who do not want to be part of the change and keep the good ones. This is easy to measure with data. Reform now!

Anonymous said...

yes yes and yes all excellent ideas. A real school with real rules and high expectations for everyone .. staff and students. Now there's an idea!!! But it takes work and actual leadership and adults who really want what is best for the kids even when its difficult, and do not just seek and protect the path of least resistance that makes it easier for themselves. Its become way too much of a lock step government job and they have lost sight of the fact that WE pay the bills and they work for US. There is just not enough accountability. Making these changes would increase enrollment." Elements of Style" YES YES YES. Give these kids a real education.

Anonymous said...

Dress code? No, take it a step further and make 'em wear freakin' uniforms. I wear more to bed than most of the little girls I see milling around Vons at lunch time. I always wonder if their parents really know they leave home in the mornings looking like street walkers. Which brings up the closed campus topic. Heck yes. Close that place up and do not let them off campus until school is out. It may piss off Vons who would not have 30 kids in line at their deli counter, each kid there to purchase one chicken strip and 3 onion rings. And yep, make 'em stay until 4. I saw a report on the news just a couple of nights ago explaining why Japanese kids are the brainiacs of the world. They spend way more days in school each year than our kids, not just more hours in the day. It truly makes me cringe to think our future is these snotty little brats who would only be able to get a perfect score on a test if were one of how to function a cell phone, iPhone, Blackberry or the latest model of iPod.

Anonymous said...

There is a lot of research and data that supports the idea that when people are appropriately dressed, it does affect their behavior. A dress code would be helpful. They should learn that the way they present themselves to the world matters and show some respect for themselves and others by the way they act and dress. This should also apply to the teachers and personnel at the schools. This would be a good start on a journey albeit down a very long road theres a lot of work to do here ... but its a start .... and you have to start somewhere.

Anonymous said...

It was not the fault of the school district or any teachers. They are all very hard working people. OUSD is a good school district. It was not the fault of the parents. They do the best they can. Sometimes kids just make stupid mistakes. Hopefully they learn from them and and become good role models. Ojai is just a little town in a county in a state in a country. We all give ourselves way to much importance sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Dismissing it all as not important is not acceptable. There has to be some accountability. That goes for the school district, teachers, and parents. These stupid mistakes were not random events, but rather a product of these kids environment. Let us raise expectations, the educational bar is set low in the OUSD and part of the problem is the teachers spend more time disciplining students instead of teaching them.

Anonymous said...

Bravo to the idea of accountability. Adults are in charge (theoretically) and need to take responsibility. To view these acts as random is to just excuse everyone. Nordhoff needs to give clear messages as to what is acceptable behavior on and off the campus re sports rivalry and other behaviors. Schools are places of teaching and instruction that should extend beyond the classroom and there is not enough of that even in the classroom or campus at Nordhoff. Parents need to know where their underage children are in the middle of the night. Thats pretty obvious. For heavens sake, lets grow up and be adults and take some responsibility for our schools and our children. They are children, we are adults. They do need to be held accountable and responsible but so do we as parents and educators.

Anonymous said...

It sounds as if many people are ready for the reform of the OUSD. So message to school board members, teachers, and district officials. Either lead or get out of the way and resign!

Anonymous said...

I happen to know the parents of one of the "adult" boys. They are wonderful people and fully engaged in their childs life. It was a bad decision by the kids, all of them- and they are now paying the price. This is far from a "hate crime" and the vandalism was not committed while the students ditched school so NHS should not need to discipline the boys. It would be beneficial if the counselors and Principal had a real conversation with the students- along with their parents. The boys need to know that their behavior has further damaged the reputation of the school. Some sort of community service would be good for them- soup kitchens, etc.
As a mother of (thankfully) grown boys- believe me, it isn't always easy.

Anonymous said...

Bravo, I agree with you completely.

Sondra Murphy said...

Where do I begin....

According to sources at Nordhoff, it was determined by district legal analysts that the vandalism would never have occurred if not for the fact that NHS was to play VPS in football and language in the California Education Code allowed for Nordhoff to proceed with suspension.

All comments here regarding the management or mismanagement of Nordhoff or OUSD are purely opinion from a small number of valley residents, much like the small number of NHS suspects who do not represent the the whole student body. Those who profess that OUSD has low standards are refuting years of test data, student performance and community service proving otherwise.

Please note the sentence in my report about how those involved have been cooperative with the investigation. They include suspects, parents and school officials. They are currently being held legally accountable for their actions, so kindly desist from tedious comments that allege otherwise.

The comments that OUSD is losing students because it is mismanaged are inaccurate and ignore the true crime happening to public education funding.

Two school board members just ran unopposed for seats. Where were all of you who think you can do a better job when you had the opportunity to step in and save the district with your brilliance?

Most of the graffiti was unprintable, but those "specifics" blogged on this site were, and continue to be, inaccurate. If any of you formed your opinion about this incident being a hate crime based on what someone told you or by reading blog comments, you chose to believe unsubstantiated rumors.

For further information about hate crimes, please visit da.co.la.ca.us/hate/hcdefined.htm

It lists state felonies and misdemeanors and includes phrases such as "commission of a crime for the purpose of interfering with another's exercise of civil rights" and "based on racial or religious bias."

Perusing the site will show you that many laws exist regarding hate crimes in which violence, terrorism and murder have resulted. Paint, manure and motivations, as uncivilized as they were, were deemed by law enforcement experts to be outside of the criteria needed to prosecute under hate crimes.

Let the district attorney's office to its job and please stop blogging as though opinions hidden in anonymity are fact. They are not. If you disagree, please call the district attorney's office and convince them of how your opinion is law.

Church of Skatan? Give me a break! It might have amused you as you composed that blog, but the concepts are so unwarranted and without basis in reality that you should be embarrassed that you even wrote that.

A lot of the stupid mistakes committed by youth turn deadly and irreversible. This one, instead, has given the perpetrators a chance to learn a big, expensive lesson about personal responsibility and redeem themselves without injuring anyone.

For that, may we truly be thankful.

Anonymous said...

The nature of blogs is that the bloggers are expressing their opinions, just as the author Sondra Murphy is entitled to her opinions. What no one is entitled to is their own set of facts. For example,unnamed sources or school district standards that are not footnoted with data. So if the OVN wants bloggers who only agree with the writer then perhaps you should state that up front or just discontinue the blogs.

Anonymous said...

Right on 11/25 7;24 pm.

For weeks readers/bloggers have been asking for the whole story, and when it was not reported they naturally tried to fill in the blanks by speculating. The question of how the kids could be legally suspended from school for activity that occurred on their own time off-campus has been asked several times and Ms. Murphy is just now providing the information that seems to answer that question. Part of good reporting is answering all of the who, what, when, where, why and how questions. Up until this point, much of the reporting has been akin to taunting readers, much like saying I have a secret, but I can't tell you.

I will agree with Ms. Murphy's paragraph stating that this is a huge learning experience for those involved, a learning experience that thankfully ended up with no injuries and no damage that cannot be reversed.

I will also have to agree with 11/25 7:24 pm that it is the nature of blogs to be the forum for bloggers to express their opinions and the opinions would be more educated with more detailed information being supplied at the get-go. The more facts presented up front, the less speculating.

Should the OV News eliminate this forum? Maybe so. Maybe not. I am not sure. What I am sure of is that, for the most part, the give and take that happens here is much more intelligent and thought-provoking than that of readers of the Ventura Star. Take a look at theirs. The comments MAYBE start off with an intelligent thought, and then fall apart quickly. Usually within 3 comments, the original train of thought is lost and all that remains is insults being thrown back and forth. At least the OV News bloggers tossing out some fairly intelligent OPINIONS.

For that, I am thankful.

James Hatch said...

I think that we can all agree that James Hatch has raised the bar for blogger. His keen awareness of the facts and ability to mold those facts into a coherent opinion make for good knowledge.

Let's face it, you can get more out of a Hatch Blog than the story itself.

Anonymous said...

Why in the world would the OVN choose to remove this forum? It is thought- provoking and NECESSARY ... many of the points make about the OUSD have merit and value. It is clear based on the amount of people making decisions other than sending children to the OUSD that there is improvement to be made. Re the vandalism -- it would have been better to report all that was done accurately, based on reports and witnesses than leave out pertinent details. Nobody is saying that the parents of these kids are bad parents, but clearly the kids were out in the middle of the night either with or without permission .. so take from that what you will ... its so important instead of being defensive, or covering things up or being afraid to give voice to reality, for all of us, to be able to look objectively at the facts which can only be done as a community if they are reported. The job of this community is not to agree in lock step fashion with the OUSD or OVN but to be given facts and then to make up their own minds, as happens in a society with a free press. Tho I wish the OVN were better at objective reporting of ALL the facts of things that occur in Ojai, I applaud them for this forum and for the ideas that are exchanged here. I think all of us would agree that improvement could be made in all the aforementioned areas. I for one have gotten more out of this forum than I have from any school board meeting or any edition of the OVN because people for the most part are able to be truthful and honest about their perceptions of what is really going on .... rare enough in Ojai.

Anonymous said...

Why in the world would the OVN choose to remove this forum? It is thought- provoking and NECESSARY ... many of the points make about the OUSD have merit and value. It is clear based on the amount of people making decisions other than sending children to the OUSD that there is improvement to be made. Re the vandalism -- it would have been better to report all that was done accurately, based on reports and witnesses than leave out pertinent details. Nobody is saying that the parents of these kids are bad parents, but clearly the kids were out in the middle of the night either with or without permission .. so take from that what you will ... its so important instead of being defensive, or covering things up or being afraid to give voice to reality, for all of us, to be able to look objectively at the facts which can only be done as a community if they are reported. The job of this community is not to agree in lock step fashion with the OUSD or OVN but to be given facts and then to make up their own minds, as happens in a society with a free press. Tho I wish the OVN were better at objective reporting of ALL the facts of things that occur in Ojai, I applaud them for this forum and for the ideas that are exchanged here. I think all of us would agree that improvement could be made in all the aforementioned areas. I for one have gotten more out of this forum than I have from any school board meeting or any edition of the OVN because people for the most part are able to be truthful and honest about their perceptions of what is really going on .... rare enough in Ojai.

Anonymous said...

Sondra, if you think that only a "small number" of people are unhappy with the OUSD, why don't you canvass all the parents of school age children who have chosen to send their kids elsewhere, and even many of the folks that are in the OUSD as well. I think you have it backwards, I think the majority of folks in this community see major problems in the SD which the board/superintendant etc refuses to address. They are resistant actually hostile to feedback and criticism and the necessary changes which should be made and never are has cost them dearly re enrollment . As we all know, the budget is in bad shape. If everyone in this community thought the OUSD was so great, Sondra, the school bond measure would have overwhelmingly passed as in landslide. Get out of denial please -- you owe it to the community to report things accurately and FULLY. OUSD is largely responsible for the mess they are in now and the community knows it.

James Hatch said...

James Hatch . . .




The name that says it all.

Anonymous said...

I went to nordoff. when it was a good school. We liked to play pranks for the games and teachers were good. nowa days, poeple are dissing the school. GO RANGERS!

Anonymous said...

"The board/Supt. is hostile to feedback and criticism"...how true that is! When going to the board with problems or feedback they do not listen with an open mind. Which is probably why they are always getting sued.

Sondra Murphy said...

OVN reported the vandalism facts objectively. Readers were allowed to form their own opinions, which were shared in detail on this blog. My reading of the complaints is that some of you were annoyed by that objectivity. Half of you seem furious that the student suspects weren't expelled and instantly imprisoned; the other half seem furious that Nordhoff had the gall to even suspend them.

Somewhat interesting, but not news.

The details of the crime were reported and updated. School and law enforcement officials were interviewed and quoted. Do tell, where was my opinion included? Please explain what "pertinent details" of the "whole story" was lacking?

The reasoning behind Nordhoff's ability to suspend students who admitted vandalizing a rival school? After that question was blogged, there was no opportunity to report it with police investigation updates, as it had nothing to do with those proceedings. (I included it earlier out of concern for those losing sleep over it.)

Until suspects were determined and charged, we had little more to report.

The words or images used in the graffiti were only of interest to people who like to read "naughty" things, says as much about them as the suspects and were not available to us until the investigation was complete. Peruse a few of our "Police Blotter" reports. Graffiti vandalism is included all the time without quoting the messages. Some would even argue that, in quoting taggers, we lend more impact to their misdeeds.

Besides, with vandalism damage, it matters not what words or images are painted, carved or burned into another's property. It could say, "World Peace," but still be vandalism and cost money to remedy. Obscenities might be more disturbing for some people to deal with, but the method of vandalism is what property owners must overcome.

In that same vein, for you oil- vs. water-based folks, the type of paint used makes little difference, since it was difficult to remove, regardless. (We have yet to hear demands about specifying the type of manure used as part of the "whole story.")

A lot of these blogs boil down to whether or not one trusts school and law enforcement experts to do their jobs. It is quite obvious from comments here that some people do not. What wake up call is that for OUSD? That anonymous bloggers are paranoid, mistrust authority and hold grudges against public schools? Old news.

I find that experts speaking on the record generally have a much better understanding of and objectivity for the policies and laws which govern their tasks than the average, irritated, anonymous blogger.

Thankfully, we are sometimes asked intelligent and useful questions on which we can follow up.

However, I think that Satan, Lucifer, Hatch's egocentric generalities and a host of anonymous bloggers shows that about half of these blogs are angry, goofy, impatient, off subject or accusatory and, therefore, not conducive to objective reporting.

Speaking of off subject, Anon. 11.26 10:55 a.m. can canvas all the parents himself or herself and write a letter to the editor about it. My contracted hours do not allow me to take on such pointless projects. You call it denial: I call it disagreeing with your assessment. I find 65+ percent of the vote favoring Measure P quite significant. It seems obvious to me that the rest of the voters hate tax increases more than they love public education. Our many published, non-anonymous letters to the editor gave the community ample opportunity to comment on the subject.

I also disagree with Anon. 11.26 10:37 a.m. that bloggers being "truthful and honest about their perceptions about what is really going on" is "rare," and any realistic blogger knows that truthfulness cannot be applied across the board. You want truth and honesty: cough up your real names and indicate your occupations so others may measure the accuracy of your opinions and "facts." Plus, it would give me the option to counter-critique your job performances and businesses management.

Oh, and James, please expand on your claim that anyone got any information from your "awareness of the facts and ability to mold those facts into a coherent opinion," as I find no insight into this issue from that comment. Your real name would be a good place to start. Until then, "James Hatch" says "alias."

James Hatch said...

Dearest Sandra,

Thank you for your meaningless drivel. You want truth and honesty? Read the comments left by James Hatch. These are the comments that have done nothing less than shape and mold this town's character.

Would the works of Mark Twain be any less significant if the author was listed as Samuel Clemens? Why should my psuedonym then make the writings of James Hatch any less effective.

Let's face it. We have challenges ahead of us. Tough choices. Hard calls. For these reasons, the words of James Hatch will remain the safe harbor they've become.

James Hatch identifies the issue, assesses the problem, and creates the solution. James Hatch sees the facts, acknowledges the shortcomings, and formulates a plan.

Anonymous said...

Once again OVN is not reporting all the facts. Sandra did you leave out the part where a parent purchased the manure for their kid and where some parents drove their kids to Villanova, and the part of the investigation about these parent's actions. Either you do not get the full police report or you are just out of the loop. You are critical of the blogger's opinions, but they are just trying to get the facts. Try some objective reporting with out your opinions being mistaken for facts.

Anonymous said...

Once again, if there had been full disclosure from the beginning, there would be no reason for speculation. How many times was the question raised of how OUSD could suspend for actions not committed during school hours before finally being answered recently in this forum? I found that to be an intelligent and useful question. I am not annoyed by objectivity, but by neglecting to answer the who, what, when, where, why and how questions. When there are huge gaps in a story, readers who give a hoot are forced to form their own opinions and speculate.

At least the OVN knows their paper is being read!

Anonymous said...

For the most part, it would seem that the average OVN reader is actual quite bright. Some of these blogs are well written and the dialogue is substantial, even if opinions are diverse. I hope to see more!

demand civility and respect said...

Sondra, thanks for the good work you are doing, and for taking the time (and having the patience) to repond to those who sling mud yet remain nameless.

Anonymous said...

It is the OVN job to report the facts and do some investigative journalism. It is not Sondra's job to respond to blogger's opinions that she disagrees with. The fact that it is an option to blog anonymously is not relevant to the story.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the OVN should use the topic of how is the OUSD doing as their poll question.

Anonymous said...

first of all, nobody is slinging mud -- we are all concerned that our only newspaper does not report all the facts in important stories. This is simply a fact and we all know it. We have the right and obligation as citizens of Ojai to demand that our paper report fully on important events that occur in our town. I am proud of the blogs on this site and the fact that we can be honest because they are anonymous, that we have some very well founded and realistic concerns about the quality of journalism in the OVN. Everybody who lives here knows that small towns can make it difficult to voice even the most valid concerns. Lets not advance a "chilling affect" type atmosphere by dumping on the honest comments of our citizenry.

Anonymous said...

Good idea on the poll question tho dont know if people who have opted out of ousd would bother to answer it as already they voted with their feet ... better would be some real articles covering the problems honestly (yeah like thats gonna happen) NOT

Sondra Murphy said...

Anon. 11.26, 4:18 PM:
Guess I WAS out of the loop about parents purchasing manure and providing transportation. Which police report did you read that in (so I can request it)?

Anon. 11.26, 5:34 PM:
Regarding how OUSD could suspend students for actions not committed during school hours: I counted three times that question was posted on our blog.
Because I thought defacing school property (even another's) to be covered by OUSD discipline policies, I did not think to ask that question when I originally spoke with Nordhoff administrators. My interpretation was that much school defacement happens after hours and school officials have the right to discipline students who are connected with or admit to such vandalism.

Darling James:
I am having difficulty finding your blog comments that have created a solution to this problem and formulated a plan (to do what?). Would you please repost them?
Dearest Sondra

Anonymous said...

Sondra, please call Captain Dunn for verification about parents being involved in facilitating the vandalism at Villanova.

Anonymous said...

Sondra, if you had earlier included the information regarding the District's policy of allowing for punishment of vandalism of another school's property, the question would not have needed to be asked three times. Not all of us are privvy to OUSD policy. You did finally answer the question, and thank you for that.

Anonymous said...

Sondra ---Oh for heavens sake, not to be disrespectful, but honestly, are you this stupid?? You need to interview witnesses, ie the people who arrived at Villanova fri am and ask them what they saw and report it as such, you need to contact the police and insist, (figure out a way sondra, you are supposed to be a journalist) to get a police report. You should also get copies of photos, that is done at a crime scene. Do the work ... you keep asking questions like you have no idea what you are doing which speaks volumes about what the OVN is = fish wrap. Your questions/comments embarrass yourself, the paper, and frankly, those of us who buy and read that stupid paper.Sorry, but its true.

Anonymous said...

C'mon now, that is a bit harsh. I too have been disappointed in the reporting of this story, but I think Ms. Murphy is maybe not the one who should have been given this assignment. She seems to have done a good job on other stories, but to deal with the police and school authorities who do not want to give up information takes a certain type, and she probably just needs a bit more experience in investigative reporting. It does seems as tho she maybe has a relationship with the school district, maybe she has children in the system and her own opinions seep into her reporting. She made some sort of reference earlier in this thread of having limited contracted hours at her job, and I would rather see her devote more time to digging down to the bottom of this story, and less time defending what has been reported already in this blog.

Anonymous said...

disagree not too harsh and should have been said long ago ... all your other comments are right on the mark .. there is conflict of interest everywhere in Ojai ... as an example and I spoke to someone I had never met today, someone raised in Ojai who pulled her child out of Nordhoff and sent to Villanova ... and she had a lot to say some of which was "why is everyone at Nordhoff related to each other??" gee theres a good question ... arent there state hiring rules etc?? It is totally inappropriate and unprofessional to have so many people in the school related to each other so that its awkward going to one person about a problem with another ... there is TONS we need to fix folks .. we do not live in appalachia .. we have state laws about a lot of this stuff dont we?? lets call in the state board of education and the cal state attorney office and get some of this stuff straightened out.remember, its our tax dollars and OVN should be reporting on this stuff and protecting the public cause we are the ones buying that paper

Anonymous said...

yeah and paying the taxes for these schools!!!

Anonymous said...

"Fish wrap?" I remember seeing that
when I lived in jolly old England.
Fish n Chips are yummy over there.
Captain Dunn is too afraid of
offending the Ventura County Counsel.
The County Counsel lives in Ojai.
Maybe his kid was somehow involved?

Anonymous said...

we all need to stop being afraid of "offending" someone with the truth ... lets identify the issues and fix them without being fearful -- thats the problem everybody tip toes around our officials and paper instead of demanding that things be done correctly lawfully and fully.

Anonymous said...

People are leaving the public school system if they can. Most go quietly, few actually address the problem because it is pointless. The School Board has not demonstrated effective leadership in addressing the problem of declining enrollment. We need reform now!

James Hatch said...

Reform is not making scapegoats out of children for engaging in harmless schoolboy pranks.

Anonymous said...

these "children" were 16 17 18 way past the age of reason which in case you dont know is 7. Several are from well offf families and none of them are mentally impaired in any way. They showed very bad judgement and what they did was not "harmless" ...religious desecration and expensive destructive acts are not "harmless". Get the facts before you speak here, please. This is yet another example of the facts not being reported or I am sure this comment re "harmless" would not have been made. An educated citizenry depends on the courage and truthful reporting of a free press. YES to the other comment, absolutely we need reform and LOTS of it.

Anonymous said...

A perfect example of Ojai school dist "up yours" kind of attitude toward the parents is to give "best teacher of the year" award to the teacher that handed out that really awful book to a bunch of 4th grade girls for reasons that remain unclear. Thats the kind of thing that makes people put their kids elsewhere. There is a hostility and rudeness that has been shown to parents who have questioned or challenged (justifiably most of the time) things or decisions done or made by OUSD teachers or admin. When you treat the taxpayers with distain, they give up and go elsewhere. Hopefully someday, we won't have to pay for services we do not get and our tax dollars with be returned to us as vouchers instead of the system we have now which simply continues to tax us and give the money with few requirements to a school district that many of us have left for good reasons...

Anonymous said...

OUSD needs Reform and it needs it now. Let's start at the top and address the budget problem now that Measure P has failed.
1. Supt. & Administrators take a 5% cut in Salary. 2. Teachers no salary cut but a freeze on step increases. 3. Classified personnel, hiring freeze, no wage cuts. 4. Close Summit and Mira Monte schools. 5. Contract out all needed transportation services. 6. Eliminate class size reduction. 7. Sports teams will have user fees. 8. Parking permit fee at Nordhoff $150/ semester. 9. PTA not to pay for customary district services. 10. After the above has been done, then put the parcel tax measure back on next Nov. ballot.
If the school district talks the talk then they have to walk the walk. You fix these problems and start rebuilding your reputation as an adovocate for children and then declining enrollment is no longer a problem.

Anonymous said...

With all of the blogging going on about how the OUSD sucks, why has our local paper not gotten the hint that there is so much animosity toward the District and done a serious investigative reporting of the situation? I would hope they do, and put Daryl Kelly on it. He is the best reporter they've had for the decades I've been reading the OVN, and he seems to be one who can get to the bottom of things.

to 12/5 1:24 said...

Are you talking about the teacher who handed out the book about bullying? She should be applauded and awarded. The parents who initiated a lawsuit should be ashamed.

Anonymous said...

the book was not about bullying per se -- it had very inappropriate material (have you even read it you idiot??) is kept in the adult self help section of book stores .. read it and then go ahead and give it to a 10 year old girl and see what her parents have to say. Jodie Blanco Please stop bullying me (its also just a really crappy book) Plus there was no bullying the whole thing was totally ridiculous from the start.. Stop drinking the Ojai cool aid and step into the real world. this is exactly the kind of stuff that drives people out of the school dist I agree that law suits are not the answer but the school district by their stupid rude behavior brings a lot of it on themselves ... how much does Tim Baird make anyway?? I think the district would be better with his seat empty and that money going to funding the programs and classes the kids need -- too much unnecessary and ineffective alienating admin anyway

sticks and stones said...

can't spell, can't effectively converse, vocabulary limited to bullying others with childish words like "idiot," must not be a public school graduate, must have a lawyer on the payroll...

Anonymous said...

The book was inappropriate for 10 year olds, and the district realized it's mistake and pulled the book. It should have ended there, but then the real mistakes started by all the parties involved. If people could learn to say two simple words "I'm sorry", then many problems that the district has would be avoidable.

Anonymous said...

The truth hurts doesn't it?? bond measure doesn't pass, people leaving OUSD every year, these are not random accidents and insulting the people that post the truth about why all this is happening will not alter the truth. A lot of lawyers have been hired about far too many issues re OUSD. The reality, truth and facts are that this school district, especially the people in positions of authority and control, have done a really bad job of running things .. not the least of which is their continual insistence on being unresponsive to the concerns of the parents and needs of the kids. Their continual rewriting of the facts and the realities have resulted in the current and past flight out of the SD and the increased enrollment at most of Ojai's private schools and participation in home school program. The sad part is year after year these same people run the school board and SD.. Look at the evidence, digest the facts and face reality. What has and is occurring will continue unless there are some major changes in the OUSD.

Anonymous said...

What specific "major changes" would you like to see? Please share them with us.

Anonymous said...

It will take great courage to change the OUSD. I have my doubts about the current school board and Supt., however they are the leaders so please lead. There have been many posts of how to change things, look up the Nov. Atlantic magazine article on Michele Rhee it is an eye opener.

Anonymous said...

OK starting with a new superintendent (he makes a 6 figure salary folks!!) who does not spend all his time trying to deny reality/someone who can dive in and problem solve and not alienate the families in this district. For the amount of money we are paying, we can get somebody really good!! New school board -- they make lots of hires and decisions so the buck stops there. stop hiring family members hire outside of ojai. Principals that are bright ( translation=intelligent and functional) who provide clear leadership with sensible boundries and rules.. ie do more than say they will act and then do nothing --someone the teachers respect and a clear system of how to deal with parents/problems professionally (hey lets read the cal educational code -- theres an idea!!) maybe we need to change out a few teachers here and there where necessary -- in other words we need real leadership and the kids need an authority figure so that everyone .. teachers students etc know is really in charge and calls the shots -- a unified system thats professional. Dress code YES --for everyone at school!!! back to basic education m--grammar, geography, the classics -- forget about students solving problems between other students -- let the adults go back to being the authority figures--thats their job .This is all common sense but thats one thing the OVSD has none of.

Anonymous said...

Their all crooks. What is Tim Baird
doing with all that money ($130,000
yr.)? Call the paddy wagon. Put all
of them in the pokey! Round up the
principal and staff at NHS. Throw away the key.

Anonymous said...

The School Board is the group of elected individuals who are responsible for the leadership of our district. However you have members like K. Smith pontificating in today's Star Free Press about money that goes to crime bills instead of education. Talk about hypocrisy, when your son is arrested for felony vandalism you should be the last person on earth to open your mouth. Please resign now, you have been totally compromised and are not an effective leader for the OUSD.

Anonymous said...

Amen to that!! But they don't have the class to resign tho you are absolutely right -- they should ... for the best interest of our children.

Anonymous said...

We need some good people to run for school board to replace the mess we have. A new school board would choose a better superintendent etc . how about the guy that wrote that great letter to the editor friday?? Hes got my vote.

Anonymous said...

Micheal Lenehan letter to the editor was spot on. Intelligence, integrity and courage to stand up and speak truth. WOW!! he should be on school board or be the superintendent or editor of the paper. If we had a few more like him running things, our schools and paper would be top notch.

Anonymous said...

Everybody should read friday dec 5 Lenehan letter to the editor in OVN

Anonymous said...

Changing some of the school board members would help. Appointing an educational czar, who can not be questioned by the district, to make the tough cuts and get this school district out of the ditch may be our best hope.

Anonymous said...

well one thing is sure, continuing the same way will not result in anything but a continuation of flight from the district . the people running things simply need to be changed out ASAP -- thats pretty clear to just about everybody ...

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the OVN could write an article about the School District and the concerns parents have about public education in the Ojai Valley. And maybe they could interview current school board members so we get some insight as to what they are doing to address declining enrollment and other issues to reform the district.

Anonymous said...

those are lovely sentiments and good ideas EXCEPT the problem is the level of defensiveness and the total inability and refusal to acknowledge their piece in all this -- the arrogance and focus on the best interests of the adults on the board and OVSD employees = total conflict of interest. I am of the opinion especially since we do not have a press that is willing to really explore this problem, that we need an outside educational consultant to talk to all the people who have left this district and other parents as well to see what has gone amiss and how we can get back on the right track ... if our school board, superintendant nordhoff principal could help us fix things, it would have happened by now. They are protecting their own jobs reputations etc and do not have our community and childrens interest in first position. Way too much adult ego stuff --not enough about whats best for our schools and community - property values are tied to things like the quality of education and quality of newspapers etc just in case you don't think this matters to you. Just watch the drop in property values if our school district collapses. Get rid of these idiots before its too late. We owe it to ourselves and our kids.....

Anonymous said...

95 comments on this blog. You think maybe this hits a nerve with people?

Anonymous said...

People in this community as in others, care deeply about their school system, property values and the productive use of their tax dollars. Obviously, there are substantial concerns about these issues in Ojai.