In case you missed it, the mystery winner of a seat on the Orange Unified School District board surfaced last week. In his first public appearance since he filed candidate papers many months ago, Steve Rocco in person underscored the election lesson he hopefully taught all of us: Don’t vote in the dark. Or its corollary: When in doubt, leave it blank.
Rocco told a Los Angeles Times reporter that he couldn’t think of any educational issues he plans to address in his new role. But he added that serving as a trustee would give him public visibility to counter what he described as a conspiracy against him by a cabal of public officials who have stalked and harassed him and his parents for 25 years to force him to stop — according to Rocco — his efforts to uncover corruption and scandal in local government. There was more, much more of this sort of thing, all of it about as relevant to the cause of public education as Rocco’s conspiracy.
The good citizens of Rocco’s school district who voted him into office deserve what they got — but the students are the ones who will suffer. I don’t know who is more culpable, the people who voted for Rocco because the teachers’ union supported his opponent or those who bought into his flawed self-identity as a “teacher” or those who just flipped a coin. Rocco finally got it right when he told The Times reporter: “The only thing I did was run. I didn’t create this.”
Joseph Bell, Daily Pilot