MVHS students protest board decision to non-reelect teacher Rob Seitelman


Katie Freiberg

Over 100 students and approximately 30 community members attended the MVLA Board of Education meeting on Monday, March 9th to protest the motion to refrain from re-electing current MVHS Drama and English teacher, Rob Seitelman. Students, friends, parents, and teachers addressed the board, all speaking in support of Seitelman’s re-election.

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A number of attendees loudly voiced their disagreement and left the meeting in tears when the board unanimously voted 5-0 to approve resolution 157 to non-reelect probationary employee, Rob Seitelman.

Re-hiring him for the 2015-2016 school year would have effectively granted Seitelman tenure in the Mountain View-Los Altos School District. According to Education Code 44929.21, “A probationary teacher who has been employed by the district in a position or positions requiring certification for two complete consecutive school years and is then rehired for the next succeeding school year shall become a permanent employee at the beginning of the third year.”

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For the past one-and-a-half years, Seitelman has been involved in the theater and performing arts department at MVHS.

In an interview the afternoon before the board meeting, Seitelman said, “Regardless of whatever happens tonight, the simple fact that blood, sweat, and tears went into [this protest] means the world to me.”

Each community member was given a two-minute opportunity to speak at the meeting.

“I’m here because I strongly believe that this decision [to not re-elect Seitelman] is a mistake,” senior Madison Melenudo, secretary of The International Thespian Society, said.

One of Seitelman’s English students, freshman Jack Wilbur, spoke of the teacher’s influence on his decision to take AP Comp for this next school year.

Julie Yick, teacher and colleague of Seitelman, said, “I believe that Rob Seitelman embodies what Mountain View High School is all about.”

David Koppel, professional actor, educator, and previous head of the drama department, said, “Rob has created a safe, cooperative environment for his students.”

In accordance with legal procedure for personnel issues, the board declined to comment as to the reason for letting Seitelman go.

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“I am grateful to the community, parents, and students for their support. Regardless of how things turn out, I am forever changed,” Seitelman said, “I feel incredibly humbled.”

**The MVHS Oracle will continue to provide information as events unfold. A link to the audio of the March 9th school board meeting will be published when released. Stay tuned for updates.**