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Update On Detained Belleview Elementary School Board Member

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Sonora, CA – An update on Belleview Elementary School board member Jason Vassar, who was taken into custody after making threats to kill children.

Superintendent-Principal Carmel Portillo relayed in a Monday (11/13) email to staff and parents that Vassar remains detained. It was also noted that they are taking steps to remove Vassar from the board. As Clarke Broadcasting was first to report here last week, Vassar was detained after submitting personally written materials to the district administration that referenced “threats to kill children, kill people, denigrate humans, and incite violence, with distinct anti-government rantings.” However, he did not target anyone at the school.

The email also noted that the temporary restraining order against Vassar will remain in place until Tuesday, November 28th, when a hearing will “determine a permanent injunction to the restraining order.” The email noted that, at a board meeting last week, DeMaria Law Firm, out of Fresno, was hired to file a formal complaint with the Attorney General. Not to press charges but to move ahead with Vassar’s ousting. Portillo shared that it would be done this week and that Vassar would get a chance to respond, adding, “The Board is prepared to call a special meeting as soon as a response is warranted, needs review, or a subsequent action can be taken.”

Portillo’s entire email is below:

DATE: November 13, 2023

TO: Belleview School District Staff and Families

RE: Update to “Nov. 6 Notice Regarding Recent Measures to Extend Protections to Staff and Students

Dear Belleview Staff and Families, In an effort to keep you informed, I would like to provide you with an update on the notice sent to Belleview School District staff and families on November 6, 2023, regarding statements sent to school administration from Board Member Jason Vassar, and measures taken to restrict his access to campus.

The Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) remains in effect through November 28th, at which time a court hearing will determine a permanent injunction to the restraining order. In the meantime, the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department has confirmed that Board Member Vassar remains detained, and they are monitoring his status closely.

At the Board meeting on Thursday, November 9th, the Board convened to address this development. The Board has appointed DeMaria Law Firm to proceed with a Quo Warranto Action, requiring the designation of a private attorney to file a formal complaint with the Attorney General. The motion is not to press charges, but rather to give the Board permission to file a civil action to remove Board Member Vassar from the Board, due to the nature of his writings sent to school administration. Mr. Vassar has to be served with the formal motion and given a chance to oppose it. The motion is to be filed and served this week. The Board is prepared to call a Special Meeting as soon as a response is warranted, needs review, or a subsequent action can be taken.

Thank you for your continued patience and support in this matter and we appreciate everyone’s careful consideration during this development.

Should you have any questions, you may contact me directly.

 

Carmel Portillo

Superintendent-Principal

Belleview Elementary School District

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