Following a school board meeting on April 16, Sweetwater Union High School District Trustee John McCann was giving an interview with a news station when members of the Occupy Sweetwater group began heckling him and yelling. Occupy member Maty Adato called McCann an a**hole, while Kathleen Cheers told a bystander, Jimmy Delgado, that she had warned her husband she would probably end up in jail that night because she was going to slap McCann.
Following the interview, McCann proceeded to shake hands with others who had stayed after the meeting, even offering his hand to some Occupy members. However, when McCann offered his hand to Occupy leader Stewart Payne, it was refused and Payne came toward him, telling the school trustee to “get out of his face” or he would “knock him out,” at which point Payne raised his hand in the face of McCann. A security guard immediately became concerned about McCann’s safety and stepped in, instructing Payne to back down. In the security guard’s statement he says he stepped in between the two for McCann’s safety.
A second security guard then took McCann to the district’s board room. On the way they were approached by Delgado, an employee of the San Ysidro school district and teachers’ union member, who suggested to the security guard and McCann that Payne’s actions constituted a threat. Once in the board room McCann called the Chula Vista Police to report Payne’s threat and a report was filed.
In Delgado’s statement he relates an additional threat, stating that Payne had followed him into the parking lot that night to ask him who he was. After Delgado introduced himself, Payne told him that one way or another he was going to “kick John McCann’s ass.” Both of the security guards and Delgado provided sworn statements regarding the night’s events that verify what McCann states happened.
I am inclined to believe two security guards and even more inclined to believe Delgado, a union member from another school district.
As a result of these actions it was decided that it would be necessary for the district to obtain a restraining order against Payne on behalf of McCann, and a temporary restraining order was issued. California law allows for employers to obtain restraining orders on behalf of employees when a threat takes place at the workplace or as a result of doing their job. Issues for restraining orders are not taken lightly by judges, with petitioners required to prove that a credible threat to their safety exists. Obviously, Judge Francis Devaney believed Payne to be a threat to McCann’s safety.
This is not Payne’s first experience in which police have been called to a meeting he attended. In October of 2009 Payne was protesting at a CIF Commission meeting where his group, Citizens Against CIF, was demanding the ouster of CIF Commissioner Dennis Ackerman and his assistant Bill McLaughlin, whom they accused of being biased against minorities and kids from poor neighborhoods south of I-8. (Payne’s children attend school at Eastlake, which, in my opinion, is not a poor neighborhood.) Police presence was requested at the meeting to make certain the protesters did not get out of control.
It is unconscionable to me how these Occupy members feel that behaving like bullies is okay.
Wow, I just re-read that last sentence and realized how ridiculous it is — of course they would act in this way, they are Occupy members. It’s time for Occupy to grow up and get real jobs where they can learn to act like responsible adults — maybe even learn how to shake a hand!
I hope anyone concerned with schools will take the time to read the linked restraining order. In my opinion Stewart Payne is definitely a threat to John McCann and the school board.