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Militant Public School Teacher Took Students to Antifa Protests, Lied about Absences, Records Show

September 29, 2017

Yvette Felarca has a long history of documented workplace misconduct.

Court documents show the California public school teacher arrested earlier this week at the University of California at Berkeley on suspicion of battery and resisting arrest has since 2009 racked up a list of fire-worthy offenses, including recruiting students to participate in protests facilitated by the militant left-wing group By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) and transporting them to protests without permission in her personal vehicle.

A History of Violence

Yvette Felarca (cited in some court documents as “Yvonne”), a Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD) middle school teacher, was arrested Tuesday during a “Free Speech Week” protest on campus that turned violent. Felarca is already under indictment for “assault by means of force likely to inflict great bodily injury, participating in a riot, and inciting a riot” when she was caught on video punching a man in the stomach and screaming, “Get the f*** off our streets!” during a June 2016 white supremacist protest in Sacramento. Felarca later stated her actions were “not a crime.”  

Felarca is an outspoken leader of BAMN, an arm of the violent, self-proclaimed “anti-fascist” group Antifa. Felarca was placed on paid administrative leave in September 2016 while BUSD investigated “concerns [Felarca] may have engaged in inappropriate conduct,” a case document shows. The letter informing Felarca of her administrative leave says the leave “[was] not intended to be disciplinary.”

In October 2016, Felarca filed a lawsuit against BUSD (Yvette Felarca v. Berkeley Unified School District et al.) alleging the district violated her First Amendment rights by placing her on involuntary leave for her participation in a political protest. The case claimed in its introduction Felarca “has received only positive evaluations over her ten years of teaching with BUSD,” and said the defendants were conducting “a political witch-hunt against [Felarca].”

Years of Documented Misconduct

Felarca, a member of the Berkeley Federation of Teachers, returned to the classroom in November 2016, at which time she was presented with a “Notice of Unprofessional Conduct.” Felarca submitted as evidence during the case proceedings the November letter and a “Notice of Unprofessional Conduct/Unsatisfactory Performance (NUC/NUP)” from June 2016 as exhibits I and A, respectively.

Exhibits A and I state that for years Felarca solicited students to participate in protests and took them on unauthorized field trips to political rallies in her own car, often without proper parental or school permission. Felarca received several reprimands, yet continued to engage in behavior the district said “could be grounds for dismissal.” The documents also show the district’s concern that Felarca’s behavior was an opportunity for her to “indoctrinate students and use them to support [her] own political agenda.”

The letters detail how Felarca lied numerous times about sick and personal leave, using the time instead to attend political protests. Felarca, according to the documents, tried to intimidate and manipulate parents to support her, and despite having been put on paid, administrative leave for “insubordination, safety and liability [concerns] for unauthorized field trips,” remains employed by BUSD. 

Article image courtesy of Flickr.com

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Education
Author
Teresa Mull is the managing editor for School Reform News.
tmull@heartland.org @SchoolReform