Superintendent responds to teacher firing

buhs.jpgUPDATE: Screen shot 2014-05-23 at 9.16.54 AMThe image posted to Zack Quintana’s Instagram account was, he said, reposted from another location.  It is not a Bishop student.  The message above the word Police was “F*** The”.  Quintana explained, “Yes of course its a joke…A commentary on what we deal with and the ignorance of the “FTP” (f*** the police) culture.”  Quintana said his Instagram images could only be seen by use of his screen name, not his real name.


Because of an online image discovered by school officials, multi media and graphic design teacher, Zack Quintana, was fired. Students objected, and some of them said they were threatened with reduced grades and a loss of privileges as a result. (See letter to the editor on our website.) Bishop School Superintendent Barry Simpson issued a statement about the situation.

Simpson said, “This individual no longer works in our district. His activities online reflect a serious lack of judgment, a lack of professionalism and an inability to be a positive role model to our students. He will no longer be allowed on our campus.

“We have an outstanding teaching staff at Bishop Unified,” said Simpson, “and we do not want one individual to detract from the great work our teachers do. We look forward to celebrating an outstanding year with our graduating senior class.

“This statement,” said the Superintendent, “ends the discussion on this topic and the Bishop Unified School District will not make any further comment.”

Mr. Quintana has indicated that the image he posted on Instagram caused his firing – an image of a boy with a fig leaf and a derogatory message, F*** The Police. He called it a “privacy violation.” Quintana also believes that his work to establish a union for ROP teachers impacted his termination.

Asked to comment on his firing and students’ concerns, Quintana said it was brought to his attention that some teachers and others were bullying his students for protesting his firing. “As parents and citizens, we have become all too comfortable with the Tammany Hall culture that permeates our local governments and educational institutions. It is a culture that rewards the dishonest and supports intimidation. We, as adults harden to it, but should our children? My students will keep their A’s. I will fight for each one of them.”



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46 Responses to Superintendent responds to teacher firing

  1. mongo the idiot May 22, 2014 at 5:54 pm #

    Kids love teachers who care.
    Kids don’t like B.S.

  2. mongo the idiot May 22, 2014 at 6:05 pm #

    Free Speech Rights of Public Employees
    The issue: May the government use the speech of a public employee as the basis for discharge or denying promotion?

    This could get expensive.

    • Gistine May 30, 2014 at 3:43 pm #

      It isn’t as easy to sue a public entity for a first amendment speech violation, trust me. Even if one has all the facts and the truth on their side, there are NO guarantees that they will win a judgment. Public entities have more immunities than you can shake a stick at. The whole of a case such as this lies on what the judge decides.

  3. Amazing May 22, 2014 at 6:58 pm #

    First, let me point out that the picture does NOT have a marijuana leaf in it. I don’t know what kind of leaf it is, but I’ve killed several of those plants from KMart.

    Second, Mr. Simpson, you and the school are free to refrain from commenting – but it is indicative of the administration’s overbearing authoritarian attitude that you command that your statement “ends the discussion”. With this command you are teaching kids that discussion ends when authority figures deem it so. That actually shows, in your words,”a serious lack of judgment, a lack of professionalism and an inability to be a positive role model to our students”. Educators should inspire critical thinking skills and questioning, not suppress it.

    Lastly, I understand that another teacher – a friend of Terry MacAteer’s – also had an equally inappropriate picture on his *public* Facebook page and was simply warned, not terminated. With the response from the administration, I would bet that Mr. Quintana’s termination has everything to do with him challenging Terry MacAteer’s authority by forming a union. It’s a well-known and not discussed fact that Terry MacAteer does not like to be crossed – he went to the Obenberg school of politics. He is a bully, and his employees are terrified to say anything – including former employees who know they won’t be able to work in education if Terry doesn’t allow it. Congratulations to Mr. Quintana for speaking out.

    • Benett Kessler May 22, 2014 at 8:16 pm #

      We have changed the type of leaf to “fig” after conferring with Mr. Quintana.

      • mongo the idiot May 22, 2014 at 10:00 pm #

        BK, May we have a link to the “fig leaf image”???

        • Benett Kessler May 23, 2014 at 8:07 am #

          I will check with Mr. Quintana since it is his personal posting. BK

          • Desert Tortoise May 23, 2014 at 8:44 am #

            Just type his name into your browser and his Facebook page pops right up. For now the marijuana leaf is covered up, but it wasn’t before. The original image has a child holding a marijuana leaf and the words “F___ the police”. Nice. Not the sort of person I want any school district retaining. Sorry but if you put that sort of thing out where everyone can see it, which is what Mr. Quintana did, then suffer the consequences. Would you retain a teacher that put that on a bulletin board in his or her classroom? Of course not. Would you keep a teacher that had a sticker on their car that said Eff the police? No, not if you are smart at least. But put it on Facebook AND put it where everyone including your students, their parents and the school administration can see it, and suddenly it becomes sacred. I’m waving the bs flag on that one. Sure the kids love it but it emphatically not the sort of person you want teaching your kids.

      • Diffenbaugh May 27, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

        It’s appalling to think you actually referred to that as a marijuana leaf. That’s just sloppy and dangerous to the situation.

        • Wayne Deja May 27, 2014 at 8:46 pm #

          Diffenbaugh….It’s plain to see it’s not a marijuana leaf…….but that is what it’s infered to be,almost like some “gangsta” thing,with the leaf,the look on the kids face and the “F— the Police” slogan along with it….certainly not something you’d expect to see on a teachers internet account.

          • Pedro May 27, 2014 at 10:27 pm #

            Wayne, you hallucinate marihuana everywhere. Maybe it’s khat?

    • Over the Berger May 22, 2014 at 10:11 pm #

      Lmao I guess the Obenberg disease is spreading from Mono County to Inyo County!

      Isn’t it amazing that the very people that are supposed to be an example to our children are actually an example of everything we try to teach them NOT to be like. It turns my stomach thinking of what the Eastern Sierra will be like if things continue on the destructive path it is now. The leaders are nothing more than bully’s that have fits and stomp their feet when they don’t get their way or someone dares speak up or disagree with them.

      Sad state of affairs for sure!

      • The Aggressive Progressive May 23, 2014 at 10:23 am #

        Yes it is true, the general public has lost its ability to give critical thought!

        Just do what your told!

        And don’t educate yourself, the last thing established powers want you to do is question their authority…

  4. Bill Stoll May 22, 2014 at 8:51 pm #

    Thank you Kim M

    • Educate yourself May 23, 2014 at 8:37 am #

      Once again Bill Stoll, you are making uneducated assertions. Not only does Mr. Quintana have a high school diploma, he has taken college courses and was working on his credential. I really hope that you take the time to educate yourself in the future before you choose to speak out on an issue. Terrifying that you are even being considered for public office.

  5. Rick O'Brien May 22, 2014 at 9:19 pm #

    Wouldn’t a copy of the picture been appropriate for this story …? just sayin’

  6. splitting hairs May 22, 2014 at 10:56 pm #

    It’s a liquidambar leaf, if it matters.

  7. Trouble May 23, 2014 at 5:33 am #

    The Tammany Hall theory Mr.Quintana refers to, is a very good example of how many us beleive our local politics are run. Mr. Simpson is being niave to suggest this is the end of this. If this goes to court, I doubt either of our Judges are allowed to hear the case.

  8. Eastern Sierra Local May 23, 2014 at 8:01 am #

    The supposed “fig leaf” may have been just that but the intent was to be a marijuana leaf.

    • Desert Tortoise May 23, 2014 at 8:46 am #

      It originally was. The image was altered after he was canned. It still says “F___ the police” when I viewed it yesterday. We don’t need people like this around our kids. I certainly would not knowingly let my soon to be born son be anywhere near garbage like Mr. Quintana. Not in a million years.

      • intestigator tortoise? May 23, 2014 at 9:44 am #

        I’ve been following the story the entire time. The image has never changed. In fact it’s been reposted hundreds of times. Mr. Quintana did not create the image. I’m sorry that your narrow mind prevents you from either seeing or speaking truth. I’m glad however that you have nothing to contribute but misinformation and name calling.

      • Waxlips May 24, 2014 at 8:37 am #

        Desert tortoise, why must you be so rude? Sometimes it would be better if you would stick your head back in your shell and just hang out in your little hole.

    • Agreed May 23, 2014 at 8:56 am #

      No, it’s not. The point of this meme is how badass the punk kid in the picture thinks he is, but that he’s holding a fig leaf instead of weed.

  9. Longtimelocal May 23, 2014 at 8:28 am #

    I was not concerned with what the teen was holding in the picture, even though I think it was meant to be a marijuana leaf. However, it’s the words just under the picture that
    I found disrespectful. “F##K the Police”. Really weird since Mr. Quintana is a sworn
    law enforcement professional, and in the course of his part-time work, is viewed as the “police”,
    I’m sure he meant no disrespect to any of the law enforcement professionals he works with or comes into contact with. Or did he? However, there is still the question of privacy, and the
    lack of judgment shown. Important lesson for all of us to remember is that once you post, it’s
    there for all to see for a long time.On the other hsnd, I think that the administration could have just written him up or given a verbal warning. Also, how many other “teachers” are employed by the school district, and do not possess a degree? A high school diploma?

    • mongo the idiot May 23, 2014 at 10:56 am #

      Given the incomplete uncorroborated information that I have I believe the following based on my own deductive reasoning and critical thinking:
      Mr. Q’s image posting may be a Constitutional rights test, lesson, and/ or trap.
      Put it to this test;
      *What was the motive of the obviously politically incorrect posting?
      *Are there inconsistencies in Mr. Q’s affiliation and record that contrast the posting?
      *Does the “Tammany Hall culture” reference in Mr. Q’s statement suggest anything about his beliefs or personal constitution?
      *Does his popularity with students suggest that he may be passionate enough about teaching to put himself in harms way for the kids?

  10. Educate yourself May 23, 2014 at 8:39 am #

    Wow, it sounds like you know so much about Mr. Quintana’s personal life. Please check out my response to Bill Stoll below. Spreading false information to the public is just plain unkind. If you or Bill Stoll knew how ROP worked, you would also know that these teachers are hired based upon their career experience, then earn a credential during their first three years of teaching. I hope you take the time to think before you speak next time.

  11. Ickity May 23, 2014 at 11:13 am #

    Longtimelocal – Many “educators” do not have a degree, and some only have GED’s. The hiring practices are also different for various positions. ROP teachers are not hired to teach beyond their knowledge base and they are not required to have advanced degrees or teaching credentials. They are hired for a specific subject and that subject alone. Mr. Q was/is a very popular and well liked teacher and reached and inspired many students that were not those advanced placement 4.4 gpa students. Unfortunately, in this day and age his choice of posts came back to bite him. I doubt any malice was ever intended by his post.

  12. Accountable May 23, 2014 at 11:24 am #

    I don’t see how this is a matter of free speech. Just because you can say what you want in this country does not mean you do not have to take responsibility for your actions.

    Mr. Quintana is a public employee who comes into contact with *children* on a daily basis. Because of that his public life (including Facebook) needs to reflect that he is sane, responsible and capable of this duty. His posting on Facebook has demonstrated the exact opposite.

    Said another way, Mr. Quintana is free to post whatever he wants, but he also must be willing to take responsibility for his actions.

  13. Eamon McNamara May 23, 2014 at 7:42 pm #

    Excellent decision by BUHS to let this instructor go, he crossed the line of moral obligations that our school staff must have when teaching impressionable, young individuals.

    • Trouble May 24, 2014 at 8:14 am #

      Mr. and Mrs. Quintana are both wonderful teachers . Mrs. Quintana has given my kid more confidance in his school work than any teacher he has ever had.

  14. Trouble May 24, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

    I hope Mr.Quintana runs this school district some day!

  15. ferdinand lopez May 24, 2014 at 5:30 pm #

    what an idiot

    • Trouble May 24, 2014 at 9:00 pm #

      ferinand ,can you please explain why you said that? I believe if you knew him or his wife you would have a clue what you speak of.

      • Joshua Cash May 25, 2014 at 12:37 am #

        I agree with the questioning ferinand’s intent in his comment, but he could very well be addressing Barry Simpson as an idiot for the statement.

        But then again, he may very well just as naive as Eastern Sierra Local, or Desert Tortoise. In light of the recent posts I have read, it wouldn’t be very surprising.

  16. Weed Wacker May 25, 2014 at 10:56 am #

    Interesting and kind of ironic Barry Simpson and Bill Stoll share the same initials. Those initials really describes this whole thing well. Just give the teacher a formal written warning and let him back in the classroom where he apparently is making a difference, unlike the administrators behind desks.

  17. ferdinand lopez May 25, 2014 at 11:42 am #

    I couldn’t care less about this guys personal life,hes a teacher and posted a ridiculous photo.For someone in his position,he screwed up big time,and you better believe he knows it,if he wants to play with fig leaves ,maybe he should photograph the statue of david

  18. ferdinand lopez May 25, 2014 at 1:58 pm #

    o.k. benett,which statue has the fig leaf?

  19. a few facts May 25, 2014 at 2:57 pm #

    As a side note, this image was not created by this teacher. It was created long ago and a quick search of the interney proves that. It was a joke that was reposted to a private account.

    • Ken Warner May 25, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

      Hey, don’t harsh the rant with facts!!

  20. ferdinand lopez May 25, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

    thanks benett,figged over?

  21. Philip Anaya May 25, 2014 at 3:51 pm #

    Not knowing Mr. Quintana myself and trusting to opinions of the majority of bloggers in regards to these issues , I would offer the idea that Mr. Quintana knows how to communicate with the kids ,with our young adult community. The value of Mr. Quintana’s abilities and his dedication to each and every difficult situation with regards to this community warrants a reassessment of the facts and the issues that have curtailed his contributions to our young people. The line in the sand that Mr. Simpsom has drawn is premature and the Community including everyone, especially the younger folks who have been in diifficulties resolved with the help of Mr. Quintana should be listened to very carefully. The events of these past few days in Santa Barbara cry out for resolution and the valuable contribution of people who can communicate,understand and talk with our kids.
    A friend recently wrote a letter in the Register about small town mentality. Our small town knowledge and concern for each other allows getting decisions about our community absolutely correct and we need to come correct about Mr. Quintana and the students of Bishop High .

  22. Trouble May 25, 2014 at 7:29 pm #

    I really hope Sierra Wave keeps reporting on this issue. I would like to know when the next School Board meeting is scheduled. I really hope the kids keep nipping at their heels!


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