Frogue defends himself against charges (10/6/96)
By the election campaign of 1996, it was clear to all that Trustee Frogue was very conservative (he twice ran against Cox in primaries) and that he had a history of making disturbing remarks. Nevertheless, the Faculty Association (the union) supported him to the hilt.
Some faculty who were union members insisted that Frogue explain himself. The following apologia by Frogue was distributed at a special FA meeting arranged to allay concerns. Even though the students who had reported Frogue's worrisome remarks were unassociated and represented many different years, Frogue seems to suggest--or no?--that their testimony reflect a conspiracy by a Lone Schemer, namely, Harriet Walther (who, naturally, is Jewish).
The Holocaust was one of the greatest tragedies in human history. It represents the outermost limits in man's bestiality towards fellow human beings. It should be continually studied, and held up as a prime example of the consequence of hate. We must never forget the sufferings and deaths of so many millions of innocents.
An April 4, 1994, article in the "Orange County Register" quoted four students saying things that I had supposedly said in my classes two years before. The quotes were absolutely and totally false. I never could or never would have said such cruel, vicious and untruthful things. If I had said anything even remotely akin to such sentiments, there would and should have been a storm of protest. There was none because the events described in the "Register" article never occurred. The manner in which the reporter tried to put words into my mouth, and into the mouths of three colleagues leave little doubt in my mind as to how he elicited such comments from these young women. My students, fellow teachers, parents, administrators, friends and neighbors, know that this article was a smear. I gave a full explanation of this article to my fellow trustees of the Saddleback Community College District at our April public meeting. I was invited to appear before the Orange County Human Relations Commission, at my request, and recounted all details of the event and provided the record to them. I forwarded all records of the event and provided the record to them. I forwarded all records of the event to both the Southern California and national headquarters of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). They sent a representative to meet with me in Tustin, and I provided him with full details.
My being assigned to the on campus suspension program at Foothill High School had nothing to do with this controversy. A social science teacher with high quality classroom control skills was required to strengthen a very much needed program at our school. I did an excellent job in that position, but appealed the decision under our teachers contract because I wanted to teach history the next year. While I appreciated their confidence in my ability to strengthen this suspension program, however, I still wanted to teach history.
Because of the article's obvious misrepresentation, it caused little or no concern at our school or within our educational community. One parent request for information about the controversy came the following year (after the article) and was fully answered. Not a single parent ever contacted me directly. I am prepared to answer any and all questions about the matter from any quarter.
That a single trustee [he’s referring to then-Trustee Walther] of the Saddleback Community College District would, for political purposes, attempt to use that untruthful and discredited article is absolutely in keeping with my experience with that person for four years. The board has caught her in numerous lies and deceptions over the entire period. That she should be engaging in such "McCarthy" tactics is perfectly in keeping with her character and past actions. Her relationships with me and other trustees were exacerbated by an official investigation leading to a letter of reprimand by the Fair Political Practices Commission regarding this trustee for her conflict of interest.
While I don't pretend to fathom all this person's motivation, it does appear that her being passed over for President of the Board of Trustees and having been caught by the Fair Political Practices Commission has served to engender in her a grudge against all other Trustees.
If you wish to pursue this matter further, you can contact Don Zimbalist at Saddleback College through the Liberal Arts Division.
Steven J. Frogue, 10-6-96
The California Fair Political Practices Commission did send a "Case Closure Memorandum" to Trustee Harriett Walther concerning the charge that she had violated "conflict of interest" provisions. (5/3/95)
As I recall, the CFPPC judged that Walther was technically in violation. (I have lost track of the whole document.) But their memorandum ends with a paragraph that makes clear that her violation was merely technical (see below).
The faculty union--on behalf of Frogue, Williams, Fortune and Davis--secured this document and quoted from it selectively and deceptively in fliers and ads (see) during the 1996 trustees' campaign.
What follows is the key section of the "Disposition sheet" that the union conveniently failed to reveal in "exposing" the existence of the CFPPC document:
However, we have determined that prosecution for this violation is not warranted based on several mitigating factors which include: 1) the vote to approve the ACCT contract was unanimous and apparently would have been approved without Ms. Walther's vote; 2) it appears that Ms. Walther did not believe that she had a conflict of interest with regard to the ACCT contract, and had she known, it appears she would have abstained from the decision; 3) as a telephone research consultant, she did not stand to gain any commission or bonus as a result of the contract; 4) all other members of the SCCD involved in the ACCT contract were informed by Ms. Walther that she had been employed by ACCT, and 5) Ms. Walther has no prior enforcement history with the Commission.
Note: among those who voted for the ACCT contract: Frogue and Williams.
SEVERAL UNASSOCIATED FORMER STUDENTS OF FROGUE SIGNED AFFIDAVITS ACCORDING TO WHICH, IN THE CLASSROOM, MR. FROGUE DID ENGAGE IN HOLOCAUST DENIAL AND DID MAKE RACIALLY OFFENSIVE REMARKS. WHAT FOLLOWS ARE SOME REMARKS BY FORMER STUDENTS REPORTED IN LOCAL PAPERS:
“He decided that the Holocaust was made up...He basically said that the Jews made it up to make people feel sorry for them, because he decided that it was impossible for so many people to have been killed in such a short amount of time...He said that it was more like 60 people that got killed, rather than 6 million...I would raise my hand and tell him, ‘That’s wrong,’ and he would just really get mad at me and send me out of the class.”
--Emily Hoffman, one of Frogue’s students, quoted in the 1995 Register piece
“He said [the Holocaust] never happened.”
--Leah Killen, one of Frogue’s students, quoted in the Register piece
“He said some really racist things that really really hurt a lot of his Asian students...There was this one time, I forget what he was talking about, but he called us ‘yellow people’...He always characterized ethnicity by color, and it really bothered me. Maybe he was trying to be funny, but it didn’t work.”
--Wendy Hayashi, one of Frogue’s students, quoted in the Register piece)
“Five percent of all Jewish people are bad, but 95 percent are just as good as the rest of us.”
--From student Stacey Marcus’ notes of one of Frogue’s lectures. (From the 1995 Register piece).
"He said you can always tell a Jew by their nose and that they are always rude," Danielle Brown, 19, said. "I couldn't believe he was a teacher. When I got to Irvine Valley and saw that he was the board president, I was disgusted."
--From the OC Register, 9/16/97
"He also said the Holocaust did not exist," [Danielle] Brown told the board...Brown, who attends the Mormon church, also told the board that Frogue made derogatory comments about Mormons as well.
--From the LA Times, 9/16/97
Pam Bustamante, 24, who works as a World Wide Web designer, told The Times on Tuesday that she was a student of Frogue's in 1989, before graduating from Foothill High in 1990. Bustamante, who is Jewish, said she complained to school authorities when Frogue refused to mention the Holocaust during a lengthy discussion of World War II.
"I remember him going into great detail about Japanese internment camps, but when I asked him to discuss the Holocaust, he refused, which upset me a great deal,” Bustamante said. "I lost 48 relatives in the Holocaust, so I found his attitude extremely disturbing."
--From the LA Times, 9/17/97