Cipriano Vargas publicly claims on his website that, “As President of the Vista School Board, Cipriano hired more Sheriffs to help protect Vista’s 19,000 students and their teachers.” https://www.ciprianovargas.com/issues
This is a lie. What’s worse, it is not only a lie but the opposite of the truth.
On November 15, 2019, Vargas offered a motion and then cast the third and deciding vote to eliminate funding for School Resource Officers. The power was in his hands alone. If he had supported law enforcement, SROs would still work in our schools today.
School Board members claimed that eliminating School Resources Officers was essential to meet their budgetary goals, but during the conversation, Board members referred to the SRO program as a, “School to Prison Pipeline.” Cipriano Vargas used the same phrase to describe law-enforcement’s presence in schools on June 13, 2017. In those comments, he also referred to law enforcement as, “A resource to intimidate the community.”
The claim that firing SROs was a budget necessity is a work of fiction entirely. The School Board authorized more than 200 new classified positions AFTER firing deputies, with no effort to restore them!
As of September 30, 2022, the Vista School Board has refused to add a single discussion to its public agenda about restoring SROs. As of the same date, the Board also has failed to consider or approve a contract with either the San Diego County Sheriffs Department or the Oceanside Police Department to restore SROs.
Cipriano Vargas’ claim that he “hired more Sheriffs” is a blatant lie. It is the opposite of the truth — Cipriano Vargas FIRED SROs from our Schools while ignoring pleas from students, parents and teachers not to.
After using the budget as a pretend reason to eliminate School Resource Officers, the Board hired more than 200 new non-teacher positions in subsequent meetings. (See record of hires from Vista Unified School Board meeting minutes). If the budget was the true reason for eliminating School Resource Officers, they wouldn’t have authorized hundreds of new non-teacher positions before RESTORING the SROs.
During the conversation (Listen Below) about firing School Resource Officers, Board Members accused officers of cowardice, racism, and inability to act as educators. Cipriano Vargas offered the motion to eliminate School Resource Officers and then cast the final vote, to approve his motion to eliminate officers, approving the vote 3-2. Vargas, Alvarado and Alderson voted to fire the officers. Smithfield and Morton both spoke in favor of keeping officers and voted to keep them.