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The room, a windowed office inside the school cafeteria–a space often filled with laughter and good eats–was stilted with unease. A line of lengthy tables formed a square in the center, wooly audience seats adjacent to them. At these tables sat the Chabot and Las Positas Board of Trustees, along with LPC President Dyrell Foster, LPC Chancellor Ronald Gerhard and LPC’s Academic and Classified Senate. Murmurs resounded from tight groups outside the room, deadpanned security officers lined the exit and nervous smiles and laughter anticipated a vicious congregation. 

Trustee Luis Reynoso, from the Hayward jurisdiction, came under scrutiny at the October Chabot Las Positas College Community College District, or CLPCDD, meeting for his online social media activity on Linked In, a professional networking website. Students and faculty criticized his posts and interactions with students on the platform for not supporting diversity and fostering a safe and welcoming environment for all community members. The posts were called homophobic, transphobic, bigoted and insensitive. 

The LPC Academic Senate, LPC Classified Senate, Chabot Classified Senate, Chabot Faculty Senate and Chabot Student Senate all declared a vote of no confidence for Trustee Reynoso.

The main subject of the November CLPCCD meeting was action to appoint an AdHoc Committee to investigate complaints about Reynoso’s social media. According to the code and ethics and standards of practice board policy 2715, when complaints are received, two non-subject board members shall be appointed to determine the validity of the complaint and report its findings.

Reynoso called the action a mob movement.

He called out for reports that connected him to this agreement, to which Academic Senate President Sarah Thompson answered and read out the social media posts that caused concern and explained Reynoso’s inappropriate conduct with students.

“CLPCCD represents and serves one of the most diverse populations in the world. Our district values diversity, equity and inclusion and proudly stands against all forms of racism, marginalization, differentiation, oppression, violence, bigotry and hate,” she said. 

She continued, “Students have choices as to where to attend college. Trustee Reynoso knows those comments and actions are a detriment to our institutions, values, commitments, and our sense of well-being and safety. And as important, his comments and actions are a detriment to the business of our district, which is to recruit and retain students.”

Complaints about Reynoso and other board members came to light during public comment. 

Gregory Rees, a regular attendee of the meetings, called out Vice Chancellor Wyman Fong’s absence. According to sources, Fong is typically late to meetings to miss Reese’s public comment. 

Reese cited corruption among the board: poising doubt of the appointed trustees and calling trustee Luis Reynoso homophobic. 

“Hayward unified will be spared Reynoso’s puppet. Reynoso, I am on my way to remove you from that seat,” he said. 

After Reese’s comment, Gregory Correa, Reese’s companion, also called out Fong’s absence, criticized the lack of TV broadcast at the meeting and called Reynoso’s actions a disgrace.

“This is sad. You know how corrupt you are. It smells like s—,” Correa said. 

Tom Wong, running for the Hayward Unified School District board, or HUSD, and endorsed by Luis Reynoso, defended Reynoso during public comment. Wong cited a lack of due process, saying Reynoso should’ve been afforded an attorney and had a proper investigation and that there was no formal complaint against him.

“It’s unbelievable what people do, throwing words out there and seeing if it sticks…We’re burning Mr. Reynoso alive because someone claims he’s a witch,” Wong said.

Kyle Johnson, the former LPC student president who initially questioned the nature of Reynoso’s posts, called Reynoso and Wong’s relationship quid-pro-quo. Since Wong is running for the HUSD board, he gains support from Reynoso’s endorsement. Reynoso can also have an advocate and voice through Wong in HUSD, which he was kicked off of for trying to serve HUSD and CLPCCD simultaneously. 

In October, Wong and Reynoso were featured on Newsmax, a far-right-wing cable news channel. The segment was headlined, “‘School trustee must publicly apologize for meme.” Reynoso said his post was based on common sense and he thought only his followers could see it. 

“Right now we have a society that’s gone upside down, and this is a statement to that,” he said.

Wong accused Hayden Sidun, a student who complained about Reynoso’s posts, of having engaged with it for political gain as he was running for the Livermore Unified Joint School District board. Sidun also gave an interview to NBC about the post along with Johnson in October.

“It’s just so unbelievable how the LGBTQ is supposed to be for all this diversity and inclusion, but they’re not. It was really ugly at the (October) meeting,” Wong said.

Wong’s campaign website is headlined, “SUPPORT CHABOT-LAS POSITAS COMMUNITY COLLEGE BOARD TRUSTEE LUIS REYNOSO AGAINST THE ALPHABET MOB.” He refused to give an interview at the meeting, citing that he had his own reporter.

The discussion to form the AdHoc committee endured for almost an hour. Reynoso repeatedly asked for the board to hire him an independent attorney and argued that he was given unfair attention compared to other trustees who have complaints against them. He also said Trustee Mojadeti Harris could not vote on the matter to appoint a committee. Harris refused to be interviewed at the meeting. 

“He must not be part of voting for the future. He’s already biased. The last meeting he stepped away crying, so put that on the record,” Reynoso said .

Trustees Linda Granger and Hal Gin were appointed to the committee and will report their findings in the meeting on Dec. 20.

Wong and Reynoso both left after the committee was approved.

Lizzy Rager is the managing editor of The Express. Follow her @ragerwriter.

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