On March 2, attorneys John Harris and Herbert Hayden won big for the Antelope Valley Union High School District (AVUHSD) that continuously uses reporter Julie Drake to disparage their good names through articles she produces for the Antelope Valley Press. Harris & Associates was hired by the “trio” of present and former Board Member— Robert “Bob” Davis, current board member Victoria Ruffin and Amanda Parrell to defend them in a lawsuit filed by former AVUHSD General Counsel Bridget Cook for retaliation, discrimination, and other claims.
Attorney’s Harris and Hayden argued Cook’s claims for retaliation and violation of the whistleblower protection be thrown out and a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge agreed.
Before the March 2 hearing, Drake made another half baked attempt to tarnish Harris & Associate’s reputation, in February, by referring to services performed by them as being unauthorized. Harris & Associates, a prominent black-owned firm, was hired by the District in 2019, to navigate the school district through several investigations stemming from community concerns regarding racist and discriminatory practices against black and brown students, and educators in the District.
For unknown reasons, Drake and the Antelope Valley Press have repeatedly attempted to slander the firm’s reputation in an effort to undermine its ability to assist the District in investigating racist practices and racial inequality.
Over the last couple years, the District’s personnel and students have been associated with racist acts, including the display of nooses on campuses, using racially charged language and slurs against black students, and other reported racially hostile acts by whites.
Instead of addressing these pressing issues, Drake is obsessed with trying to paint this well-known firm in a negative light as though they’re the problem and not those involved in the horrible acts of racial hatred. All articles written by Drake, directed at Harris & Associates, have been nothing more than an attempt by the old white guard to derail the much needed change demanded by these three individuals’ constituents.
Drake’s reputation for honesty and integrity is spotty, having a history of running up her credit cards to the limit and then filing bankruptcy to wipe out her credit card debt.
Harris & Associates on the other hand was recently recognized by the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal for their ground-breaking work for plaintiffs as it relates to civil rights and equal opportunities in the workplace.
THE DEVIL IS ALWAYS IN THE DETAILS
Contrary to what Julie Drake would want you to believe, Harris & Associates are just what was needed in Antelope Valley Union High School District.