Recalled Judge Persky fired from JV girl's tennis coach job

Recalled Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky said he was fired Wednesday from his new job as a Junior Varsity girls' tennis coach. His termination comes amid a public backlash over his hiring.

Persky was a coach for just a few weeks. His new job did not last long after the district got wind he was "the" Aaron Persky behind a controversial ruling and later successful recall campaign.

In response to some members of the community, the district held a meeting with parents on Monday. 

The district said Persky, who used his legal name, Michael, when he applied, was a highly qualified candidate, having attended several tennis coaching clinics, adding that he holds a high rating from the US Tennis Association. In a statement, the district said he "successfully completed" the necessary hiring requirements and passed a fingerprint background check. 

The district followed up with another statement that said in part, "Effective September 11, 2019, Mr. Persky's employment with the District as the Junior Varsity Girls Tennis coach has ended.  We believe this outcome is in the best interest of our students and school community. The District will begin the search for a new coach immediately with the goal of ensuring that the athletes on the JV tennis team are able to have a successful season.  Both the Lynbrook and District staff will be supporting the team and their families throughout this transition."

The district said they would have no further comment on this personnel matter. 

Persky is only the fifth judge in California history to be recalled before his term is up — and the first in 86 years—  ​​​​over what many viewed as a lenient sentence in the Brock Turner sex assault case.

In a statement, he explained why the superintendent of the Fremont Union High School District let him go. Persky said, "She was motivated by a desire to protect the players from the potentially intrusive media attention related to my hiring."

He went on to say, "Although I am disappointed with the district's decision, it was a privilege to coach the team, if only for a short time."

"If someone wants to have Persky coach them, they can figure that out on their own but this is a public school," said Lynbrook High School Alumnae Shivani Kavuluru. "It is concerning the district hired him in the first place." 

Kavuluru started an online petition to remove Persky as a coach. The petition was signed by students, alumni, parents, and staff who found his hiring troubling.

"The teacher is a role model, it's someone the students can look up to for safety," said Kavuluru. "I think having him here sends the message we are not survivor centric. We are not supporting survivors on campus."

"What the superintendent has done and the excuse she has come up with for the potential media attention is shameful," said Retired Judge Ladoris Cordell who opposed Aaron Persky's firing.

Cordell doesn't understand how a society that allows criminals to rebuild their lives won't let Persky who committed no crime rebuild his life.

"It isn't enough that they got him to lose his job and lose his pension, this is just over the top attacking and attacking," said Cordell.

Aaron Persky's full statement following the news of his firing: 

"Today at 2 p.m., I was fired from my job as the Junior Varsity Girls Tennis Coach at Lynbrook High School. Polly Bove, Superintendent of the Fremont Union High School District, explained that she was motivated by a desire to protect the players from the potentially intrusive media attention related to my hiring.  Although I am disappointed with the District's decision, it was a privilege to coach the team, if only for a short time.  I wish all of the players the best in their future academic and athletic endeavors."

Persky was ousted as a superior court judge in June 2018 after more than 60 percent of Santa Clara County voters who went to the polls agreed he should be recalled over his handling of the Turner case two years earlier.

Last week, the woman Turner sexually assaulted – known as "Emily Doe" – revealed her real name: Chanel Miller. She plans to tell her own story in a memoir, titled "Know My Name," due out on Sept. 24.  

"I hope that the students and parents at Lynbrook will come together and demand he be reinstated," said Cordell.