A Christmas Message To The BOUSD Board.

Well, I thought I was done for 2018 until I came across John Bickel’s email to the BOUSD Board this morning. It provides an honest and powerful summary to the social media discussions over recent days and weeks regarding the Board’s abandonment of the Fanning legacy. I’ll let John’s email pick up the matter from here.

December 24, 2018

To: Gail Lyons, Nicole Colon, Paul Ruiz, Carrie Flanders and Keri Kropke

Merry Christmas to all of you.

I would like to invite you to visit, if you haven’t already, a couple of social media sites to see just how the community is rallying around keeping the Fanning name in the new school title. Nextdoor and Facebook both have been very busy in the discussions about the unproven facts from the Anaheim Heritage Center files, and the James Loewen book on sundown towns. Not one of these sources of info have anything to prove that W.E. Fanning, from California, had anything to do with the KKK in Brea or his role in Brea being a sundown town.

Support for the Fanning name is overwhelming.

The majority of people in this community fully support squashing Mr. Rodriguez and his team and sending them on their way. That same majority is feeling the same about some of you. A recall election at the least could be on the horizon if you fail to tell these bullies to go away.

The way the previous board and the current board are handling this situation, allowing the tarnishing of Mr. Fanning and his name, his family members, is horrible. His legacy being obliterated forever because of your fear to face the bullies and their unproven “facts.”

You are also tarnishing the names of the people who were involved in the decision to honor the man who put Brea schools on the map. Leonard MacKain, another notable educator in Brea, the school board members from then, all fine life-long citizens who are part of the great legacy of Brea education.

Once you make the correct decision to keep the name in the new branding, you must also publicly remove the tarnish from ALL of these peoples names, not just the name of W.E. Fanning.

See you on January 14, 2019, the start of a brand new, sure to be interesting year for the school board.

John Bickel

Never poke a tiger with a short stick.

A word to the wise, I’m difficult to silence… banished or not. In a very small way, my blindsided 30 day suspension from Nextdoor drove home the shock and pain of seeing every word, every thought, every opinion ever expressed on Nextdoor was erased.


Then I thought of William Fanning and drew up short. I tried to imagine the loss of his legacy, the crushing impact on his surviving family and the hundreds of Fanning Falcons who have gone on to serve the community in so many ways.

My little problem shrank away to almost nothing. In 30 days, or less, I will rejoin Nextdoor and press on bringing facts to the discussion and debunking the outright lies that creep in from all sides.

Of particular concern is this nuisance little pack of self-righteous would be activists that use untruthful statements to disparage the reputation of William Fanning. They’ve gone so far as to conscript the support of an author/historian, James W. Loewen, to validate their misinformation and to coop whatever credibility he might have as an academician.


Please take a few moments and visit his website. Seriously… give it a good look. It’s just one page and I’m sure you will have little difficulty forming an opinion about how much relevance we should give him in this discussion.

His original review of the report prepared by Linda Shaw, Curator of the Brea Museum and a well experienced and degreed historian in her own right, was a hatchet job which later he recanted in part when pressure was applied.

Personally, I find him to be functioning so close to the edge that it’s likely he’ll go over the side at any moment.

The BOUSD Board has kicked the can far enough.

I’m casting my lot with John Bickel and the large and growing number of fellow Brea friends and neighbors who dismiss the unwarranted attack upon William Fanning as the specious race baiting attempt to bully the board into making a panicked decision they’ll undoubtedly come to regret.

There is no government by the people without people.

Please, join us.

10 thoughts on “A Christmas Message To The BOUSD Board.

  1. For what it’s worth, the La Habra gadfly said you are lying about James Loewen recanting.

    On the other hand, failure to have a usable web page is not necessarily indicative of being a bad historian.

    The Wikipedia article on him says, however, that his “Sundown Towns” book has mixed reviews as to research methodology. That would probably be adequate, in a reasonable world, to disregard his book without further research.

    • Arthur… good to see you gain, Merry Christmas!

      Several folks have advised me that Mr. Rodriguez is taking advantage of my brief hiatus from Nextdoor to disparage me again. As I mentioned when we spoke, I’ve been provided a copy of Loewen’s written reversal of some rather unwarranted criticisms of Ms. Shay’s work. The gadfly can buzz all he wants. He’s wrong.

      I was more speaking of Loewen’s website content than design, though it does appear to be a couple of decades old… or more. As you noted regarding “Sundown Towns” his work is more revered by those who share his extremist biases than say… the Washington Post.

    • Dale… yes, 30 day suspension. No notice, just boom… no access.

      ND Support responded without any useful explanation. I’ve asked for clarification of what was so egregious but their customer service is not the best communicating. It’s an auto-suspension thing and was obviously triggered by someone here in Brea with whom I had some disagreement.

      That’s almost funny.

  2. Dear BOUSD Board Members and Superintendent,

    I strongly oppose removing the Fanning name from the school. There is no clear evidence to prove the accusations that Mr. Fanning was anything but a model citizen and exemplary community leader.

    Without definitive proof, that most of the board has said isn’t there, the board must leave the name. Please demonstrate your courage and outstanding character that you possess.

    My fellow Brea community members and I are counting on you to do the right thing.

    Joan Dolmat Arion

  3. It is unimaginable that someone that recently moved to Brea could make a deciding vote on a Brea family’s legacy of over 100 years.

    The only logical solution to this would be to put it to a vote of the people – the Brea voters. Democracy should not be for sale, nor decided by the minority.

    • Dwight… capital idea! It’s an up or down vote, majority rules – outsiders can read about the results in the morning paper. Democracy in action.

      Kropke can whine all she wants. The other Board members all understand there is no damning evidence nor is there any credibility of a threat on any campus. This is a win/win for all concerned.

  4. Show up at the Jan 14 school board meeting at 6:30 p.m. at city council chamber and express your opinion and vote “no” in changing the name of Fanning School.

    Rex Gaede and Susan Gaede

  5. Over my 55+ years as a Brea Son and resident, I have seen some genuine strength displayed with some outstanding Christian and Moral examples. Good solid leaders who’s best interest was in God and serving the people.

    Sorry to say that many of our politicians and leaders have forgotten Ephesians 6:10-18, The Armor of God. They have learned to take the easy way out rather than taking the high road and stand firm in knowing what’s right.

    Satan and his host of demons will lead us through the path of least resistance right to the gates of Hell. Will the Crosses on our Churches be next? Would you support that as well

    Everyone, including those on the BOUSD, please remember this. Also remember Jesus is very forgiving but your constituency may not be.

Comments are closed.