Yvette Felarca sues Berkeley school district for alleged 1st amendment rights violations

Ariel Hayat/File

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A Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School teacher filed a lawsuit against the Berkeley Unified School District on Wednesday alleging in part that the school district violated her first amendment rights by placing her on involuntary paid leave based on her involvement with a political group.

Yvette Felarca, the plaintiff of the case, was placed on involuntary paid leave in September 2016 after being placed under investigation for “inappropriate conduct.” In June 2016, Felarca attended an anti-racism protest in Sacramento, at which she was filmed taunting and punching a member of a white nationalist group. Violence escalated at the event, and she and other protesters were stabbed by another white nationalist.

Natasha Beery, director of the Berkeley Schools in Excellence Program and community engagement, said in a statement that placing teachers on paid leave during an ongoing investigation is “not unusual.” She said because the issue was a personnel matter, the Berkeley school district could not comment on why she was under investigation or whether it was related to her conduct at the protest.

Felarca alleged that the school district placed her on leaved because she is a political organizer for the liberal activist group By Any Means Necessary, or BAMN, a coalition which works to defend affirmative action, racial integration and immigrant rights.

“This is a city that prides itself in opposing racism and supporting activism, and it’s exactly people like Yvette Felarca who should be in the schools,” said Felarca’s attorney Ronald Cruz.

After a video of Felarca at the protest surfaced, Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School received an anonymous threat in July claiming that if no actions were taken against Felarca, someone would come to the school and harm students. Additionally, a former Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School student has created a petition asking the administration to fire Felarca, which received more than 500 signatures.

Felarca said she feels she must stand up and fight the school district on its actions in order to ensure more just treatment of district employees in the future.

“My concern is, frankly, that if I don’t make this fight, more good teachers will be driven out,” Felarca said. “I have no other choice, and I am both obligated and honored to play that role.”

Pressly Pratt is the lead crime and courts reporter. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @presslypratt.

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Yvette Felarca is a political organizer with the Berkeley Property Owners Association. In fact, she is a political organizer with BAMN.

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  • blahblahblahhh

    WATCH bombards body language on youtube on her – fascinating, Yvette may be a sociopath

  • john allen

    Demanding her 1st Amendment Rights? was she not involved in denying other people theirs? She is now a proven Hypocrite

  • OldPoorRichard

    School officials have done NOTHING to impinge her rights. No letter, no verbal communication telling her to stop saying what she’s been saying or quit doing what she’s been doing. What a farce. Her lawyer is brilliant: domestic terrorists are exactly the people we need teaching middle schoolers.

  • chaosophia

    She is the fascist that she purports to be fighting.

    Its become too easy now by far to accuse anyone who doesn’t agree with your brand of ideology a ‘racist’, a ‘misogynist’, an ‘xenophobe’. These words have become weaponized tools to destroy ideological opposition.

    She is tarring anyone who disagrees with her with a broad brush, and believes anything that is to the right of her standpoint is ‘fascist’ and tending to ‘genocide’, apparently oblivious that the drift to the extreme left carries the same risk of developing a society of control, marginalisation and persecution.

    How is this person teaching in a school? People have been sacked from their position for being mildly christian or traditionist in orientation. Here we have a violent far left ‘useful idiot’ teaching our children.

  • amisfit

    Bringing the school into disrepute would breach a contract of employment. If I went rioting I could be sacked too as this is in my contract of employment.

  • Craig Johnston

    You have to be amazed by the irony (if not the hypocrisy) of someone who prides herself in denying others their first amendment rights suing over her own first amendment rights. The extra-legal means used by her group, BAMN (By Any Means Necessary), to shut down assembly and speech by groups she dislikes only work with the tacit approval of the local governments. In another area, with politicians sympathetic to the anti-immigrant groups, the same means might be used against her. The only system that works in the long run is respect for the rule of law and the rights of others, regardless of their views.

  • Ralph Smith

    Ms. Felarca’s First Amendment Constitutional right has been violated. She was leading a peaceful counter-demonstration against a front for the KKK, the so-called ‘Traditionalist Workers Party’. If the name of this fascist Northern California organization resembles the name of the German Nazi Party is not a coincidence. (Nazi stands for National-Socialist Workers Party).
    It’s the duty of all good citizens to oppose the resurgence of the Nazi ideology which has been outlawed in Germany. They put you in prison in Germany if you try to glorify the evil Nazi ideology.
    Therefore, Ms. Felarca participation in this counter-demonstration was constitutionally protected.

  • edawg90 .

    That’s rich given she violated Milo’s 1st amendment rights

  • Crooksallaround

    Felarca chick needs to transfer to school in North Korea. That might calm her down.

  • Marion

    It’s funny how this woman is playing into the hands of the blue chip businesses that send their companies over to poor countries to make cheap crap and pay those people pennies and we buy all that crap for 100 times the amount. These same companies have for a very long time been amassing fortunes and these same companies pay the broadcasters big money by way of advertising. So if these big companies threaten to not advertise with the broadcasters (the major networks) then the networks lose money, so they are compelled to lean towards whatever the big business dictates. That is where they begin to bash Trump who knows very well how they have been benefiting and the general public is the one who gets screwed. SO they are afraid and they support organizations that will set up paid organized protests and then the media reports on this and plants a thought in peoples minds of how bad Trump is so the public watches it and thinks, yeah he is a this or that and he is stomping on my rights, and I agree with them. When in fact he was doing nothing different than what Clinton did and Obama did with illegal aliens, but no one cared because the media did not have to negatively report it due to the fact that big business was still exploiting cheap labor and raking in huge profits, so no need to threaten networks. Why do you think George Soros is putting up such a big fight? His financial interests are at stake. So is everyone else who makes a million dollars or more a year. So you can think what you want but if you don’t want to be duped than you better follow the money and find out who really is behind all of this. This poor pathetic woman is ruining her life to keep big business in financial control and in the end she will be forgotten and have to pick up the pieces of her little life and whats left of it.

  • Marion

    If I were the school district I would counter-sue her back.

  • Anthony Loman
  • Richard Winchester

    She is a terrorist and a criminal. GITMO for her NOW!

  • cbzgn

    Oh the irony.

  • Jazz
  • Jazz

    Isn’t it a little hypocritical of her to sue someone based on the 1st amendment while she does around attacking people for expressing theirs?

  • Damien LeGallienne

    Yvette Felarca is insane and should be intensely evaluated psychologically before she is allowed anywhere near children. She is a danger to the children in her classroom — she is one step away from being triggered violent. In any other sane place in the USA she would be dragged into a nuthouse and kept there indefinitely or she would not be allowed near children. All you have to do is look at her and listen to her to know that BAMN means she would kill someone to make a point — “by any means” means “By ANY means” — approach this monster with caution.

  • dan kopfz

    She claims to be a liberal, but she’s not. Liberalism supports freedom of speech and democracy. Regressive left demand these things for themselves, but deny them for others.

    Being supported by and supporting the capitalist elites, means they aren’t marxist extremists either. Regressive left is a reactive ideology only. She’s anti-right, or anti-trump, or pro-immigration because it’s against anti-immigration. All her groups views change as need be to oppose Trump supporters.

    Rather than a political movement that has ideas for social change, you’ll find this woman’s group is more like the KKK, in that its actions are limited to attacking whatever they’re hating on. The regressive left is a hate group, and that makes them as dangerous as neo-nazis, or radical islamists.

    Actions speak louder than words. Her actions are those of an extremist. It’s only a matter of time before crazies like Yvette Felarca start justifying murder.

  • BorisBadinov

    What a classic example of projection! This twit claims to be fighting Fascism using Fascist tactics. I’d like to see a video of her getting knocked out cold after physically assaulting someone.

    If she represents the majority of Mexifornians, then by all means, PLEASE SUCCEED from the USA!

  • soko

    This woman is unhinged and violent. She should never be allowed to teach children anything.

  • BorisBadinov

    I’d never heard of this twit until I saw her on Tucker Carlson Tonight earlier. I knew Mexifornia was chock full of loonies, but daaaaaaamn!!! In the video of her physically assaulting a man, the police just stood by watching until he was thrown to the ground and kicked by several of her fellow Fascists. They should have been arrested and charged with felony aggravated assault. No question she should be fired.

    I wouldn’t let my kids anywhere near her.

  • Al Capone

    She must have been beaten as a kid.

  • Two Highways

    she is mentally ill and a danger to society!

  • sonicmoon

    She’s a lunatic hypocrite. She’s actually inciting, encouraging, supporting, advocating violence and silencing free speech that doesn’t do so, while she demands free speech herself. People like this have always suffered their own demise throughout history by their own choices and the following consequences. Sad, unnecessary, hyper-emotionally driven without critical thinking, and truly harmful.

  • MoBetta Jenkum

    If she would have skipped the college and joined the Navy, the only complaint from her would be “I sock sooo much plaque-man tick in the naby… hap to buy bling-bling rim for Honda…”

  • MoBetta Jenkum

    We are close to turning off our nation’s tax-payer earnings to Berkeley… The university has not provided any decent products for our nation since our people first paid to establish it… and Yvette (like a hypocrite) has never experienced Asian-American life being denied college for someone who would never graduate anyway~ yet was needed for “skin-color-diversity” under California actual “Affirmative Action Laws” before her time…

    …She has never experienced being denied a college-application like Korean-Americans under ACTUAL AFFIRMATIVE ACTION.. She does not understand all the 40 year old Korean-American women retiring behind their parents’ corner-store-register THE SECOND time they rebuilt it without insurance… after black-lives burned it down to defend a transvestite-prostitute customer (and underage white girl prostitute user) due to the response of a Japanese-American judge and some LAPD cops (including a black one) beating him on the first-ever VHS camcorder for resisting arrest… Since then people like you have “legalized” BoyScouts for LeGoBoT-men… You weirdos… Why did her scholarship not go through?… She did everything right and studied all night!!!… A full generation of smart and intelligent Asian Americans were left to retire behind registers thanks to California’s prehistoric skin-color based diversity of “Affirmative-Action”…

    …As punishment, we are planning to exile Yvette back to her ancestors’ islands where they actually NEED her to UTILIZE her ‘talent’ (and university-degree in things like rocket-science LOL)… right back where the globally-recognized nation of the Philippines have been fighting against Mus1im-conquestors for thousands of years:

  • MoBetta Jenkum

    Free speech is a right until the entire loyal population deems you as a traitor… then we look to exile or execute like your own motherland FREQUENTLY does…

  • Mark Palmer

    Walking up to, shoving and sucker-punching people, and telling them to “get the eff of the street” is NOT the kind of person I want in a school teaching children. If that is her interpretation of American free speech, she has a LOT to learn. She instigates fights, throws the first punches, and then asks everyone for sympathy.

  • richardpe

    She’s the leader of a violent, mind controlling cult. She should be locked up.

    • TAJF

      You’re too kind.

  • Mike McCurley

    Forget about the skinhead clash. After discovering this little ladies involvement in violently stealing other peoples right to peacefully assemble and hear Milo speak at Berkeley, and elsewhere, I have concluded that her severed head on a pike would make a great ornament in the Berkeley admin offices…

  • Tripin S

    Democrats are such jokes now, I’m so ashamed I use to call myself a democrat I though we were the party of acceptance and morality…..but then I see so many people I use to know either participate in these riots and violence or condone it….The radical left has hijacked the Democrat party, and I just want nothing to do with it.

    I have officially left the Democrat party as of 3-2-17.

    • relentlesscactus

      I left in 1982

    • TAJF

      I left in 1978, after having voted for Governor Brown 4 years prior.

      • YoJoLo

        I left in 2008-2009

    • Two If By Sea✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈAᴹᵉʳᶦ©ᵃᶰ

      I left January 2013 when I realized Øbama’s true agenda.

    • Forrest

      They are the goofiest bunch I have ever seen…

  • Jay Beswick

    Sacramento County Sheriff, the California Highway Patrol whose jurisdiction ended at the sidewalk of the capitol was blinded sided by BAMN and within 24 hours knew all that could be know about this teacher. Homeland Security took over as the days past. Yvette has a long history and she is as violent as the froups she counters. One had permits to march, she did not. Her invitation which law enforcement has promised violence. She had no permits and her members were told to cover their faces and avoid reporters. She of course did interviews.

    • TAJF

      She should be prosecuted and convicted for civil rights violations.

  • Jay Beswick

    I am fully aware of Yvette’s actions and the organizing of a riot that projected violence in advance. BAMN organized donations for protesters in advance knowing there would be members arrested and or injured. All of her Facebook members & BAMN organizers list from Pastebin were turned over to DOJ. Considering she ran for Secretary of Education, she is on the radar of law enforcement. There is a file on BAMN & AntiFA with “Yvette Felarca” cross connections. If the district can wait 2 months, feds will be looking at her more closely soon.

  • ShlomoShunn

    > “After a video of Felarca at the protest surfaced”

    You mean the one where she incited a riot, assaulted peaceful protesters, and endorsed violence? The one where she was PROUD to deny others THEIR right to free speech:

    The sympathy-milking bandage on her head stems from when a cop shoved her to the ground after she attacked peaceful protesters.

  • PoolGoy

    she HAS to go back. She should be charged for her violence.

  • Ghetto Tarzan

    She is on camera planning violence and committing violence. She’s on camera planning to deny the civil rights of legally permitted marchers.

  • Nunya Beeswax

    Yvette Felarca has nothing to do with the BPOA, which is in fact a coalition of Berkeley landlords working to repeal rent control. She is, of course, a member of the liberal activist group By Any Means Necessary (BAMN).

    • Pietro Gambadilegno

      I was going to make the same comment. Somehow, “Berkeley Property Owners Association” does not sound like the name of “a coalition which works to defend affirmative action, racial integration and immigrant rights.”

    • Ghetto Tarzan

      Which the FBI want’s to classify as a terrorist group

      • Yankee Lampshade

        As they should. Its run like a brainwashing cult.

      • Jay Beswick

        In 60 days BAMN will be on that list.

    • Jay Beswick

      Regional Director under Donna Stern. She has authored to many documents and wants to influence juveniles.

  • Lol, Yvette and her friends filed essentially the same lawsuit against the UC Regents and ASUC this March because the ASUC political party she leads filed a form late and wasn’t able to register for the student government election (http://www.dailycal.org/2016/03/31/defend-affirmative-action-party-candidates-file-lawsuit-against-asuc-uc-board-of-regents/ ). And yes, when this women is not spending her free time fighting nazis in Sacramento, she’s organizing a college student government political party.

    Also see the video here of her punching an otherwise peaceful demonstrator and then her fellow BAMN members kicking his face on the ground: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuWoQfZgW7M. Why do Daily Cal and Berkeleyside always fail to post a link? It’s so damning. It’s not just nebulous “inappropriate conduct”.

    • GregoryR

      There was and is nothing peaceful about Trad Worker or Golden State Skinheads. The former is run by a man with a track record of violence and the latter is filled with violent thugs who deal in drugs and street violence.
      That people stood up to them should be no surprise as both groups advocate for forced segregation and population dispersement both of which have violent historical roots.
      Fascism must be soundly defeated using all means available because if it gets a greater foothold in this nation you can kiss your notions of freedom out the door as it has no respect or desire to see them exist.

      • lspanker

        Fascism must be soundly defeated using all means available

        Felarca’s as much of a fascist as the white power groups when she advocates and incites violence to pursue her ends.

        • GregoryR

          No she isn’t and you obviously wouldn’t know a fascist even if he kicked your head in and dragged you off to a forced labour camp.
          As I said if groups like trad worker and GSS have their way you can kiss your liberal notions of freedom goodbye because they’ll be gone in heart beat.

          • lspanker

            I’m quite aware of what fascists are – the type of people who think those with different political opinions are fair game for physical assault, of which Felarca fits to a T, and I suspect you do as well.

          • Ghetto Tarzan

            He’s a marxist. Marxists killed 20xs more people than fascists ever did.

          • PoolGoy

            Fascists believe in justice, and not the kind that requires you to bend over and shove a dildo up your butt.

          • lspanker

            If there was profound meaning behind your post, I certainly missed it…

          • GregoryR

            Clearly. You don’t know what a fascist is otherwise you’d not be comparing her to Trad Worker and GSS.
            Both of the latter espouse “social nationalism” which is just newspeak for national socialism a fascist type of ideology.

          • Henry

            Guess what Greg, the need to label and/or compare Felarca to any group is irrelevant. The fact that she uses force and assault on anyone is exactly what does not belong in this country.

            Anyone who would hurt someone else is a cancer to this Nation.

          • GregoryR

            So does that apply to Trad Worker and Golden State Skins as well? Both groups have a track record of violent behaviour.
            I ask because in the build up to Sacramento both Trad Worker and GSS were pushing this “rally” as a war or confrontation on social media and on various white supremacist blogs and in public speeches.
            Further I ask because Trad Wirker’s founder Matthew Heimbach, who held a rally elsewhere that was attended by Dylan Roof days before his rampage, has a track record of assaults (two of which were caught on camera) and currently has a warrant for his arrest in Kentucky for assault or battery. He regularly used rhetoric involving violence in speeches and has allied his phoney political party with very violent groups such as the hammerskin nation.
            And GSS members all have violent criminal records including assault, rape and kidnapping. One of its members was arrested shortly after this for something along those lines albeit unrelated to the incident.
            This wasn’t a case of a peaceful rally. They were picking a fight and got one which might explain why the police let it run its course.
            And Heimbach and the GSS don’t support free speech either.
            So if Farcala is a cancer in your opinion doesn’t it follow that these white supremacists are as well?

          • Daniel Benedict

            Bravo!!! Henry

          • dvrmte

            She’s a domestic terrorist, quit being sympathetic towards terrorists.

          • Ghetto Tarzan

            And if Marxist like you get a foothold it will be gulags, starvation, death squads and oppression.

          • Desdecardo

            The definition of fascist as copied from Merriam-Webster: “1
            often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition”

            Let’s see.. her definition of fascism is close. Just not the definition of fascism by letter or practice.

            What she does espouse is that a movement which is led by a dictatorial leader who preaches severe economic and social regimentation through violence and the forcible suppression of opposition.

            She matches the definition of fascist more than the people she tries to violently silence.

          • dvrmte

            When did I become a fascist? Please define how you know I’m a fascist?

          • dvrmte

            You are the definition of a violent fascist in my opinion, does that mean I get to shut you down violently?

        • Jay Beswick

          Absolutely correct. The documents leading to the 6-26-16 protest showed a planned act of violence, with funds raised to handle expected legal fees. The list of donors is in the hands of Homeland Security. I turned these over to them on 6-27-16. Under Obama certain LE agencies were under a stand down order. This will be addressed in 60 days.

      • Ghetto Tarzan

        It wasn’t the people. It was a gang of marxist thugs. The marxists attacked them. Marxists who have collectively killed over 100 million people. Whether you like the marchers or not they were legally permitted to be there.

      • h2s

        TITLE 18, U.S.C., SECTION 241

        If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same;…

        They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

        She is a civil rights/1st amendment violator and the Berkeley leadership seem to be co-conspirators

        • GregoryR

          I’ve seen some pretty stupid comments on the interwebs but this is one of the best.
          Good luck proving your conspiracy theory.
          Let me know if lizard people or the Annunaki are involved. Better yet you might want to tell that bloated gas bag Alex Jones about this one.

          • Marin89

            Gregory, I think you meant to say that you’ve written some pretty stupid comments. Then your post makes more sense and helps explain your attachment to the Annunaki and the lizard people. Best of luck with your deprogramming!

          • Henry

            Marin he’s so far up the lefts butt that you cant reason with him. Nothing anyone can say, no video showing any kind of assault by his side will dissuade him. He’s indoctrinated and as much of a zombie to the Left as there ever was.

          • Desdecardo

            There is video evidence against your statement. Along with incriminating words from the horse’s mouth.

            And stating that you believe in the annunaki and the lizard people doesn’t help with community support.

          • dvrmte

            Eric Clanton a professor at Diablo Canyon College, was on video striking a Trump supporter over the head with a steel bike lock at Berkeley. In my book that is attempted murder. When are you going to supporting terrorists? Maybe you need to be investigated.

      • BorisBadinov

        It’s people like you and this Felarca twit who are the Fascists. Your BS doesn’t fly in my neck of the woods, snowflake. You have a right to your opinion and to express it peacefully in public, as do all Americans. But if you start assaulting people who you disagree with, then don’t cry when you get your @zz kicked. Most Americans are fed up with this PC BS, and aren’t going to take it anymore.

        Three months without a single up-vote proves my point.

        • GregoryR

          I really couldn’t care if I get up votes.
          Anyway, you clearly don’t understand what fascism is but that’s not surprising. You’re basically being an apologist for fascism while using the old, and tired, line of accusing others of it.
          As to snowflakes I’d saw your Trumpenfuhrer certainly fits the bill given the tantrums he throws every time snl has a go at him. He’s like a man child throwing a fit after someone takes away his pacifier. It’d be amusing if he weren’t president.
          And I’m not pc. I just don’t abide fascist. My grandfather shot them during WWII he didn’t suck up to them like you and the rest of the Golden State Skin and Trad Worker sycophants on this board.
          Oh and it’s funny you mention violence seeing as the afore mentioned groups were threatening the school and its students in an vain attempt to get this woman fired.
          But that’s peaceful self expression, right?

      • dvrmte

        So what about Trump supporters? Do they deserve to have their rights abused by Felarca? You’re tilting at windmills(imaginary fascists), when did Trump supporters(patriotic Americans) become fascists? Actually, Felarca needs to be shut down by any means necessary. She’s evil and defines a domestic terrorist.

    • Bobbie Harvey

      She has no right treach in children !! Especially when she acts like a facsist and teaches she’s not. She even told Hannity that she would correct a child for this type of fascism in her class!!