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Frogue, District Officials Meet Religious Leaders

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

South Orange County Community College District officials and spiritual leaders gathered Thursday for a breakfast called by embattled Trustee Steven Frogue as a way to heal the board’s divisiveness of the past few years.

Frogue, who was the subject of a failed recall attempt in the fall, suggested the breakfast idea at the district’s February board meeting and envisioned it as one in a series of such gatherings throughout the year, said Pam Zanelli, a district spokeswoman.

Among the speakers were Gary Barmore, former president of the Orange County Interfaith Council, and Yasir Fazaga of the Orange County Muslim Assn. About 35 people attended the breakfast.

“I think everyone left feeling very positive,” Zanelli said. “When you have had dissension for a long time and factions on either side . . . you have to rebuild the team spirit and the common cause we all share.”

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Frogue was the center of controversy in 1997 when he supported a seminar on the President Kennedy assassination featuring speakers who were characterized as anti-Semitic. Frogue, a teacher at Foothill High School in Tustin, also was accused of minimizing the Holocaust.

Outraged students, faculty and Jewish groups launched the recall, which died in November when a signature drive fell short by about 5,600 votes. Frogue denied all allegations and said the recall was orchestrated by a small group of professors unhappy with staffing changes made by the board.


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