Former Santa Clara County Superior Court judge Aaron Persky, who was recalled by voters last year in a historic vote spurred by his light sentencing and comments in the trial of convicted rapist Brock Turner, took a new job recently coaching the junior varsity girls' tennis team at Lynbrook High School in San Jose. Suffice it to say that some parents at the school are less than pleased.
As the Huffington Post reports, Persky took the job under his full name, Michael Aaron Persky, perhaps hoping to slip under the radar by not using just the middle name he used as a judge.
A spokesperson for the Fremont Union High School District says that Persky "successfully completed" all of the hiring requirements after applying for the job over the summer, adding that he "was a highly qualified applicant for the position."
Persky apparently holds a high rating from the United States Tennis Association, and has taught at some tennis clinics, but none of this sits well with some parents who voiced concerns at a Monday meeting with the JV and varsity squads.
Cue a Change.org petition titled "Stand with Survivors: Remove New Lynbrook Coach Persky." The petition is closing in on its goal of 2,500 signatures, and it reads, "All athletic coaches have to be mandated reporters for harassment and abuse, and Persky’s language during the trial and decision to focus on supporting the rapist more than the survivor Chanel Miller has made it clear he does not respect the bodily autonomy of women and therefore cannot be an appropriate choice for our tennis coach. That is not the type of person our 14-16-year-old girls on the JV Sports team should have for a coach or mentor."
It goes on to say, "Survivors deserve better. Our community deserves better. We can, should, and ought to do better. Fire Persky from Lynbrook High, now."
Persky was the first California judge recalled in over a century, following a case that made national headlines in part for the outspokenness of the assault survivor, originally known as Emily Doe. She has recently spoken publicly under her real name, Chanel Miller, and published a memoir about her experience.