SLO County music teacher attacks picketers, video

March 10, 2019

Bonnie Tevelde grabbing at a protestor’s sign

The owner of a music school with locations in both San Luis Obispo and Arroyo Grande is claiming two protestors assaulted her, but video shows she was the assailant. [Cal Coast Times]

Bonnie Tevelde, 58, has owned and operated the Tevelde Conservatory of Music for approximately 20 years. Last year, several employees began accusing her of violating California employee compensation laws.

Bonnie Tevelde

After calling both the SLO and Arroyo Grande police departments to inform them of their intention to picket on Feb. 27, former conservatory employee Kenneth Davis and his supporter Brian Der Garabedian held signs and marched in front of the Tevelde Conservatory of Music on Higuera Street in San Luis Obispo. The pair wore masks of Guy Fawkes, a controversial figure from the 1600s.

Later in the day, Davis and Der Garabedian moved their protest to Arroyo Grande. Within 14 seconds of the picketers’ arrival, Tevelde came out of the building and began grabbing, swatting and kicking at the protesters.

In a video captured by a GoPro camera attached to one of the protestor’s jackets, Tevelde accuses the protesters of scaring students at the music school. While Davis and Der Garabedian walk backwards and ask Tevelde to stay away from them, she charges forward swinging at the men and their signs.

During the altercation, a child is seen standing near a car while Tevelde is calling the protestors “fucking wimps” and “small dicks.”

She then stops chasing the protestors and begins filming a short video with her phone.

“These big guys are attacking one little lady,” Tevelde says into her phone. “I will send that to your father, you little dick.”

Tevelde then sent the video to Davis’ parents.

As the police cruiser drives up, Tevelde begins yelling that the protestors are trespassing on her property. One officer talks with Tevelde while the other orders the protestors to sit on the curb.

Even though the officer originally thought a stick from a protestor’s sign was a machete, he was respectful to both of the protestors, the video shows.

During the interview with Davis and Der Garabedian, the officer told them Tevelde was claiming they were the assailants, and that they had struck her with one of their signs.

The officers later made a copy of the video while Davis and Der Garabedian filled out citizen arrest forms.

Following the incident, Tevelde told reporters Davis and Der Garabedian had placed a boom box on her windowsill making it impossible to teach lessons, that the protestors were wearing a devil mask and a ghoul mask, and that they scared the students.

Kenneth Davis and Brian Der Garabedian after Bonnie Tevelde broke one of the signs

In support of her claim that the protestors were the aggressors, she said the officers put handcuffs on both Davis and Der Garabedian before having them sit on the curb.

“All I care about is my students,” Tevelde said. “I can tell you why they left. They ran because they knew what they were doing was wrong. It is terrorism what they are doing to me.”

However, the video of the incident contradicts Tevelde’s recollection of the altercation.

The men held a small radio and there was no boom box set on Tevelde’s windowsill. In addition, the men were not wearing ghoul and devil masks and officers never arrested or handcuffed either Davis or Der Garabedian.

Davis and Der Garabedian provided reporters with a full copy of the GoPro video, but asked reporters to leave out the portion with officers at the scene.

On Feb. 1, Davis filed a claim in small claims court against Tevelde and the Tevelde Conservatory of Music for $10,000 in unpaid wages and unpaid overtime.

On March 1, Der Garabedian filed and was granted a temporary restraining order against Tevelde. Davis also filed for a restraining order against Tevelde, with the court scheduled to rule on the request on March 18.

On March 6, Tevelde filed a civil suit against Davis and Der Garabedian for battery, trespass, intentional infliction of emotional damage, and defamation. A case management conference is scheduled for July 10.


This one is worth coming out of retirement for. The Lame One is back.

Several factors move the goalpost on this one, in favor of the business owner/teacher taking appropriate defensive action pushing back aggressive and hostile behavior. Parading signs in reasonable protest is DIFFERENT from shaking signs hostilely up against the windows. The presence of CHILDREN clients who would be legitimately frightened of odd masks and violent shaking of signs gives the business owner license, with me, to push the offenders back, by immediate moderate NO-WEAPON physical means which is all she did. Arguably she acted in self defense or the defense of others.

The only time she went too far was the length of time and extended walking travel that she repulsed them from the proximity of music student CHILDREN entrusted to her care.

She repulsed an attack. Put me on the jury of her criminal trial, should there be one. I’ll vote not guilty all across the board of any charges. Put me on the jury of her CIVIL trial for defaming/libeling her AND using children as pawns to harm her financially, and I’ll award her the net worth of the thugs with masks, and some of the worth of the parents they probably live with. The masked, frightening thugs went way overboard for their civil dispute with the wording and masks and proximity which invoked the client students being “lied to”.


Great role models for our kids!


If there is indeed a dispute, the young men acted correctly by filing a claim in court against the school. That’s where it should have stayed, instead of the costumes, the distraction, the confrontation depicted here. There’s likely enough guilt on both sides.


As our children are taught in school, the person who gets physical first is in the wrong. The bigger issue is this woman attempting to play the victim and lying. Not a teacher I want my children around.


Davis and Der Garabedian, make sure you post that video to YouTube. Put her name and business and any other relative information into the title, description and tags (Just use one of her names, not to be susceptible to removal by YouTube.) Something like, Title: “Music School Teacher, Tevelde from Tevelde Conservatory of Music, Attacks Protesters.” Description: A music school teacher, tevelde from tevelde Conservatory of Music in San Luis Obispo and Arroyo Grande, attacks protesters. Tags: Tevelde Conservatory of Music, Tevelde, Arroyo Grande, San Luis Obispo, etc. Good luck.


Its okay to protest….we have that right…but there is a fine line between protesting and harassing…blasting music while someone is trying to operate her business is harassment and assault in my opinion…and when you hide your face…you must know deep down that you are doing wrong….


Watch the video, she violently attacked them. She could have looked like a vicim if she wasn’t attacking and spouting obscenities. By her behavior, she is obviously guilty of assault and battery, if nothing else. Bonnie Tevelde is not a victim or an innocent woman.


I did watch it….and I saw her try and yank their signs from them which is much less than I’d have done if someone was blasting music in front of my place of business…..there is a right way for protest and there is the way those two masked initiators did it….You can protest to bring attention to a cause but you can not protest in an attempt to anger your target….that is not protesting its harassing…you can do it but don’t be surprised if a poke in the face is what you get for your troubles….


there are three sides to every story.. maybe cal coast should interview some of the parents from this school about what’s been happening there over the last few weeks… also should be ‘purported’ video of her .. was it raw? was it edited? hmmm….

Ted R

BS hotwindgirl. Bonnie Tevelde committed assault and battery on two people. Video evidence is clear and admissible. The police officers have an original, unedited copy from the scene. Good luck with your misinformation campaign.


Did you miss the part when one of the protesters swung his or her sign at her?….both sides were wrong but I place the blame at the folks that are blasting loud music and hiding their faces…..solid evidence that their generation lacks maturity….


Umm, teVelde acted mature? The two protesters were within their legal right, Bonnie was not. Come on, is this Bonnie? Quit it.


You have a right to protest but you do not have the right to disrupt a place of business with loud music or blocking access to said place of business….you do not have the right to garner threatening costumes or show signs of a threat in any fashion….do not be surprised if the two masked people get the fine in this case…

Protesting is the American way…but if you do it with your finger in someones chest you are in the wrong…..

Erik T

Rambunctious, you have the legal right to use deadly force in California if you are being attacked and in fear of your life. Tevelde got off easy.


Are you serious Erik?….this was a silly civil dispute with a couple of masked clowns purposely trying to provoke someone that they have a disagreement with and it got out of control…

If I yank a sign from you and you kill me I guarantee you that you will see the gas chamber…deadly force LOL

Kevin Rice

Erik T— Wrong, wrong, wrong. You DO NOT have justification for deadly force by way of simple assault and merely claiming fear. That is WRONG WRONG WRONG. You must have REASONABLE fear (and you do not get to decide what reasonable is) of an IMMINENT THREAT of life or limb. Her assault was neither a reasonable threat or a threat that endangered life or limb.


No misiformation from me Ted R. and stick to my statement 1000%. Perhaps video was raw, perhaps not and shows a few minutes from what has been ongoing for weeks. You are arm chair guessing unless you are associated with the two protesters. Good luck with trying to smear a business owner and person online with one news story and video.Let the police get to the bottom of this issue and the court if needed determine who was in the right and wrong, not social media! That’s where the BS lies. Maybe Cal Coast News should talk to the parents of the little girl and others who these protesters terrified and get another side of this lopsided story!


Or maybe the reason these men are protesting should be reported?


Hey Bonnie (or Bonnie’s friend);

Watch the video again. Like I said, all she (you?) had to do was call the police, not chase and attack them and then lie about it.

As far as your concern for the “little girl”, Bonnie (you?) didn’t seem to have an issue with shouting vulgar profanities at them in front of a child.

Anyone considering or currently having a child enrolled in Tevelde Conservatory of Music should steer clear. I know my children will never participate and I’ve already shared this video with over 300 Facebook friends.


Never met her or even heard of her before…but I know a legitimate protest over harassment….I’m fed up with these non permitted illegal protests…like I said…go and protest….its our right…but if you do it to harm someone financially or physically its you that are in the wrong….if its your intention to anger someone you are in the wrong…follow this…I bet its the protesters that receive a fine…not the business owner….


I’m not Bonnie (not everyone that disagrees is ‘fake news’!) but am friends with parents who have kids that attend the academy that tell a different story leading up to and despite this video, fully support the academy. I’m also a business owner going on 15 years who luckily has had very good employees but have many friends who have not — social media can be a great tool but can also work people into a frenzy based on emotion when full facts are not present. Jussie Smollet for instance!


Makes no difference what happened leading up to Bonnie chasing down and assaulting the protesters. She should have stayed inside and simply called the police.

It’s hilarious that she’s doubling down by wasting money on an attorney to sue the boys. I’m guessing since this has become news, a lawyer will represent the protesters and sue her for assault. I’m hoping that they win and she has to pay all attorney fees in addition to the money she allegedly stole from her former employees.

Either way, her reputation is toast.


Unlawful protests have consequences….you are not permitted to cover your face or block doorways or disrupt the business in question with loud music while protesting…you also need to get a permit…I doubt if they bothered…

Noodly Appendages

My daughter just quit that school because of instructor cancellations about 80% of the time. Something stinks there. Other people teach music. I don’t need Bonnie near my alcoholic uncle in the Moose Lodge bar, let alone hanging with kids. There is 0% room in my world for anyone who make genitalia comments that often. Judging from your walk, I’m not sure your junk is in such good order Bonnie.

what the

Bad Bonnie is lying.


….based on one initial story report and one video without all the facts… not cool and not fair.


The video seems pretty conclusive.

Yeah, they were dicks but they did everything right from alerting law enforcement to backing away while being attacked by Bonnie. She should have called the police instead of chasing them down. Now apparently she’s being called out for not being truthful about the confrontation.

Ted R

BS, that video was absolutely clear. “These big guys are attacking one little lady.” Criminal act of giving misinformation to a police officer. She was clearly the aggressor.

JB Bronson

The Trump effect. The truth is not what you see. It’s what I say it is.

It’s called “gas lighting”.

Noodly Appendages

What does this have to do with Trump? Put a sock in it broken records!


Trump effect?…so bad behavior and dishonesty never existed before Trump?….come on now….