There is a nice article in the Contra Costa Times by Paula King who is giving some well-deserved attention to the BUSD Concerned Parents and Teachers group who are calling for major reforms and the removal of Superintendent Merrill Grant after a recent $1 million child abuse settlement.
My hats off to Christina Bell and Jana Auburt who I’ve worked with in the last week to develop information on this issue and provide a timeline of events that have transpired. These two ladies are ensuring information is made available to anyone who wishes to find out more information and are working not to let this “go away”.
In reading the article, I can’t help but be disappointed in Brentwood school board members Heather Partida and Carlos Sanabria comments. They clearly don’t get it and like Superintendent Merrill, need a dose of reality that anytime a school employee puts their hands on a child–especially kicking one, they are to be terminated. This is a case with multiple witnesses, court documents, and a $1 million settlement.
King reports the following:
Brentwood school board member Heather Partida said it may appear that the board is not resolving these issues quickly enough, but it is working to get all of the details in order to make informed decisions and ensure that this never happens again. Last week, they met with an independent counsel for the first time, Partida said, noting that she thinks about what happened every day.
“Transparency is going to be a big part of this,” Partida said. “This community has lost trust with the board and administration. I am going to do everything I can to earn it back.”
Meanwhile, a little bit later in the article, we hear from School Board President Carlos Sanabria.
School board President Carlos Sanabria said that there will be a report from the independent counsel at the Feb. 13 board meeting and that the counsel is working for the board and not for Grant.
“If we have lost sight of some things, we need to look across the district,” Sanabria said. “We have worked to keep our special ed local. We have to ramp up a lot of our efforts. There are a wide range of needs.”
Christine Bells comments sum it up pretty well, “The parents see this issue with clarity. It is a black-and-white issue.”
She is correct 100% and its amazing the Board continues to play the “protect my butt” game. This isn’t very complicated and that is the frustrating part in this fiasco.
If transparency is a big part as they both claim, then I believe the parents of the Brentwood School District deserve an explanation now through a statement of what the Board is looking to do and what options they are weighing. There is no reason to have a meeting last week and then wait until Feb. 13 to issue the report.
If the Board wants to work on building back trust, remove the politics of the situation and give us some emotion instead of lip service. The report should be released via written statement in the next 24-hours, not in another 9-days. You earn trust back with real-time information being released, not delaying.
While the Board continues to preach one thing, their actions are showing another.
The reality is this is a very black and white issue. Until the those involved in this fiasco are fired, the district will not be able to move forward as it should be trying to do. Parent’s aren’t going to let this go and the board needs to realize that.