A somewhat bizarre petition has been created to bring former Loma Vista Principal Lauri James back to the school after she was transferred to a district office position last week. The online petition is looking for a 1,000 signatures and currently at 22-signatures at the time of publication of this article.
I not support this petition nor do I encourage anyone to sign it as it sends a poor message to schools who fail to report potential child abuse incidents in a timely manner.
If you recall, Brentwood Union School District Interim Superintendent Doug Adams placed James on administrative leave after a May 16 incident where she failed to report an incident in a timely manner and was investigating whether or not she followed proper protocols. The teacher was cleared of the charges, but James did fail to report the incident in a timely manner.
The failure to report came months after the District was sued and proper training occurred after the law suit. In the incident last year, she took very little responsibility during her deposition which also resulted in the firing of then Superintendent Merrill Grant. Here is a timeline we created back in January regarding the incident.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that if Ms. James was transferred from the principal position at Loma Vista to a district position… something was discovered during the investigation that they have not released in order to call for the transfer. They are calling it a “personnel matter”. Sure, this is speculator, but if they found nothing wrong, there would be no need for the district issued transfer which likely saved her job.
The reality of the situation is this was a terrible decision by the Board to continue to employee Ms. James in any capacity after the nearly $1 million settlement where she was in charge of the school where the incident occurred. Now there is a second incident where they still continue to employee her is a slap in the face of all Brentwood residents.
My question to petition creator Courtney Silva is why the petition only for Lauri James and why not do the same for Dina Holder and Merrill Grant?
The fact that parents would support a petition such as this after two incidents is disturbing and in my eyes Brentwood deserves better at Loma Vista Elementary School and within its school board.
This petition shows poor taste while demonstrating a naive behavior towards the seriousness of the incidents that transpired.
By Michael Burkholder