Anaheim City School District Board Ignores Parent Protests and Petitions, Transfers Juarez Elementary Principal

Categories: School Daze

roberto_baeza.png
Principal Roberto Baeza
Last night, Anaheim City School District (ACSD) board members sided with new Superintendent Linda Wagner's decision to transfer Principal Roberto Baeza out of Benito Juarez Elementary, parent protests be damned! At the meeting, they also approved and announced a new hire for Juarez: current Mann Elementary Vice Principal Cecilia Román, with the supe touting her as a fluent Spanish speaker who has twenty years of experience working in the district--nevermind Baeza can also speakee Spanish, too!

That didn't sit well with Juarez parents.

"I am pleading, begging, imploring you and do not want to cry, but please do not take [Baeza] from our children," said Victoria Burns, one of the few parents who were able to speak during public comments prior to the announcement. "[He] is not done with Benito Juarez. We still need him."

Her words failed to sway the board. "They gave lip service to the public," Burns told the Weekly after the meeting. "They gave an opportunity to speak but it wasn't really taken to heart or considered. The decision was already made."

Last evening's board meeting marked a last-ditch effort by parents who have organized and advocated for Principal Baeza to stay since learning he would be headed to Palm Lane Elementary, but their attempt to show a strong stand of support met challenges. The room was over capacity with end-of-the-year recognitions. The kids were kept waiting until after the meeting and everyone remained shoulder-to-shoulder.

Twenty minutes of public comments regarding Juarez were allotted through speaker cards and took place near the onset. Protest signs lay stacked on a table outside, though, as space was a premium for parents. In terms of persuading the ACSD board to retain Baeza at Juarez, it was all for naught.

baeza_march.jpg
Gabriel San Román / OC Weekly
Parents marching in Anaheim last month to keep Principal Baeza at Juarez Elementary
Maria Grant was another parent planning to speak, but was unable to do so. She has a daughter in the Kindergarten dual language immersion program at Juarez. "Why would you disrupt the momentum?" she told the Weekly questioning the transfer. "It's just illogical."

The reason given by Superintendent Wagner when asked by this infernal rag last month was that Baeza was one of three transfers taking place and that it was a fairly common practice. That being said, parents advocated to retain him by holding a protest march, speaking out at numerous meetings held at Juarez by the supe and taking the issue to the board. All to no avail. Some parents blasted ACSD board member, Los Amigos President and Weekly Scariest Person Jose Moreno as being behind the transfer, solely to throw his weight around.

"He acts like he's the godfather of the Latino community but on the contrary he isn't supporting us," Juarez parent Jeanette Saldivar said, in Spanish, of the person she had once voted for. "Moreno sees no political interest in us. If he did, he would be here by our side."

"Dr. Baeza is helping the community and the people hold him in esteem and want him," she adds. "Moreno comes in like a scorpion dragging him down."

Saldivar had planned to speak, but, like Grant, was unable. After the meeting cleared out, she presented the superintendent and board members with a petition of more than 300 signatures in support of retaining their principal. The argument was that since it only took 20 parent waivers to put a dual immersion class into motion, like the one approved for Abraham Lincoln Elementary last night, what they had gathered in the course of a week should be given due consideration.

Unfortunately, like of all their efforts beforehand, it was not...

Follow Gabriel San Román on Twitter @dpalabraz

Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

My Voice Nation Help
20 comments
Paloma88
Paloma88

The school year will close tomorrow for many of our schools and this district is in shambles. This Board and this superintendent are a disgrace and should be thrown out. What happened to a commitment to children?

JNavas
JNavas

We are not done yet!  We know what our kids have and need. To have reckless strangers make decisions based solely on a timeline is ridiculous.  The three school board members actually in attendance the other night rushed through the voting before they lost a quorum.... again showing a lack of concern and respect for students and parents.  School board members and the superintendent profess to wanting two-way dialog, encouraging parent involvement and having a voice in your child's education, but we have learned they don't stand behind their words.  It is clear for all to see....The school board and superintendent have embarrassed the district and insulted the community.  They do not value or respect parents and students!

saldivarboys3
saldivarboys3

Dr. Baeza is a chingon, someone that has helped many students and parents. Juarez will not be the same. There is many sad faces within the Juarez community, but everything he did our children we will always value. We will work hard in helping our children succeed.

Paloma88
Paloma88

And this superintendent Wagner needs to be considered for the next scariest list. Perhaps this whole board should be considered. Or will you have a most stupid list?

Paloma88
Paloma88

That's the sad thing. Those of us who know both individuals know that she is effective if you want good. If you want great or inspiring, Baeza is who you look to. And if Spanish is a consideration, she doesn't even come close to him. Wherever the Dr. goes, he is sure to be a hit. Mrs. Roman on the other hand hopefully has been promised lots of help.

autophysn
autophysn

Cecilia Román  has some HUGE shoes to fill. These parents will not keep quiet if she is anything but Amazing! 


Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young topcommenter

Victoria Burns, Maria Grant? Ja, ja, the 'gabachos' are taking all your women!

autophysn
autophysn

@Mitchell_Young Please explain? 
It seems to me you are poking fun at these people. 
Why? 
They are only exercising their right to free speech. The voters of the community have a right to to be heard, especially as parents, voters, tax payers, home owners of the community. They are role models for their children, as well as the kids in the school. This is exactly what the kids are learning about with Mr. Luther King,  Civil Rights, Women Rights, etc. They have the right to protest, just as you do to make fun of them.
Pretty classy to call out two specific women, just because they are in the article....smh
Or am I reading this wrong?

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young topcommenter

I am poking fun at the editor of this publication, not the women invovled in this proest.

 However, it is interesting, from a sociological standpoint, that 2 of the 3 women quoted in the article have 'apellidos' anglo-sajones  I fully applaud their local activism. The thing is, if some Anaheim Hills residents were active showing why that area shouldn't be part of Anaheim proper, I doubt Gabriel San Roman would author approving articles abou them -- even though essentially they would be engaged in the same struggle for local self-determination.

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young topcommenter

Seeing as how Anaheim Hills is already in a separate school district, it makes sense to have a separate city.

BTW Here are Imperial  vs. Juarez's Elementary's scores on STAR tests (percent profient or advanced)

English --  76.7  v  55.8

Math -- 74.5  v 64.8

Science -- 83.1 v 50.1

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young topcommenter

Since Anaheim city school district doesn't cover Anaheim Hills, the no doubt much lower (compared to, say, Imperial) scores at this school won't affect the Hills. It's time to make the political units likewise separate.  

Now Trending

Anaheim Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Fashion

General

Loading...