LOS ALTOS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--More than 20 parents from Bullis Charter School (BCS) representing each grade level (K-8) staged a peaceful protest outside the District offices Thursday morning to express their outrage and frustration over the Los Altos School District’s (LASD) decision to lock teachers out of their classrooms just days away from the start of the school year.
On August 2, LASD changed all the locks at the facilities LASD agreed to provide BCS, thereby preventing teachers from getting their classrooms ready for the first day of school on August 20.
“Locking our teachers out is absolutely outrageous,” said Tanya Raschke. “We cannot stand by and watch LASD bully our teachers and students in order to push their own political agenda. The facilities belong to the taxpayers, not the district. They have no right to change the locks and refuse to give our teachers the keys.”
Among the facilities LASD has locked, is the new FabLab@BCS – a digital fabrication laboratory that has drawn national media attention due to the unique nature of having such a facility at a pubic elementary school. [Link to article]
“LASD is deliberately preventing teachers from getting their classrooms ready for the upcoming school year,” said a second parent. “BCS’s administration and teachers have been making the best of a split campus and now LASD is trying to restrict which grades can attend, what is taught and how that school should be run. All things outside their authority.”
“How do I tell my first grader that he can’t use the FabLab@BCS, because the district is locking him out,” said another parent. “The students and teachers are the ones suffering, and LASD is 100 percent culpable for preventing teachers in carrying out their mission.”
LASD claims that the District cannot provide access to the new classrooms until BCS signs a Facility Use Agreement (FUA), despite the fact that since the 2006 school year LASD has not required an executed FUA prior to the start of the school year. Typically the FUA is finalized during the school year though in the past several school years, no FUA has been executed. Proposition 39 does not require that a FUA be part of the facilities process.
This year’s proposed FUA prohibits 4th and 5th graders from using any outdoor space such as blacktop, track, field, tennis courts, or gymnasium or multi-purpose room for PE, claiming that such restrictions are for their safety. Furthermore, the FUA prohibits younger grades, such as first graders, from being on the Blach campus at all.
"For months our parents have been making public pleas to the board of trustees to dialogue with our board about facilities,” said a fourth parent. “We've practically begged District officials to sit down and talk it out. They refuse to talk to our board. They no-showed for a scheduled presentation at our school's board meeting this week. This is childish and abusive behavior."