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When children are trapped in failing California schools, parents are empowered to execute the “parent trigger” option. Parent trigger has been in effect in California since 2010 and allows parents to turn an existing failing school into a charter school, replace employees, or close the school entirely. In Adelanto, California, parents chose to go this route and turn a local elementary into a charter school, and it turned into quite the debacle. Once the parent trigger was invoked, the school district defied the law. Now, finally, a charter school has been chosen to help these kids get on the path to a better education. I thought that the twists and turns of this crazy story were in the past, but alas, I was wrong.
In June of 2013, days before the Desert Trails Elementary School (now Desert Trails Preparatory Academy) was set to be turned over to a charter, the school was vandalized. Mustard, ketchup, and paint were thrown about a classroom, leaving behind $8,000 in damages to the windows, walls, and rugs. In December, the culprits were charged. Who were the culprits? Why, a couple of moms with children at the school, of course. Chrissy Guzman (35) and Lori Marie Yuan (40) were both vocal opponents of the parent trigger being used, fighting to stay with to the (failing) status quo.
Guzman and Yuan were arraigned in January and plead not guilty. They’re due back in court on March 10th. Things are especially complicated for Yuan, who currently chairs the Planning Commission in Adelanto. If found guilty, she will lose her city post. According to the Victorville Daily Press “Adelanto Mayor Pro Tem Steve Baisden, who appointed Yuan to the city post, said Wednesday he is requesting that an item be placed on the City Council’s Feb. 26 agenda to discuss removing Yuan from the commission. Baisden said his final decision hinges on the outcome of the vandalism case.”
I’m all for people being passionate about the education of their children, but this is just bizarre. After all, education doesn’t just happen in the school. What are these women teaching their children about real life?