Vallejo School Board Conditions Fail Vallejo


By Paula McConnell

“I don’t have children in Vallejo schools, so I have not paid attention to any of this,” someone told me recently. Whether you have children in Vallejo schools or not, please know this: good families are leaving Vallejo every single day because of our low scoring and dangerous schools. Some families even refuse to move here because of our schools. Businesses will often not relocate to Vallejo because of our schools, and we are in severe trouble as a city because of these losses and abject conditions.Vallejo school board members brag about a 64% graduation rate, (up from 50%) while the city of Benicia boasts a 97% graduation rate. The district has sent out long, expensive full color glossy reports at taxpayers’ expense in celebratory propaganda. Are the currently high school dropout rates, and low graduation numbers something to brag about?

You can’t make this stuff up. Several Vallejo teachers were medically treated last year due to violence inflicted upon them by STUDENTS. A student reported that one teacher was so badly beaten that she never returned to teach.Teacher morale is very low in the Vallejo school district. Not only because they are the lowest paid teachers in the county, but because they fear for their very safety within the classroom. Teachers are constantly called vile names by recalcitrant students. They are often pushed, shoved, and watch helplessly as chairs and hard balls are thrown over their heads inside their classrooms. All school administrators can do is implement the school board policy concept called “Restorative Justice” wherein the perpetrators are asked to discuss their behavior and ‘apologize’ to their victims. Excuse me? This behavior should be unequivocally forbidden and never condoned. Many years ago a student conducting such violent behavior in a classroom would be thrown out, expelled, sent to a continuation school, or prison. But the Vallejo School Board and current Superintendent maintain that the violent students just need to talk about their actions, discuss the reason for their negative, angry behavior, and apologize to their victims. Really?

There have been three Solano County Grand Jury reports about the poor conditions of the Vallejo schools. That is totally unprecedented. And the recently “leaked” WASC report clearly threatens the very accreditation of the Vallejo schools. That issue, in and of itself, should be extremely concerning to each of us. There is an extremely high drop-out rate and truancy problem. Children are not held accountable for their actions; so what happens when they do finally drop? They end up on the street in a pipeline to prison.What do they do? They rob, mug, steal, burglarize, shoot each other and assault people. At the very least they hang out on street corners and chill all day.

But it gets even worse. At a recent school board meeting, teacher after teacher (some in tears) beseeched the school board for increased classroom safety and increased pay. A few of the board members and the Superintendent looked totally bored while listening to their heartfelt pleas; one even had a smirk. No one should be treated with such dismissive disdain. These same school board members have also openly attacked the three Solano County Grand Jury reports outlining safety issues within the Vallejo school district. Indeed, at one meeting, it was suggested that the Solano County Grand Jury members are all racists. That is preposterous! The lack of respect exhibited by the school board for these laboriously researched reports is appalling!

At that same school board meeting, just when we thought we had heard it all, another shoe dropped. A mother went to the meeting’s microphone to relate her tragic story. She explained that her son had his ear almost severed by another student in the halls of Vallejo High School. He had been attacked from behind. In that case, thankfully, the student/attacker was sent to jail for assault and battery. After serving his prison sentence, the former student/prisoner has been recently returned to the halls of Vallejo High School ‘to complete his studies’. When the victim’s mother requested that the perpetrator be removed and transferred to another school, she was all but ignored.

The end result of the matter is that the school’s Superintendent insisted that the victimized student should be removed from his class at Vallejo High School. The Superintendent wants to transfer the victim to Bethel High. Seriously? Why is it that the Vallejo school Superintendent’s policy chooses to punish and compromise the victim, and protect the perpetrator? Why should this mother’s son (who is on track to graduate in the spring) be moved away from his established teachers and friends at Vallejo High? And why is the criminal perpetrator allowed to return to class at Vallejo High School at all? Meanwhile, the victim’s mother is afraid to send her son back to school. She rightfully fears that he might be attacked again. It seems that the policy of ‘Restorative Justice’ is a classic case of coddling violent attackers and condoning violent behavior, while punishing the victims. Where is the structural discipline of yesterday? Enough already!

There is furthermore reported rampant nepotism in the Vallejo school district. Administrators (some friends and relatives) recently hired are some of the highest paid employees around. At the same time, teachers cannot keep up with California’s inflation, and students too suffer badly without a safe learning environment. What will it take before people finally get involved? Is a murder on our Vallejo school campuses necessary before people finally wake up? Why is there such apathy among voters?

Please citizens, pay attention to the travesties happening within the Vallejo schools, and get out and vote on Tuesday, November 4th. There are some excellent alternative school board candidates on the voter’s ballot, but whatever you do, do not vote for the incumbents: Wilson and Ubalde. Also, think very carefully before you vote for Measure E, the quarter of a billion dollar bond. The people within the current school’s administration, including the Superintendent, are simply not qualified, nor accountable enough to administer this grand amount of money properly. Besides, taxpayers still owe some $30million dollars from the last inappropriately allocated bond. That bond was supposed to have improved the schools, so why didn’t they perform the job properly then? Because they are incompetent! In the meantime, taxpayers will be paying for that fiasco until 2028.

You have until October 20th to register to vote if you have not yet done so.You may register to vote at the Vallejo Farmers’ Market on Saturdays between 9am and 2pm on downtown Georgia Street; the registration table is usually set up near Marin Street. Please help save our Vallejo schools, and by extension, save Vallejo. The Vallejo City Council can only do so much. Without a good school district, the members of City Council and City Manager Dan Keen are limited in their ability to attract new and viable businesses. Please use the power of your vote. It is our right as Americans to do so. Not one of us can afford to ignore the upcoming election on November 4th. Vallejo property values are greatly suffering by comparison to surrounding cities. If we don’t act we shall ultimately be left with only the prostitutes, drug addicts, victims, homeless and parolees on our Vallejo streets. But each of us has it within our power to make the change and move Vallejo forward again. Let’s make it happen!

 

Note: All opinions expressed in the “Primal Scream” column are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the Vallejo Independent Bulletin.


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'Vallejo School Board Conditions Fail Vallejo' have 12 comments

  1. October 17, 2014 @ 3:36 pm Anonymous

    Very informative piece. Spread the word on social media and on the Nexdoor.

    Reply

    • October 25, 2014 @ 7:20 pm David

      All I can say is I’m glad I moved out. You can request an inter-district transfer before one moves to Vallejo. Most of the neighbors I knew kept their kids in their original High School in our cities. Also, people moving into Vallejo are generally either retired or have no kids. Most of the schools in Vallejo are concentrated with low income Section 8 households, which is 60% of the population downtown alone. Plus, most of the teachers in Vallejo live in Benicia.

      Reply

    • October 30, 2014 @ 8:50 am Susan Thompson

      I totally agree with what was written. My son goes to Jesse Bethel now, it’s some what better than Vallejo High. My son is bullied constantly and he does not feel safe. The staff and security do nothing even after I spoke to the head of security he is a V.P. when he acknowledged the security is not capable of handling the issues I stated, well we will get this under control and I asked for his business card he threw 4 of his business cards at me. I wrote him up and from that day on my son has been a target from security making things even more stressful for him. So, don’t fix the problem just add to it. He is in Special Ed and he is afraid for his life.
      So, I totally understand what this writer has posted.
      Don’t get me started on Solano Middle, they are out of control. You wantvto see a circus just step into the admin office and watch the Secretary not acknowledge you. It is so disappointing to be ignored and get a ridiculous face like what do you want. Even the principal pushes the issues under the table.
      I want to move for a better school system but like many others our home is upside down and were stuck for the time being… So sad that your kids education is depending on the bozo’s…

      Reply

  2. October 18, 2014 @ 12:25 am wharf rat

    You go Paula ,, well said , you drilled into most of the bedrock that defines much of a once remarkable School district , whose Master Teachers REMAIN KNOWN STATE WIDE , .. Vallejo was once cutting edge and there are videos to support this ,,, Vallejo’s SCHOOLS ADMINISTRATION NEEDS A TOP TO BOTTOM RE-INVENTION …The dysfunction h.as become endemic , what Idiot would vote to give this LOW performing, Cronyism based f–k up based wannabe public district that we all fund, almost a quarter of a billion Dollars … We would be far better off building focused charter Schools , outcome based , not Admin Based …
    If by some miracle of malfeasance this measure passes I will refuse to pay one dime towards it , PERIOD .. Our Family has bourn costs beyond belief — but certainly no different by other Families who shared the same Horrible experience , and have hopefully recovered but have left a big chunk of Family wealth behind , this was an indirrect THEFT from our Children ..Period … In our lifetime we will have the majority of our assets stollen via Corporate CRIMINALS and municipal criminals rather than from street thugs / Criminals …. The corporate Criminals and Municipal Criminals steal over a ten to one ratio from the Citezenry far eclipsing the street level crooks we are trained to fear …. Seems the major pick-pockets are already on our payroll …

    Reply

  3. October 18, 2014 @ 10:40 am Publicus

    The City of Vallejo staff have much to blame for our current failed school system. It was the Vallejo Housing Authority and City leadership that chose to focus getting as much Federal money as possible through subsidized housing and poverty programs. Other communities were only too happy to let Vallejo bear the burden of concentrated poverty because they all knew that it undermines the tax base and costs a lot of money in public safety and social services. But fat the Administrative fee that staff gets from HUD funds a lot of VHA staff and bureaucrats. 16 people to send money to the investors that buy up homes in our neighborhoods, put them in the Section 8 pool and leave us to deal with the social fall out. When you focus on increasing that demographic, you get a lot of single mothers with kids that don’t have the same advantages and upbringing that kids with stable, two parent households have. Studies find poverty households have no books, no conversation to mimic, no enrichment. When those kids get to school, they are already way behind. Some are unsocialized despite, perhaps, the mother’s best intentions. Leading to the current situation in our schools. The school district may be trying valiantly to bring underclass kids up to the norm with disastrous consequences for the kids not so challenged because the system has been dumbed down. The upper quartile is dragged down and won’t get what they need to succeed in college.

    So, yes, Virginia ….I mean Paula…the City of Vallejo has much to do with this horrible situation. Even HUD policies state that concentrations of poverty over 30% are toxic. But HUD bureaucrats have quotas too and if Vallejo wants more poverty and other communities are fighting them tooth and nail then so be it.

    Reply

    • October 18, 2014 @ 2:11 pm Publicus

      Every year the VHA brings forth their Annual HUD Plan for approval by the City Council. It ends up on the Consent Calendar…no discussion, no nothing, just rubber stamped. If you actually read it, you would find that VHA’s goals include getting more Section 8 vouchers, marketing Vallejo’s great Section 8 potential to the Solano Board of Realtors to draw more investors, and handing out maps for Section 8 clients identifying the “nice” neighborhoods with an underconcentration of poverty and the neighborhoods to avoid with an overconcentration.

      No one on the City Council ever asks why nothing is said about remedying the damage caused by that overconcentration.

      Reply

  4. October 18, 2014 @ 12:39 pm Bong Hit

    Just you wait and see how the savages in the schools react when the grand jury in Ferguson conclude there is no evidence of civil rights violations in the case of the criminal Michael Brown. Even the New York Times couldn’t hide the news today. This national madness is brought to you by the democrat party. A political party so violent, so dishonest, so delusional that political operatives at the local, state and national level are perfectly willing to sit idly by and let innocent men, women and children be victimized by third world savages.

    Savages at war with themselves and the entire nation. That’s your legacy to the next generation by supporting stupidity and ignorance peddled by the democrats.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/18/us/ferguson-case-officer-is-said-to-cite-struggle.html

    Reply

  5. October 20, 2014 @ 10:56 pm Anonymous

    Take a look at this one on Facebook. Notice the many pictures …

    Fix our Vallejo Schools – YES on Measure E
    https://www.facebook.com/fixourvallejoschools

    Reply

    • October 21, 2014 @ 8:49 am Anon

      Ha. I see a lot of nice pics of expensive dinner parities on that link!!! NO on E!!!

      Reply

  6. October 21, 2014 @ 10:45 am Bong Hit

    Be very careful once the grand jury decision comes back with a decision in Ferguson. The savages will lash out in all directions and locations. Pull your kids out of the schools for a period of time after the decision. You will find no protection from the Vallejo school administration, the justice department or any of the local or state democrat lawmakers. Teachers will be powerless to protect your innocent children. This will be revenge violence that all subhuman democrats will consider justified.

    http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/2014/10/20/former-police-chief-speaks-on-latest-michael-brown-information-released/

    Reply

  7. October 21, 2014 @ 11:16 pm Bong Hit

    Attention Progressives

    Look at the comments section here:

    http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/2014/10/20/former-police-chief-speaks-on-latest-michael-brown-information-released/

    Potential comments from each of us, shut down by people that don’t want you to know what your neighbors have to say on this issue. Little people seek to separate us and poison our community.

    Eric Holder, you’re still fired my friend. Skulk off into the night and take your failed ideology with you. Good night.

    Reply

  8. October 28, 2014 @ 6:24 pm the macroneurotic

    Thank you, Paula. As a newcomer to Vallejo I’m ashamed of the school situation here. I’m glad my kids and grand kids don’t go to school in Vallejo, and that I don’t have to go through the agony so many parents here experience. But, I hear about it first hand from friends, & read the horror stories; I’m involved whether I like it or not. It’s my town & I want to make it better. Thanks for your hard work in rallying the vote and telling how it is.

    Reply


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