Parents Protest Outside West Covina Elementary School Demanding Accountability and Apology

More than a dozen parents and their families staged a protest outside Cameron Elementary School in West Covina on Tuesday, Feb. 20. The demonstration was in response to the removal of a substitute teacher accused of viewing inappropriate material in class. The incident has sparked demands for an apology, questions regarding the delay in making an arrest, and concerns over the lack of timely notification to parents.

Isabelle Vizcarra, who organized the protest, expressed her worry about the safety of her two children attending the school. She stated that she would not send her children back until the school can guarantee their safety and address the issue of potential pedophiles on campus.

Emy Flores, the superintendent of West Covina Unified School District, sent out updates via email throughout the long weekend, providing a timeline of events and explaining the district’s hiring practices. The incident was triggered by a phone call from a parent on Friday, who reported that his son had called him in tears. Principal Sylvia Fullerton immediately responded by visiting the classroom, where she found several students crying. Fullerton took charge of the class and instructed the substitute teacher to leave.

The identity of the substitute teacher has not been disclosed, and no arrests have been made thus far. Some parents expressed frustration over the school’s delayed notification, as they learned about the incident through social media before being officially informed. Flores addressed the protesters, explaining that she had instructed the principal to personally contact all 32 affected families, resulting in some families being notified hours after the incident. She welcomed any investigation into the district’s procedures and emphasized the importance of connecting with families.

Stacy Matthews, whose daughter witnessed the substitute teacher accessing inappropriate apps on his phone, described the incident as traumatizing for her 11-year-old. Matthews expressed concern about having to have uncomfortable conversations with her child and the impact it has had on her well-being. Matthews allowed her daughter to stay home from school on Tuesday to give her time to process her emotions.

The protesting parents demanded an arrest and an apology from the school and the district. Norma C., one of the parents, expressed disappointment in the handling of the situation and the delayed notification. West Covina police have not provided any updates on the investigation.

Selina Mosqueda, whose daughter was present in the classroom, joined the protest seeking answers and accountability. She emphasized the need for the school to take action to ensure the students’ safety and address their fears.

Flores defended the district’s hiring practices, stating that the substitute teacher had passed all necessary screenings and background checks. She acknowledged the disheartened feelings of some parents and assured them that strict actions would be taken based on the ongoing investigation. The school has deployed a team of counselors and social workers to support the affected students.

Brian Tabatabai, the mayor of West Covina, spoke with the parents during the protest, assuring them of the city’s support and the efforts of the West Covina Police Department to ensure the safety of the children.

Arlene Zamora, president of the school’s PTA, appreciated the swift action taken by the principal but criticized the use of social media as the primary source of information for parents. Zamora also expressed concerns about the hiring process and called for better vetting of educators.

West Covina Police Chief Richard Bell confirmed that a team of investigators is working on the case, and the Department of Child Protective Services is also involved. He urged the community to remain calm and trust the investigative process.

Author: CrimeDoor

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