Last week’s decision to go to court wasn’t a decision parents made lightly. For months, DTPU members had made several attempts to work with the District. Parents offered solutions codified in union contracts negotiated by Adelanto District Teaches Association affiliates across the nation. They even offered the innovative Partnership School Model in which all stakeholders – District officials, parents and even the teachers union – would have equal input over important decisions at the school.
Unfortunately, the District never seriously considered the parents’ many olive branches. As the parents’ lawsuit articulates, when the District finally reviewed the signatures after the full 40 days, they cited two separate issues that drove the parents under 50%: 25 parent signatures without signatures on file and 97 “recessions.”
If the District had discounted the “rescission” campaign riddled with fraud, parents would’ve been over 50%; if the District had counted the 25 entirely valid signatures where the district lost the parents’ emergency cards, the parents would’ve been over 50%. But instead, rather than work with parents towards a real solution, the District failed to verify the parents’ overwhelming majority.
Rather than verifying the parents’ signatures, as clearly mandated in the regulations, the District chose to deny the petitions for any conceivable manufactured pretense. Rather than assuming that the parents collecting the petitions were acting in good faith and in defense of their children’s education, the District instead took this as an affront, accusing parents of not caring about their children’s education but only caring about power. They even had the audacity to assume all petitions were unverifiable unless proven otherwise. Fortunately for the parents, this decision is no longer about politics, campaign contributions, or lobbyists. In the hands of an impartial judge, it’s about following the law, the regulations, and the constitution.