Parents speak out against the dismissal of Glen City principal

March 16, 2012
Santa Paula News

Several parents have urged the Santa Paula Elementary School District board to not dismiss Glen City School Principal Raul Betancourt. 

Parent Victoria Rodriguez said through a translator she has had very good experiences with Betancourt. For example, she said, on hot days he makes sure students don’t stand in the hot sun. She also has a child with glasses who was picked on by other children.

She told trustees the school anti-bullying program has been a big help. “If the principal is no longer there who’s going to continue to maintain that program?” Rodriguez also said she’s worried about budget cuts, and concerned they are cutting from the classrooms. She added they need to keep the cuts far away from the classroom and the children.

Parent Irene Garcia feels the principal is very friendly and makes himself available, and that the school is safe. 

Thomas Copass said when he heard Betancourt was being let go he became upset. He has two children at Glen City and another who will be attending the school. He said he is impressed with what Betancourt has done in the short period he has been there without a vice principal.  

“When I see what’s going on in our school districts around the state, I think it’s of the utmost importance to protect the teachers and the administrators and leadership that we have,” he said. “If the good outweighs the bad, what are we doing? I’m sure you have good motives behind what you’re doing, but are your motives just? They don’t seem to be just to me.”

Glen City Kindergarten Teacher Barbara Ramirez said Betancourt paid for prizes for the recent anti-bullying contest out of his own pocket. He puts children first and he makes the time for them, she added.

Trustees took action March 6 to issue layoff notices to about 36 certificated employees. In closed session the board also voted to issue notices of reassignment or release to certificated administrative employees, a certificated administrator, and five temporary certificated employees as of the end of the current school year.

The district is required by state law to notify employees of possible termination in March. The board did this last year, but later reinstated most of the employees.

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