When I thought the board violated the Brown Act I went through the official process and filed a complaint. When I believed the district was violating the Title I law, I filled out an official form. Throughout the entire Brookside traffic fiasco, I've done everything I was asked to do by the administration. I attended meetings they chose to tell me about in advance. I believed Mrs. Grundman when she told us there would be a future meeting. I took Mr. Elatar at his word when he told me he planned to ask for board direction and I believed there would be my opportunity to present to the board a parent’s view of their plan. I was never allowed this opportunity. There was no one in the boardroom last night that wouldn’t think I would take two minutes to fill in my address, phone number, email address and one line describing my request.
After I was done talking last night, Mrs. Lara presented me with “the form”. She also told me an email I had received from Mrs. Poulter the day after my first request was the official board response. This was an email from Mrs. Poulter to me asking for clarification on my request and suggesting I scale back my request, which I did. It was not copied to anyone on the board or the administration. Throughout my public claims of receiving no response from the board I never heard from anyone, including Mrs. Poulter, that I had received an official response. I have always believed that if a board member, or administration official, reaches out to me and is willing to talk directly to me that it should be off the record. I believed I would have been betraying Mrs' Poulter's confidence. Mrs. Lara knows my off the record position first hand.
I was surprised to learn of “the form” last night, three weeks after my first request. There was no mention of it at the last board meeting, days following my two requests. Not a single board member took the time to call or email me and say, “Lloyd, you need to fill out the form.” I was surprised to hear Mrs. Poulter, whose confidence I believed I was protecting, to now acknowledge an official response had been made to me. However the biggest surprise of the night goes to Mr. Orozco.
When given the opportunity to stand up for the only parent who has attended or listened to almost every board meeting for longer than he has been on the board he responds by chastising me for not following procedures. When provided an opportunity for a defining moment to display the leadership we need in our government leaders, he tells me “an email is not a formal request”. Where was Mr. Orozco’s advice to follow procedures over the last three weeks while I struggled to get information we are entitled to.
I completed “the form” in less than two minutes. I filled in the line describing what I was requesting with “The General Ledger for the 2011/2012 School Year”; there wasn’t any space available for more details. At the end of the meeting, I submitted “the form”. To show you how predictable this bunch is, I will tell you exactly what is going to happen.
The form indicated I would receive a response within 10 days. I predict around day 8 or day 9, I will hear back from someone that my request was too vague. I will be asked to provide more detail. Knowing full well I have no clue exactly what to ask for, there will be no offer to open the books to help me learn what to ask for.
I'm not running for anything, I'm not trying to sell any newspapers. I'm not trying to make a name for myself. I'm just trying to ask the questions no one else seems to care about asking. It would have been nice if someone would have told me that I was wrong by claiming I had no response from the board. It would have been helpful if someone would have suggested the proper form. This is a good example of why parents don't get involved. Frankly, I'm about done.