Parents stranded after canceled Richland School District board meeting

Richland School District upsets parents again

Shafter, Calif. - Regularly scheduled board meetings take place in every school district. Richland School District, for example, has one every second Monday of the month.

But, a long-anticipated meeting for parents to address the board, turned into a last-minute cancellation that left them standing outside.

Last month, the board voted to remove all four Richland School District principals from their positions. This month, Superintendent Dago Garcia finally confirmed those and other administrative changes.

Which is why parents, teachers, and students in Shafter were looking forward to Monday night's board meeting to address their growing concerns. 

Emily Randolph is a second grade teacher at Redwood Elementary. She's been a teacher in the district for 25 years. She spoke up Monday night saying, "[Dr. Garcia] is not taking into account what we all want. He said that he was going to listen to all of us and he hasn't listened to any of us."

Because Superintendent Garcia failed to post the agenda in at least one public place -- a violation of the Brown Act -- the meeting was canceled, leaving the Shafter community frustrated and emotional. 

Even students like young Ashlynn Martinez, a seventh grade student at Richland Junior High, has opinions about what's happening in her district.

"Really all the principals have been there for all their students," Martinez said. "The students really trust them. And since being a student at Golden Oak Elementary School since kinder though sixth, I really know the experience of being there and experiencing the trust they give us."

So the community united anyway, at Golden Oak Elementary Monday night, to show their support for their current administration, and their unwavering desire to be heard. 

Their next plan of action? To ask the board for a re-vote. 

The board meeting has been rescheduled for Tuesday at Golden Oak Elementary School in Shafter at 4 p.m. A decision that will keep many parents from being able to attend. 

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