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East L.A. parents need your help! (FRIDAY PROTEST)

by Tom Louie Friday, Mar. 30, 2001 at 7:17 AM
tclouie@pacbell.net

Mothers of East L.A. call a protest over intimidation, discrimination and police brutality in the public schools of Los Angeles!

Community Protest at Sheridan Elementary School, 416 N. Cornwell, at the
intersection of Breed and Sheridan Streets, in East Los Angeles, for
Friday, March 30, 2001, beginning at 2:45 p.m.
and continuing to the offices of Bonnie Rubio, Superintendent of Local
District H, at 1115 S. Boyle, L.A., 90023. About 200 or more parents,
teachers and community people from East Los
Angeles have organized this protest to demand:

1. An end to the intimidation of parents by the principal, Nora
Gonzalez, who has only been at Sheridan for two months. She calls the
Los Angeles Unified School District police on a daily
basis to threaten the sidewalk vendors, who are mainly parents from the
same community served by Sheridan.

2. An explanation for the abuse by school police of a mother,
Margarita Martinez Hurtado, which occurred on March 21, 2001. This
mother was accused of selling candy with drugs in it by a
school employee and was arrested by order of the principal in front of
1500 students and parents. They left this mother with bruises on her
arms when they forcefully took her away from the
school in front of her daughter. She was freed after being detained in a
squad car for an hour, after the police failed to find any drugs or
candy in the backpacks of her daughter and her daughter's
friend, which she had been carrying when she entered the school grounds
that morning. This mother received written notification from Principal
Gonzalez that she is prohibited from entering her
daughter's school without a valid excuse.

3. During the panic of that morning, another student's arm was
injured by the Bilingual Coordinator, a fact which has been denied, even
though the parents have tried to file a formal complaint
of abuse with the police.

4. Two bilingual teachers and several teaching assistants have been
removed by the principal, mainly because of personal reasons which the
principal held against these employees. One of
those teachers, Susana Betancourt, had contacted Councilmember Nick
Pacheco and School Board Member Victoria M. Castro to help the local
parents understand their civil rights and the laws
of the City and the School District concerning vendors. This teacher
also informed several parents of their right to submit complaints about
Principal Gonzalez when she did not permit them to
put their children in bilingual programs, which has been reported to
MALDEF. This teacher, who is also a mother who has lived in the
community for 37 years, has been temporarily transferred
to Bonnie Rubio's offices without any disciplinary reason being given,
simply for instructing parents in the civil process of reporting the
abuse and discrimination which continues to occur at
Sheridan School.

We hope to see you and tell you about these injustices at this
important protest on March 30, 2001.

Mil gracias.

Parents of Sheridan School.
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