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Protesters camp out to oust principal

July 31, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Demonstrators want to send a strong message to the school district: Get rid of the principal at Dolores Street Elementary.Teachers, parents and students are trying this unusual tactic to get the principal, Anna Barazza, re-assigned.

It may seem to have the makings of a picnic or a camping trip, but it's a sleep-in protest, with a crowd camped out at the school to let the school district know that they have some serious problems with their principal.

Barazza has been at the school since September of last year, and they don't like the way she deals with children and teachers.

"She wants to tell you exactly what to do. If she was more versed on the academics then it would be ok if she tried to do a little bit of the micro-managing that she does," said teacher Dorothy Ross.

Inside this elementary school, the tension has been mounting for months.

"It's so sad to see all this, that we have to push to get all this. We don't want this lady here," said parent Gonzalo Galvan.

Gonzalo Galvan is a parent of a student at Dolores Elementary. He plans to participate in Wednesday night's demonstration, when parents and teachers will call on the district to remove Principal Anna Barraza.

"This is more like a dictatorship now. This is a school that's very family-oriented," said library aide Sandra Islas. "A lot of our teachers are former students, like myself. A lot of our students, their parents came to the school. We've never had any types of problems here at this school."

Teachers and the teacher union say they have no confidence in the Barraza's abilities, but Dan Isaacs from the Associated Administrators of Los Angeles said he believed she was doing a 'fine job.'

"If you were to walk that campus, as one of my co-administrators has, on a number of occasions with the principal, you will see her interacting appropriately with students and everybody else that appears on that campus, including the parents," Isaacs said.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Local District 8 Superintendent Linda Del Cueto said: "I feel that mediation is the appropriate step in discussing the issues regarding Delores Street Elementary School. I understand their desire to make their feelings known through a sleepover, but I don't support this method since it may disrupt the orderly proceedings of summer school."

The Association of Administrators says the teachers union is trying to call the shots without good reason.

 

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