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The Madera Tribune

La Vina School is the ‘shining star’

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webmaster | 04/21/12

A demonstration by some La Vina School parents on Thursday that claimed the principal of the school was a “bully” should be put into context. You may have seen the story about it on Page A1 by Elsa Mejia.

“We want respect for our children,” said a sign. One wonders what that means.

Shouldn’t a school’s first sign of respect for its students be offering them the best education possible?

In that regard, no students in Madera are respected as well as La Vina students are respected.

La Vina is regarded as the “shining star” among Madera Unified School District sites. Those students couldn’t be in a better school.

However, the principal, Patricia Lopez, may have a problem — a public relations problem. And that is: She tells her students the truth, which is that if they don’t work hard, they won’t succeed. However, she probably could improve the way she delivers that truth.

One complaining parent said the principal had told her daughter and others they would wind up as field workers if they didn’t do better in school. That probably is true. Lopez, herself is the daughter of field workers who knows the value of education.

Yet, the principal may have been less likely to give offense by telling that truth in a different way. If, in fact, the incident happened as the parent, Tonya Molina, claimed, the principal could have taught the same lesson lesson without denigrating field work, which is as honorable as any job.

All that having been said, the school district is right to be listening to the parents. And the principal may have to make some changes.

A meeting with school administrators and parents Thursday night was a step in the right direction toward resolving the conflict.

But the parents who complain also should realize that La Vina is a school the district brags about. If you compare it to similar schools statewide, La Vina ranks extremely high. They could ask for no better educational opportunity for their children. But a good education isn’t necessarily warm and fuzzy.


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