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The Madera Tribune

Letters: In defense of La Vina principal

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webmaster | 04/25/12

“We Want Respect for Our Children.” What a headline! Let me say this in regards to the story (April 20): I do not know the parents and very little about the principal. However, as a parent and a teacher I have to defend the principal for doing her job. I also have to side with the parents on a main issue near and dear to my soul.

First, let us get this awards business out of the way. Pout, pout — it is so unfair that your child did not get an award, or get to go to the party for those that did. Awards should be earned and not just passed out like candy.

Second, most parents working in the fields do hard, honest work for low pay. We/they want their children to do better. So, perhaps the principal was trying to make that point. Look, your parents work hard to make things better for you. Your job is to work hard for them in school, so you can make them proud of their investment in you. There is nothing wrong with that at all.

Third, respect is a two-way street. This starts at home. Parents must teach ethics and morals to their children. Students must learn to value their parents’ hard work and that of their teachers, in the quest to succeed in American society.

Fourth, I have to say that I wholeheartedly agree with the statement that our children are more than test scores. Education, thanks to No Child Left Behind, is not education anymore as we have known it. Yes, I agree we should have accountability. Accountability of parents, students and teachers needs to begin with providing a well-rounded education starting at an early age. I draw the line at teaching only a test. Tests have no meaning in the long run of life.

Real education comes from learning more than just the right math or language arts to pass the state mandated tests, pre-tests, practice tests, pre-practice tests and so on. In a test there is pass or fail. In life there are many more subjects that will embrace our children/students and make them have a purpose to come to school. Parents must demand that the sciences, cultural studies, physical education, and the Arts, (including woodshop and home economics), be reinstated. Imagination and creativity makes for learning real life skills and critical thinking. Filling in bubbles on a test sheet is big business for those that know little about real accountability; but testing is not an education.

Fifth, the district needs to be accountable to parents by holding meetings with the parents to educate them on how to submit the “required” paperwork they never really want to explain. That way they can address the stakeholders fully, and iron out any misunderstandings.

Best of luck to all involved.

Diana Welling,

Takes issue with column on La Vina

I read Chuck Doud’s editorial in The Madera Tribune on Saturday. I would like to respond to statements he made.

You are not aware of what we, the parents have experienced for the last two years at La Vina School with Patricia Lopez as our principal. You said the parents should put into context calling Patricia Lopez a bully. The definition of a bully is: “A person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate ...”

Since Patricia Lopez was appointed La Vina’s principal in 2010, some parents have experienced intimidation by her when they go into the office. Patricia Lopez uses intimidation in the form of raising her voice at parents for various reasons, denigrating them and to using an aggressive firm voice.

Another statement you made was that a protest sign read, “We want respect for our children ... One wonders what that means.” Wonder no more Mr. Doud, because it is Patricia Lopez that we as parents are referring to as not having respect for our children, not the La Vina School. Patricia Lopez is known to yell in our children’s faces, not take physical injuries seriously and punish our children that bring to her attention unsafe situations (zero tolerance) that they witnessed at school. Is that respect?

Yes, a school’s first sign of respect is offering the students the best education possible. However, Patricia Lopez does not follow up that all her students are getting the best education. MUSD motto: “Every Child, Every Day, Whatever it Takes?”

Yes, La Vina School is a shining star. We did shine for many years, not just last year.

By stating that Patricia Lopez tells the “truth,” you, Mr. Doud are denigrating field workers. Field work is an honorable job because it provides food for your’s and Patricia Lopez’s table.

Yes, if our children work hard they will succeed. However, it is not Patricia Lopez’s role to tell our children what we as parents instill in them already. Patricia Lopez stepped over her boundaries. The “truth” is why of all the topics that she could have talked to our children about, she chose field working. Because she thinks field working is a denigrating job. The “truth” is, any job is an honorable job.

In fact, Mr. Doud, the event mentioned in the previous paragraph did happen to my daughter and other children. My husband and I met with Patricia Lopez regarding the incident. Patricia Lopez offered to apologize to my daughter. By offering to apologize to my daughter, this is an admission of her wrong doing. As of today, Patricia Lopez has yet to apologize to her.

Our grievance is not against the school. The La Vina School is fantastic. The teachers have lots of years of experience. As for myself, I have been a La Vina parent for 20 years and I have known many of the teachers for that length of time. I also had the pleasure of getting to know some wonderful principals in the past. Our grievance is against Patricia Lopez, whom we want removed as our principal.

We, the parents of La Vina, understand that a good education is not necessarily warm and fuzzy as you stated. However, our children are not just test scores either.

Tonya Molina,


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