Principal’s firing spurs furious backlash
Furious parents erupted at Tuesday night’s Pleasant Valley School District meeting when the district’s board announced they would be firing Pleasant Valley School Principal Clint Johnson.
One woman hurled a string of obscenities at the board, which caught even the most vehement parents by surprise and stunned the crowd into a temporary silence. Others threatened the board’s jobs, warning them they’d be voted out when their terms expire. Two women in the audience nearly came to blows over the decision.
And the district’s administration offered what they could to the crowd, a simple “no comment.”
“It’s the law. We cannot discuss personnel decisions with the public,” district Superintendent Debra Sandoval said. Johnson will serve as principal through the end of the year after the board voted unanimously to terminate him.
Parents charged that the board hid their intentions to fire Johnson, an eight-year principal at the grades 4 through 8 school.
“The board didn’t tell us anything about this,” said Audra South, a parent and one of about 25 people who attended Tuesday’s board meeting. “They haven’t heard our voices.”
The district doesn’t discuss personnel issues as a matter of their contract with employees, Sandoval said. The board meeting was regularly scheduled and noticed, she said.
A few of the parents in attendance raved about Johnson, including his commitment to the students.
“I personally think he’s an excellent leader,” said parent Lorinda Hedger. “He’s at all of his students’ baseball, volleyball and softball games. He’s always out in the community. I don’t think the board is aware of his leadership.”
Hedger expressed displeasure with the board for not airing the vote ahead of time so more parents could attend the meeting.
Johnson said he wasn’t given a reason for his dismissal.
“I was disheartened the community didn’t hear about this ahead of time,” he said.
Johnson left the meeting after the board announced their decision. A number of the parents left with him, saying they would do what they could to reverse the decision.
To contact Staff Writer Kyle Magin, e-mail email@example.com or call (530) 477-4239.
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