By Eduardo Rueda
San Ysidro school teachers delivered petitions at a school board meeting Thursday signed by a vast majority of the District’s 225 teachers demanding that a Board member resign immediately.
Board member Luciana Corrales has come under increasing pressure to resign from teachers and parents alike. Thursday’s meeting became so contentious that San Diego Police officers were called in after a few community members and teachers began shouting at each other.
“We the teachers of Ocean View Hills are asking for the immediate resignation of Luciana Corrales from the San Ysidro School District Board of Education,” said Sam Sardo, a speech pathologist with the District, reading from a petition signed by 32 of 33 teachers at Ocean View Hills Elementary. “More over, she has encouraged parents to attack the District in ways that injure the students and progress of the District,” Sardo added.
Several teachers submitted requests to speak up at the meeting, also reading from petitions from their respective schools. In all, over 45 teachers attended the Board meeting, most wearing matching red shirts with the word “UNITED” on their backs.
“Luciana continues to create barriers and has consciously chosen to obstruct the bold changes being implemented by the new School Board leadership,” said Jimmy Delgado, a San Ysidro Middle School teacher and local resident.
Another teacher, Entelechy Saron, read from a petition signed by teachers from Sunset Elementary School. “Her new role has simply become one of an agitator as she disseminates false information to parents and the community regarding District policies and procedures in an attempt to cause controversy,” Mr. Saron said.
“And lastly, San Ysidro teachers feel Ms. Corrales is damaging the District and has created a hostile work environment and are asking the Board and Dr. Fonseca to censure her in open session,” said Diane Cruz, another San Ysidro teacher.
Ms. Corrales was appointed to the Board in June 2014 to fill a vacancy created when Yolanda Hernandez resigned after being convicted of accepting illegal gifts from contractors. Ms. Corrales was elected to a 4-year term in the November 2014 election.
Several speakers mentioned the recently publicized issue of Ms. Corrales’ employment with Circulate San Diego, an organization that received free office space and other resources from the District during the time she has been on the school board.
La Prensa San Diego first reported on September 23rd that Ms. Corrales and her employer organization utilized the office space without reimbursement to the District from early 2013 until August 2015, and that Ms. Corrales failed to disclose her income on state-mandates financial disclosure forms. In response to the article, Ms. Corrales amended her disclosure forms just 4 days later. A September 30 La Prensa San Diego article reported the amendments.
To date, Ms. Corrales has not contacted La Prensa San Diego to contest any of the facts contained in either story.
At the end of the meeting, during the time each Board member gives open comments to the public, Ms. Corrales mentioned that if the Board were to pass a censure resolution, this meeting would be her last board meeting. She also offered her apologies to the teachers but by the time of her comments, only a few teachers remained in the audience.
The next Board meeting is scheduled from December 10, 2015.