I have read your articles about the school suspension of the five minors for a racially charged incident at the end of 2016. I have also read the actual court transcripts where an experienced judge very harshly reprimanded the superintendent, Jason Viloria, and the administration for their actions.
The school district has now spent over $150,000 of the taxpayers money to damage the reputations of these families and the future of their sons. I don’t understand. With all the true evil in the world today – why this unending attempt to destroy these boys and their families? These are teenagers, not hardened criminals. I agree with the letters written by Howard Hills, Laura Keller, Chris Woodburn, Mary Jo Winefordner and Amy Kramer.
What no one has written about, however, is what happens when a student is troubled and needs help, not judgment. The superintendent and the school board have been incredibly harsh and unyielding. There has been no communication, understanding or empathy with the families or their boys. In trying to eradicate what they perceived to be a hostile environment they have created one. What happened to “it takes a village”? In reading the court transcripts, it is clear the administration overstepped its authority and appointed itself judge and jury and then refused to follow court orders. This is a disturbing example of overreach and abuse of power.
A review of the court transcripts also exposes the incredibly biased reporting of the Laguna Beach Independent.
The administration needs to realize and acknowledge they should have done a much better job in this situation and the court action needs to stop. Let’s hope, going forward school officials pursue enlightened discipline not harsh judgment and strident self righteousness. Our children deserve that.
Lianne Mech, Laguna Beach