For Immediate Release: 06/08/23
Bad teachers should be removed from the classroom altogether, not shuffled around to cover up bad behavior or fill job position vacancies.
SAN DIEGO, CA - June 08, 2023 - PUSD Community Watch (PCW) issues the following statement in opposition to PUSD's recent move to transfer non-performing teachers who have engaged in bad conduct. Our school district must do better to uphold academic excellence and safeguard its students' access to quality education.
"Are bad teachers, such as those with a reputation to be unqualified or even abusive, being shuffled around without accountability?” commented Lenice Sechrist, PCW president. "A school district should not prioritize filling job position vacancies over advocating for quality education and student safety."
PCW first became aware of two involuntary teacher transfers at the June 01, 2023 PUSD School Board Meeting after students (current and former) and parents testified about the abusive nature of two PUSD music teachers.
Four high school students from Rancho Bernardo High School (RBHS) spoke in defense of their education and music program, sharing shocking details of the current Bernardo Heights Middle School (BHMS) choir teacher. According to students (CM, SR, IE & LB) who previously attended, or were speaking on behalf of those who attended BMMS, the middle school teacher:
does not teach curriculum, rather uses YouTube karaoke videos to “teach”
doesn’t give grace for mistakes, rather students are ridiculed “or told to shut the ‘F’ up”
lacks patience and humiliates students to the point of tears “and drop their class”
has a disregard in the classroom for students with food allergies
has targeted students based on their disabilities and/or race
struggles with classroom management issues
shares inappropriate stories, such as “when she is sad or upset she likes to hurt herself”
PUSD parent Mark Mendehall spoke of PUSD’s reputation and his concern of his child’s making a decision not to continue taking choir.
A Poway High School (PHS) alumni, a Westview High School (WVHS) drum major, and the booster president of the Westview Gold music program spoke on behalf of the Westview
Director, students and parents about the involuntary transfer of the PHS Assistant Band Director
filling the WVHS Associate Band Director position following warnings this bad teacher has:
pulled students into another room & from other classes to berate / yell at them
thrown objects in the classroom in front of the students
retaliated against students
tried to pull a student out of an AP class without her knowledge
PHS alumni, Kelly Couvrette, stated in her 06/01/23 public comment, “I waited until after quitting band to submit a harassment report through the counselors.” She also shared that she “supported several other students in writing their own reports as well…we still did not see any consequences or changes.”
PUSD should apply its own rules on harassment, intimidation, and bullying to its teachers, especially now that the community is aware of the job position shuffle. As a watchdog for PUSD parents, students and community, PCW will continue to monitor future developments regarding the two teacher transfers and keep all stakeholders informed.
Contact: Rachelle Babler
PUSD Community Watch is a non-partisan and non-profit watchdog organization on a mission to advocate for student success, transparency and parental rights within Poway Unified School District (PUSD). Our priority is to make certain that the policies and educational structure that impact students in PUSD are held in accordance with community values and ethics and are within state, federal, and constitutional law. Our members are PUSD parents and community residents working to ensure school district misconduct is disclosed and records are accessible to the public. We are striving to create awareness, have a voice in our children’s education, and verify the district delivers the highest quality education to students.