Former South Bay teachers address concerns about classroom behavior

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SAN DIEGO — At the South Bay Union School District board meeting Thursday night, teachers got up to express their concerns about bad behavior in the classrooms.

The room erupted in applause after former Mendoza Elementary 1st grade teacher Candice Arancibia told district leaders what she said she dealt with for more than two years in her classroom.

“I had two students back-to-back with these violent and aggressive behaviors. They would not stop until every desk, every chair was flipped over. Every book basket was thrown. Students had to run to corners of the classroom for safety,” Arancibia said. 

Arancibia said she took a leave of absence and then resigned last year due to the stress.

“I think the most traumatic for me was looking at my kids. At my students every single time we had a crisis and looking at them very helplessly and I couldn’t help them,” Arancibia said. 

Retired special education teacher Luz Baez-Tackett also addressed the board.

“Show students, parents and teachers in this district that you’re doing everything within your power and from both sides of your desk to ensure safety now and for all. Starting yesterday,” Tackett said.

The two women said they are being a voice for those who are afraid to speak out.

“South Bay teachers and students are living in a horror story and this is not normal,” Arancibia said to the school board. 

Arancibia said she will not stop fighting until changes are made in the classroom so teachers and students can safely work and learn.

“My goal right now is I’m going to continue to share these stories so I am the first of a series and I’m going to be collecting stories of teachers who are currently in this situation and I will continue to bring these stories to board meetings,” Arancibia said. 

One thing teachers are calling for is more support staff.

District officials did not respond during the meeting and told FOX 5 they have no comment at this time.

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