SAN DIEGO — Parents at a Point Loma middle school are fighting for a safe environment for their kids after they feel allegations of a gun threat and sexual harassment were not taken seriously.
Correia Middle School and San Diego Unified School District leaders held a meeting to communicate with those concerned parents Monday evening. Local news outlets including FOX 5 were told it was a private meeting and were not allowed inside.
Parents who exited the meeting later in the evening like Jenny Palmiotto told FOX 5 how they felt it went.
“I feel like they did a lot to make us feel worse. I have less hope in this particular culture of this school,” Palmiotto said.
The signs hanging outside the Correia Middle School auditorium said “let’s commit to a safe school” and “a safe learning environment,” but dozens of parents said they did not feel confident after attending the meeting.
“A lot of kind of contradicting information that left me feeling frustrated and like I don’t know much more than I did before I got here,” Isabel Jacobson said.
Monday’s meeting was largely the result of parents publicizing their concerns of a reported gun threat on campus as well as more than a dozen allegations of sexual harassment or assault that have not been handled to the degree they believe is necessary. Parents previously held a peaceful demonstration outside the middle school last Thursday morning.
“My stomach sick over this. I want this resolved, I want proper consequences,” Lisa Burger said.
The school referred to the gun incident as “an unsubstantiated threat” and parents say they have been left in the dark about any other action taken due to district policy not allowing specific information about students to be disclosed.
Parents reiterated how students are encouraged to “see something, say something” when something isn’t right on campus.
“When they finally get the courage to come to say something, and then nothing is done or it’s kind of like that’s not enough, it’s not enough. Then that student may never say anything again,” Jacobson said.
Parents also questioned the leniency of the district’s “restorative discipline policy.”
“The whole student body is at risk when these behaviors are unchecked. When I asked how do we change this policy, I was told to go to Sacramento,” Elizabeth Krause said.
FOX 5 asked the district several times for an interview or comment in response to parent concerns and were given this statement attributable to Correia Middle School Interim Principal Kyle Kupper:
“I would like to thank everyone from the Correia Middle School community who came together tonight to discuss the safety of our students and our entire campus. Through these open and honest conversations, we can better understand one another and strengthen our commitment to foster a safe and inclusive environment for all students.”