The teachers union in San Diego Unified is delivering a petition to school board President Shelia Jackson today that decries an “environment of fear, hostility and divisiveness” in the school district. It implicitly compares Superintendent Terry Grier to former Superintendent Alan Bersin, who was criticized for having a similar management style, though it does not specifically name him.
“We cannot stand by while another top-down administration makes decisions which damage our schools, limit our ability to serve our students, and which ultimately place the future of our District in jeopardy,” it reads. “We call on you, as the leader of the SDUSD Board of Education, to do everything in your power to reverse the current negative trajectory of the District, and restore us again to a place where honesty, openness and fairness are valued in words and in action.”
Camille Zombro, president of the teachers union, said the petition stretches the length of a football field and includes over 5,000 signatures — a sizable portion of the union, which Zombro estimated includes roughly 8,000 members, not including substitute teachers.
“We’re here to stand with the school board,” she said. “There are powerful ways we can engage parents together. We’re not doing those things because we’re sidelined.”
The petition will be unrolled at the school board headquarters in a press conference at 5 p.m. tonight. The action echoes similar petitions recently gathered in Sweetwater Union High School District, where Superintendent Jesus Gandara has faced complaints about his leadership.