La Quinta Adams School should not Close
It is unfortunate that the Desert Sands Unified School District has the power to limit our First Amendment Rights, however, they DO NOT have the power to take it away. DSUSD, under the implementation of Dr. Gary Rutherford and Board Member Gary Tomak have decided to close Adams Elementary in the La Quinta Cove. On November 17th 2015, an unjustified and radical pay raise plus incentives were awarded to Rutherford on the same day that OUR teachers and OUR students received their pink slips. Rutherford is the third highest paid Superintendent in the county and according to the DSUSD website, “since 2013-14, the overall district enrollment has decreased by about 400 students”.
Throughout this process, I have been completely shocked on the disrespect we parents have received. Whether it be the lies Rutherford stood before us and spoke, or the fictional numbers throughout his documents, it could be the segregation of the Spanish speaking community being told to go to the back of the room…but my personal favorite was when my child bravely spoke at Adams and was rudely interrupted by Rutherford saying that children’s voices were wasting people’s time and closed the meeting.
Public Education is NOT a profit generating operation. It was never intended to be that way. It is a public good and should be treated as such. Our school should not be forced to close because one sees value in our land, nor should it be deemed “surplus” and open to the highest bidder. This act is not fair to the community and community has no knowledge of this act, therefore it is a disgrace to our neighbors.
The devalued reputation of the DSUSD Board is concerning. We have voted in place board members who lack empathy and simply do not care. Upon voting for the school closure, DSUSD Board members were notified of misleading and fraudulent records. A petition with over 500 signatures of those opposing was provided in support. Respected business owners have shared their concern of what the impact the closing of the school would have on their business and on our community. Parents, teachers, staff, and students bravely voiced their opposition. Rutherford even went against his own committee’s recommendation to keep Adams open. And our brave children showed their dedication in the making of over 1000 Cranes and placed them in over thirty (30) local businesses.
DSUSD Board members have chosen to turn their head against their own people in the community they are intended to serve, we are forced to turn our head to them in the upcoming election. We even called our Mayor Evans with no response.
We WILL all vote for someone who stands behind us, to better our community and the children we are ALL here to serve.
Vacant property in the heart of our community is a concern. Declined property values, overcrowded classrooms, the simple fact that one school is not capable to educate all children who reside in the Cove. We the Cove Community need to stand for what is right. Build our community, don’t tear it down.
We must never lose sight of the fact that our children come first. We must resolve to do all we can to help them the right way — which is the only way.
Christian Castellanos Chairwoman, Concerned Citizens of The La Quinta Cove.
address, phone, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org