Bullard HS parents take concerns to school board

February 14, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Bullard High School parents had a chance to take their claims of broken promises right to the top of the district.

The parents are part of the group called Reform Fresno Unified. It claims the Bullard High School is crumbling academically and the school is dangerous.

But the district says those claims are all false.

A video is a point of contention between those in the public who claim Bullard High School is now a problem campus and the district.

Superintendent Michael Hanson said Bullard High has not fallen by the wayside as some claim. But, parents in the Reform Fresno Unified said Bullard High is losing its prestige.

"Your failed policies, your policies reach for mediocrity, not excellence," said Chuck Mannix. "When someone, God forbid they come from that side of town asking for help, you call them liars in the press. You say that you are misleading the public. You say well everybody else has it worse than you so what are you complaining about."

The group claims the school is overcrowded and unsafe. In the video, which used students to deliver the message, there are also claims of violence and cheating at Bullard High.

"The reality is the school is declining academically," said FUSD Trustee Michelle Asadoorian. "This is a community that wants to know 'what are you going to do to help us fix it?'"

At Wednesday's meeting - Fresno Unified posted stats for high schools in the district. They show Bullard has received the most -- about 74 million dollars - in Measure Q funding, and it ranks 4th of the 7 high schools for class size.

"I've never, in the 7 or 8 years on the board have seen a focused effort to try to discredit a community, like with this Bullard community," Asadoorian said.

"It's important not to let those inaccuracies stand," said Superintendent Michael Hanson. "But we're not going out of our way to pick a fight."

Superintendent Hanson said he's all for talking about what parents want to see done at Bullard. He wants to have a conversation, he said, not an argument or have fingers pointed.

"It's disrespectful to our kids who are working so hard," he said. "It's disrespectful to our teachers, administrators and our community whose working hard to support the schools."

The board voted on additional Measure Q funding for Bullard High School. That money would have been spent on facility expansion, among other items. The vote failed, but the topic of funding future Bullard project with Measure Q funds will be brought up again in 2 weeks.