Inglewood parents worry about safety of Inglewood Unified schools

IUSDToday I received a call from a news reporter I regularly converse with.  I respect them for they contacted me to verify an Inglewood Unified School Districts parents complaint about Kelso Elementary School.  I am not sure why the parent called the media, but it’s quite possible they are having the same issues everyone else is having with reaching someone in the districts offices.  Although I really didn’t want to write about this, because the reporter contacted me, its necessary to report the facts and not a media spin.

Kelso Elementary is a K-8 middle school and is located directly across from The Forum.  Although the school does have structural deficiencies that need to be resolved, Dr. Brann has eliminated key, long-term staff who would normally resolve such deficiencies.  Inglewood voters approved two bond measures, Measures K and GG, to fix said deficiencies.  History shows no such work was done with the bonds due to improprieties by the former board members.   Please note Measure GG has yet to be disbursed.

The parent called to complain about the health hazards along with safety concerns at the school.  Apparently her child has been beat up by students at the school and called the reporter to report the lack of campus security at Kelso Elementary.  Sounds eerily similar to Bryan Stow’s claims (it is alleged Bryan Stow instigated a fight while at Dodgers stadium and is suing the organization for lack of security)?  Here are the facts.

Dr. Brann has removed the Chief Facilities person, who is also a credentialed general contractor, and has replaced him with an unqualified person.  The Chief Facilities staff was responsible for resolving deficiencies in the schools.  Plant Managers have also been relieved of duties by Dr. Brann, who report to the Chief Facilities.  Campus security has also been eliminated for the coming year.

Here is what the parent and reporter fail to realize.

  1. The ONLY schools that have campus security are Crozier and Monroe Middle Schools along with Inglewood and Morningside High Schools.
  2. The ONLY exception is Highland Elementary School because of the gangs in the immediate area.
  3. K-8 schools have NEVER, EVER, EVER had campus security.  Did I say NEVER?
  4. Kelso Elementary school has NEVER been assigned campus security in the history of the IUSD’s existence.
  5. Campus security is ONLY provided during school hoursNO campus security is provided during the hours of the after school programsEVER.
  6. IUSD Police Chief Carter was removed, without warning, and our interim, on loan from Inglewood Police Department, is also receiving pushback from Dr. Brann to address security issues.

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I can emphatically state such since not only did I matriculate through the district, so have my children.  I also sit on School Site Council and PTA where safety concerns are always a topic.  I myself have complained about the lack of security after school when an after school provider with the LEAP organization was nearly assaulted by a former expelled student. Instead of working to extend the hours of campus security, to continue to provide a safe environment, he eliminates them?  Some leadership.

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Due to Dr. Brann’s failure to follow the Brown Act and give proper notice to board meetings where parents can express their concerns, he avoids the violations by labeling all meetings as “special” which allows him to call the meeting at a moments notice.  Basically, when he feels like it.

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Dr. Brann has let go of many qualified administrators in favor of one Jose (Joe)  Dominguez, who has a LONG history of trouble with previous employers.  Most recently, Lennox School District replaced him with Kent Taylor.

Dr. Brann recently received a three-year extension on his contract and we don’t know why.  Bills remain unpaid.  Staff does not have the supplies/materials to maintain the conditions of the school and he REFUSES to address parents with their concerns.

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Governor Jerry Brown and Tom Torlakson are doing the staff and students a horrible disservice with the selection of Dr. Brann.  His lack of leadership and transparency is affecting ALL of the children in the district, without regard to ethnicity.

Dr. Don Brann is running the Inglewood Unified School District into the ground in hopes of having a mass exodus of children to the newly created charter schools in District 4.  That is not leadership when he was brought here to get the district back on track.

Other notable antics of Dr. Brann:

  1. He has dissolved City Honors (June 27, 2014)
  2. Is Conducting appraisals on school property for possible sale (May 9, 2014)
  3. He is STILL disbursing Measure K bond monies (May 9, 2014)
  4. Authorizing an egregious amount of contracts where many individuals are receiving contracts approved monthly, doing the same functions.  For example, community outreach services are paid to two separate individuals doing the same thing (Kristin Agostoni and Ruben Gonzalez)

In spite of the schools shortcomings, Kelso Elementary maintains an API of over 800.

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About Melissa

I am a lifelong Inglewood resident living in District 4. I serve on PTA and School Site Council as Vice-President, for the last 8 years with Inglewood Unified School District. I volunteer on the Wellness Committee for ICEF Public Schools. I am an alumni of California State University, Dominguez Hills with a degree in Political Science. You can find me on Twitter under @CreoleMommie

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