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Complaints mount at Mt. Diablo High

By Theresa Harrington
Saturday, February 11th, 2012 at 1:03 am in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

MDHS student Charles Campos posts sign on locked restroom.

Since a majority of teachers voted No Confidence in Mt. Diablo High Principal Kate McClatchy in December, some students and a parent have joined in a chorus of complaints about her leadership.

At Monday’s school board meeting, three current students, one former student, a parent and four teachers outlined their concerns. I am posting links to video clips of their comments below, along with excerpts.

Senior Savannah Ridgley: Video:

“Two weeks ago, I voiced some of my personal concerns. However, I’m not the only student at the high school. Nor am I the only student with concerns due to Ms. McClatchy’s actions and decisions. Over the course of the past month, we the students have compiled our major concerns. Tonight, we bring them to you with the hope of some action being taken. On Jan. 5th, 2012, we held a student-only meeting to acquire a better understanding of some of the concerns of the student body. The issues raised were: building and bathroom accessibility, or rather, lack of; poor bathroom sanitation; the intended layout of the all-academy structure; the lack of accessibility to AP classes; that student input isn’t valued and is even ignored; the lack of QEIA (Quality Education Investment Act) funding and resulting schedule changes; the method of punishing tardy students; the idea that actions are only taken by Ms. McClatchy under bad publicity; the fact that educational minorities are ignored; the fact that sports aren’t given adequate notice when they have forms to turn in; and the fact that students are no longer permitted to wear Rosaries.

We, the students of Mt. Diablo High School have needs, rights and concerns. And now, we the students of Mt. Diablo High School are using our voices. Several students are going to expand on a few of these issues. I hope that you take all of these problems into consideration. Thank you.”

Senior William Maldonado: Video:

Unfortunately, the first part of the video has a glitch in it, so it doesn’t start at the beginning of his comments. Complete audio of the meeting is at

Maldonado said he was speaking about the district’s failed punishment policy, as well as the fact that only one restroom was open (until this week) and it was not near his classes. He said McClatchy requires students who are tardy to retrieve a tardy pass from an administrator, even if they are tardy because they had to wait to go to the restroom. When students obtain tardy passes, they are given a glove and instructed to pick up trash for about five minutes, he said. By the time they get to class, they are 10-15 minutes late, he said. They miss warm-up activities or the chance to go over homework, he said.

From video: “..When you miss the beginning of class, you no longer have the opportunity to participate in classroom activities, which I feel, at the beginning of the class period, is the most important. It sets it up for everyting that will be done the rest of the period. When you come in 15 minutes late to class because your principal wants to punish your tardiness, I feel it is unacceptable and is a waste of time. Why it makes sense to use taxpayer-funded school time to have students pick up trash is beyond me. This policy has not lowered substantially the rate of tardiness and it appears to cause a concern among many students and teachers. Many students take advantage of this policy simply to come more late to class. This policy punishes the students who wish to pursue their education further and provide the school with higher test scores and rewards the students who don’t want to go to class. We are the students of Mt. Diablo High School, but we are motivated.”

Vanessa Lopez: Video:

“I am a graduate of Mt. Diablo High School, class of 2011. I was enrolled in the ACME (Architecture, Construction, Manufacturing and Engineering) academy for three years. In all my years at Mt. Diablo, I never received referral or had any problems or any disciplinary actions taken against me. In January, 2011, my boyfriend Kevin Rojas was shot and killed in Bay Point. At the time of his tragic death, he was enrolled at Gateway (continuation) high school, but had spent freshman through the beginning of senior year at Mt. Diablo High. When he died, our principal, Ms. McClatchy, called me into the office and told me that I could no longer attend Mt. Diablo High, (Unfortunately, the video was cut short at this point.)

Lopez also said that her academy was not allowed to have a memorial service and that McClatchy accused her of being a gang member and tried to involunarily transfer her to Crossroads High. Lopez said she was not a gang member and that she and her family complained to the district. District officials allowed to return to Mt. Diablo High, she said.

“Ms. McClatchy disrespects students,” Lopez said. “She is the wrong principal for any school.”

Teacher Wendy Spencer: Video:

“I was here two weeks ago to express my concerns over what’s happening at Mt. Diablo High School. At that time, I used the analogy of a bus on the autobahn, filled with students and staff. From where we are, at the back of the bus, the road ahead is obscured by thick fog. We ask the driver, Ms. McClatchy, to slow down, to be careful. But she just says: ‘If there’s no speed limit on the autobahn, I can go as fast as I want!’ We’re trying to say: ‘We don’t think as fast as you’re going is warranted.’ This is the cycle I feel we’re in. Ms. McClatchy wants an all-academy school with only her approved academies. And 9 to 12th grades by the year after next at the latest. Many teachers and three of four academies have asked, ‘Why?’ and have not gotten an answser in the year we have been asking. I personally voted No Confidence because I thought she would be forced to explain her reasoning, at least. But, that has not happened. And I am afraid for the future of the students who do not fit the mold. Thank you for your time.”

English teacher Stephanie Sliwinski, who teaches in the Architecture, Construction, Manufacturing and Engineering (ACME) academy and is a district parent. Video:

“I’m here tonight not only to speak to you as someone who has taught in an academy at Mount, but has also taught in the general population and literally built the successful academy ACME from the ground up.” (Unfortunately, clip was cut off before she finished her comments.)

She said ACME is a California Partnership academy.

“When life gave me lemons at Mt. Diablo High School,” she said, “I made lemonade.”

She said the academy raised test scores and that McClatchy wanted to scale it up. She compared the academy to a pitcher of magic lemonade. But, when the academy gets larger, she said it would be like a baby pool and students would no longer be able to taste the lemonade.

AP Environmental Science teacher Patrick Oliver.
(Unfortunately, I only captured a portion of his comments on video.)

He said he gets along well with McClatchy personally, but that he and many other teachers object to her plan to scale up the four existing academies to create an all-academy school.

From video:
“And then, she said to the school faculty: ‘We are going to vote on whether the faculty thinks we should accept an all-academy model with freshmen this year or next year,’ which seemed kind of curious, because of the fact it’s a liege of these academies…(audio obscured). And in fact, a lot of people didn’t want to actually vote on that. They wanted to vote on: Should we have more academies? Or, should we look at other options? Whereas, many of us refrained from voting on that because it seemed to me like a transparent political move so that she could go to the board and public and say: ‘See, the faculty voted and they support my plan.’ When, in fact, a for a large number or a vast majority of the faculty, that was not the plan we were interested in. So, many of us didn’t vote. And I’m not sure how it’s going to turn out, because we haven’t been given that information.

I am excited about some of the changes that are happening. And, Friday, I had a meeting with the principal and a bunch of other people in regards to a new interest in a sustainability pathway through the IHTA (International Hospitality and Tourism Academy). And, I’m super excited to develop an agriculture class and a horticulture class and continue my environmental science in the context of the academy without the AP label. I do have an Ag degree and five years of horticulture experience. However, however, I’m being told we need to develop this as soon as possible, ie. basically next week, next month. Which means piloting new courses, new textbooks. No extra staff time. No staff development time. No money from the county, district, school. And so as a professional grant writer in years past and developing a nonprofit, I’m working with enough nonprofits to develop resources to bring to the school and I would love to develop that on the side. But, I have been basically told: ‘Good luck, you’re on your own, kid.’ So, I’m going to do whatever it takes and from what I understand, I would love to increase the support from the district to accomplish these goals. And I don’t feel like I can count on any.”

English teacher Dan Reynolds: Video:
(Unfortunately, I missed the beginning of his comments on video.)

He said he felt like the “listening process” developed by the district to respond to the vote of No Confidence was not working and that teachers need some intervention from the board. The district held listening meetings, in which administrators wrote down concerns expressed by teachers at the school, along with recommendations for improvement, he said.

“From video:
“We felt listened to. But, one of the problems is that when we finally saw the compiled list of what went on in those listening sessions, there was a glaring omission. When we were presented the list of our recommendations for improvement, one of the recommendations that came up time and time again was – as I am told and as I witnessed at the one session that I visited – was that one of the items was: replace Kate McClatchy. Each teacher in those sessions was given two green dots to put on the recommendation they felt was important. You could put it on two different recommendations or if something was so important, you could both your stickers on one. I put one of my stickers on: Replace Kate McClatchy, as did three of my other colleagues in that listening session. In the other listening sessions that reported to me from colleagues who were at them, nine stickers on “replace Kate McClatchy,” five stickers on “replace Kate McClatchy,” six stickers. When we got the list that was a report of those listening sessions, the item “replace Kate McClatchy” was left off. From the six listening sessions, we have no idea how many green dots were placed next to that because we’ve never been shown that information. However, things continue to move forward. Jan. 30th – Monday of last week – there was an opportunity for the administration to present to us the plan that they had written after reading that list. They didn’t include us in a conversation. They took those items on the list and made a new plan. And then they presented us with the plan….” (Video got cut short.)

He said the administrators are listening, “but what we get back is shallow.”

After hearing all these complaints, four trustees said nothing. Trustee Gary Eberhart said he had submitted a list of questions to Superintendent Steven Lawrence about the district’s reponse to the vote of No Confidence. He asked Lawrence to add to the list the question: How many restrooms are at the school and how many are available to students?

Later in the meeting, district resident Brian Lawrence addressed the board about a proposal to hold less formal community meetings where the public could ask questions and give feedback to the superintendent and community. Lawrence (who is no relation to the superintendent) said he supported the idea, adding that trustees sometimes resemble a Soviet Politburo — “stone-faced and nonresponsive,” even when faced with an issue involving basic human dignity.


To bring attention to the restroom issue, Amnesty International students have launched a “Pissing is a Human Right” campaign highlighting the school’s failure to provide adequate facilities. Here is a link to restrooms requirements on the California Department of Education’s website:

Based on these requirements, anyone in the community could file a Williams Act complaint, alleging the school is violating items p and q on this form:

How do you think the district should respond to the teachers’ vote of No confidence and students’ concerns about locked restrooms and other issues?

FEB. 11 UPDATE: Due to technical difficulties, I have just recovered additional videos I shot at the meeting — one from an adult (whose name I didn’t get) supporting the teachers and students, one from a parent and one showing Trustee Gary Eberhart requesting more information.

Here is a link to parent Diane Ridgley’s comments:

Here is a link to comments made by a woman supporting the students and teachers:

Here is Eberhart’s question to the superintendent:

FEB. 13 UPDATE: Teacher Dan Reynolds told me that of 94 teachers, only 23 cast ballots when McClatchy asked them to vote on converting to an all-academy school next year or the following year.

“The fact that only 23 voted tells you right there what people want,” he said.

FEB. 14 UPDATE: The Mt. Diablo school district has given students at Mt. Diablo High a sweet Valentine’s Day gift — all the restrooms are open.

Teacher Dan Reynolds said Trustee Gary Eberhart walked the campus this morning, visiting every restroom to make sure it was open and stocked with toilet paper, soap and paper towels. Those that weren’t are being replenished this morning, Reynolds said.

Eberhart also met with the Amnesty International club to talk about what students need to do to keep the restrooms open, Reynolds said. Members of the club plan to reach out to the rest of the student body to stress the importance of keeping the restrooms clean.

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141 Responses to “Complaints mount at Mt. Diablo High”

  1. Doctor J Says:

    State Supt. Torlakson must be proud being a “teacher on leave” from Mt. Diablo High ! Maybe Lawrence can apply for a Waiver from the state on the Ed Code requirements to keep the bathrooms open ?

  2. MDHS Teacher Says:

    I work at MDHS and even now they only have two bathrooms open for students (Shop Building and Home Ec Building). According to the CDE website, to serve a 1600+ student (one toilet per approx. 35 students) population you need to provide access to at least 45 toilets throughout the day. Currently 1600 MDHS students have access to approximately seven toilets (two restrooms open with three stalls each and the DCC).

    No wonder they beg me all day to use the staff restroom or just go pee in a stairwell. Disgraceful.

  3. Anon Says:

    Here is a thought –

    The urgency to get the “all academy” program in place and the lack of action by the District toward McClatchy seems odd? Could this be part of a greater plan, one supported or devised by the District? And one not communicated to the community for a variety of reasons.

    1.) MDUSD wants to provide Bay Point a high school
    2.) MDUSD recently allocated $160,000 toward studying this possibility
    3.) MDUSD owns a vacant piece of land in Bay Point designated as a school site
    4.) During the school closure process it was determined that Mt. Diablo HS would lose 800 students if Bay Point had a high school
    5.) Mt. Diablo HS is deed restricted and must continue as a school or MDUSD loses the property, so MDUSD cannot close Mt. Diablo HS
    6.) Having an “all academy” school may create a magnet high school for district-wide attendance and justification for building a high school in Bay Point and still keeping Mt. Diablo HS open.
    7.) The District has postponed the realignment of boundaries with respect to CVCHS. Could that be in order to realign boundaries all at one time.

    The reason the District may want to keep a plan like this quiet:
    1.) Where is the money for a new high school coming from?
    2.) What high school will close if a new school is built in Bay Point?
    3.) How will attendance lines be drawn.

    Maybe another conspiracy theory or maybe just too many odd coincidences.

  4. Doctor J Says:

    @MDHS Teacher #2: From the State Complaint Form: “As of January 1, 2004, Section 35292.5 was added to the Education Code and contains the following requirements relating to the sufficiency and availability of restroom facilities in all public schools:
    Every restroom must be maintained and cleaned regularly, fully operational, • and stocked at all times with toilet paper, soap, and paper towels or functional hand dryers.
    Schools must keep all restrooms open during school hours when pupils are not in • classes, and must keep a sufficient number of restrooms open during school hours when pupils are in classes (except as required for pupil safety or as necessary to repair the facility).
    Any school district that operates a public school that is in violation of this section, • as determined by the State Allocation Board, is ineligible for state deferred maintenance
    fund matching apportionments.”
    Strange that no one files an annonymous complaint.

  5. Doctor J Says:

    @Anon#3, Yes, its very odd that Lawrence is “hands off” of McClatchy even as her direct supervisor: the only logical explanation is that McClatchy will spill the beans about what the grand plan is, one obviously known to Lawrence and even to Eberhart and the inner sanctum. Just think of all of the fallout since in December the faculaty voted no confidence in McClatchy, the QEIAgate controversy loss of over $5 million in grants, the option of removing McClatchy disappearing off the options list after many faculty voted for it, the Jan 23 complaints against McClatchy PLUS revelations to the Board about the bathroom locking, no action taken on the bathroom locking and brought up again at the Feb 6 Board meeting, and now comments from the Re-election campaign of Eberhart that he will “insist” that the schools comply with the restroom regulations. I just don’t understand why Lawrence didn’t call McClatchy up on Jan 24 and tell her to open the restrooms ? All I can figure is that McClatchy is holding an Ace of Spades that Lawrence fears she might play if backed into a corner.

  6. Dan Says:

    Toliet Gate just hit the Boston Herald.

    $10 bucks we see a mention on the Daily Show tomorrow, maybe even Colbert as they use many of the same writers.

    Hilarious. Go Eberhart and Whitmarsh, the reelection campaign is starting off on the right foot.

  7. Wait for it Says:

  8. Theresa Harrington Says:

    FYI, I have just posted an update with links to two additional videos from speakers at the board meeting, as well as Trustee Gary Eberhart’s questions to the superintendent.

  9. Kora Dalager Says:

    the report in today’s Contra Costa Times regarding the locked toilets at MDHS is simply barbaric and beyond comprehension. Even prisoners have a toilet, and don’t need to reliev themselves in the corner. There would be many constructive ways to lessen tagging. How could a situation like this persist beyond one day? As a grandmother, I don’t have any children in school here-so have not been in tune to the goings on regarding school matters. Besides being inhuman, the lock out is a potential public health hazard of epic proportions.

  10. Doctor J Says:

    Maybe Contra Costa Health Dept needs to cite someone ? Greg Rolen’s track record at Small Claims Court could help him here. Wow, what if all of the students filed Small Claims actions against the district and Kate McClatchy for violation of constitutional rights and the Ed Code ?

  11. Hell Freezing Over Says:

    Supt Lawrence, Board President Whitmarsh and Trustee Eberhart – you all have children in schools in this disrtict. If your children attended this school, how long would you let this continue?

    How long would it take; how many times would the public, district parents, teachers and students of “your” school need to complain- in public no less – before the situation is addressed and the restrooms were unlocked?

    Where is your outrage? Where is your compassion? Are you WAITING for “someone” to file an “official” complaint? How can you NOT resolve this?

    This is beyond rediculous after how many weeks since the first mention of ALL but ONE restroom locked at Mount – it’s a reflection on YOU and what you really care about in this district.

  12. Wait a Minute Says:

    Well, when the West Sac people read about the MDHS’s “Toilet Gate”, they called me to tell me that this locking of most restrooms was common at both the comprehensive and continuation HS there on Stevie Lawrence and Sue Brothers’ watch when they were there.

    This was done for the same reasons, a total lack of control by site administrators (including the one year wonder friend of Sue Brothers who got spanked by the grand jury for falsifying the SSC and SPSA at the cont. HS) over the criminal element at the schools.

    They were plagued by smoking, drug use, fights, sex, and even arson in the bathrooms at those schools to the point where they took the easy way out there and violated those students’ rights by locking the restrooms too!

  13. Theresa Harrington Says:

    WAM: Did anyone in West Sac complain?

  14. Anon Says:

    @Anon #3 – You bring up some excellent points. I predict that 2010 Measure C bond funds will pay for the new high school in Bay Point and Ygnacio Valley High will eventually close as a result.

  15. former teacher Says:

    I am a little unclear as to why my statement was removed. Is it because you don’t want people to know that the bathroom policy was instituted years ago????

  16. MDHS Supporter Says:


    There is one problem with your theory. It would mean actally giving something NEW to students in Bay Point. This would contradict all of the prior actions of the school district officials. I think any student in the district should be able to go to any high school. Let’s shine a light on the inequality in our area, and not let those with money and power pretend it doesn’t exist.

  17. g Says:

    Oh, Anon you just had to bring it up. So who else questions the District spending $1 million per acre for bare land in Bay Point? That has to be at least twice what the developers would make from fully built out property—if and when they finally manage to sell those new slippery-slope houses.

    So, why would MDUSD pay twice what the property would be worth with houses on it?

    Remember, they paid almost $6 million out of the 2002 Measure C, and they “borrowed”–“interest free”–the other $5 million from the City of Seeno–I mean Pittsburg.

    So, through this financial slight-of-hand, Pittsburg gets to virtually give over $5 million to its various developers/builders/spouses/cousins and get our school taxes to foot the bill for them. Pittsburg’s then-mayor (Seeno) could hardly just “give” money to his family and friends so they got us to do it for them.

    The big question is—Who’s the Little Jack Horner at the District? There’s a plumb in this deal for someone at Dent!!!

  18. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Former teacher: Your comment was not removed. It is comment #101 under the Live Blog of Feb. 6, 2012 board meeting:
    My response is comment #108 under that blog. The seniors I spoke to said more restrooms were open when they were freshmen and that it wasn’t until last year, when McClatchy was principal, that all but one restroom was locked. When I reached McClatchy by phone to ask her about the locked restrooms, she said she did not want to comment. I left a message for the director of secondary education, but did not hear back from her. The teachers at the school listed the high number of locked restrooms as one of many concerns that prompted their vote of No Confidence. The teachers’ union president said he is not aware of a school only providing one restroom each for girls and boys before McClatchy took over leadership of the school. In addition, Trustee Gary Eberhart said it is one thing to lock one restroom, but it’s quite another to lock all but one.
    When you were at MDHS, how many restrooms were unlocked? Before Monday, students only had access to one girl’s and one boy’s restroom in the shop building, Monday, restrooms in the Home Economics building were opened. But, restrooms in the English, Academic and Science buildings remain locked.
    The requirements on the CDE website say the numbers listed are minimums, but that ideally restrooms should be available on each floor of a building. The idea that NO restrooms would be available in several buildings is not even contemplated.

  19. MDHS Teacher Says:

    When is enough, well…enough? Teachers, students and parents are outraged with McClatchy and her ways. OUT WITH HER! WE ARE SUFFERING HERE! HELP!

  20. Anon Says:

    To MDHS Supporter,

    Are you saying that Bay Point doesn’t get anything new? Correct me if I am wrong but Bay Point got the last new school built in the District. That is great and I believe MDUSD should have never closed the high school in Bay Point.

    However, there are many inequities in this District and they cross all socioeconomic lines. We have been played against one another in this District for far too long, often through the actions and words used by our District leadership. There are just as many people in other areas of the District that believe they don’t get their fair share.

    The point is that the current District action, or lack of action, is suspect and as an entire community we should want to know what is behind the District’s motives.

  21. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Anon: Also, as was evident in the Fardella bus case, the district still provides parent-subsidized busing to some families who live far away from Delta View, as the Fardellas do. In most other areas of the district, parent-subsidized busing was eliminated completely, despite the need that some parents expressed to keep it. This is why Board President Sherry Whitmarsh told me the bus issue could be moot soon, because of expected transportation cuts.
    However, I believe the governor signed a bill that will allow districts to make the cuts he previously designated for transportation anywhere in the district. This means the board will have to figure out what its priorities are, if cuts are to be made. This places a greater urgency on the long-awaited strategic plan. With categorical funding mandates going away, the governor is giving more power to school boards to decide how to spend their money. Trustees will have less reason to complain about their hands being tied by categorical mandates, and will be more accountable for the way money is spent. Also, they will have less excuses to pay for out of town conferences, which they often now seem to dismiss because the money is “categorical” and they don’t appear to believe they can do much else with it.
    As has been pointed out by some other commenters, trustees often don’t question no-bid contracts on the consent calendar, such as one for AIS translators, which have ballooned from about $20,000 to more than $80,000, with a built-in two-hour minimum. In this economy, it would seem prudent to at least put out a bid to see if another translator would agree to bill the district for time actually worked, instead of asking taxpayers to pick up the tab for a padded contract.

  22. Flippin' Tired Says:

    Theresa, look at the 9/13/2011 agenda, item #8.23. Mr. Gomez is a contracted translator, who is only billed for actual time. BTW, he is a gem of a human being.

    A much less lucrative contract than AIS, yes?

  23. Sure Thing Says:

    #22 FTS: He adds too much to translations.

  24. Wait a Minute Says:

    Yes, but does he have a “relationship” with Rolen like Marisol Padilla has?

  25. g Says:

    Since Mr. Gomez also was not required to be fingerprinted (per 10/2009 contract), shall we assume there is a precedent for allowing easy access to our children to anyone who can speak their language?

  26. Doctor J Says:

    @Flippin #22 — Still waiting for the details on the “relationship” with Rolen.

  27. Theresa Harrington Says:

    MDHS Teacher: The community is listening. I received an email from a Pleasant Hill resident who is willing to contribute $100 toward the campaign to get the restrooms open.
    Also, it’s interesting that the school administration had the time and money to change the lock on a teacher restroom door, but hasn’t felt it was a priority to unlock student restrooms or keep them stocked with supplies until the issue became public.
    Both students and McClatchy have called Mt. Diablo High “the flagship school of the district,” when they have addressed the board. This reflects a feeling of pride in the school.
    But, what does it say about the district when the flagship school doesn’t let students use most of its restrooms?

  28. Sue Berg Says:

    MDHS Supporter Says #16, The district’s newest school, Delta View Elementary, is located in Bay Point. It opened in 2004. Also, Riverview Middle School’s track and fields, which serve the Bay Point community, were given an extensive upgrade with the first Measure C funds.

    Question about MDHS restroom issue: Has anyone, including teachers and students, proposed a plan for keeping the restrooms open, clean, smoke-free, and safe? The “restroom problem” at most of the high schools was frequently discussed at PAC meetings during the years I attended. The dilemma always came down to who would provide the monitoring because it had to be done more than once a day. I was surprised to hear that many students and parents thought the school custodian(s) should check the restrooms periodically during the day and clean the messes the students had left. Perhaps by locking the restrooms at MDHS the principal has made the school community take a hard look at an ongoing problem and find a way to solve it.

  29. MDUSD Board Watcher Says:

    Hmmm…..the plot thickens.

    Sue Berg using her name (remember she posts with many aliases here; she was caught red handed recently) comes to the defense of McClatchy and Stevo.

    Now why would she feel compelled to do that? Any guesses?

    Probably the second worst kept secret in the district next to the Rolen, AIS nexus.

  30. Wait for it Says:

    Tune in to the 11 PM News (NBC) to see MDHS speak out on this issue.

  31. Doctor J Says:

    Sue Berg, are you now working for CDE ? Are you disqualifying yourself on any issue involving MDUSD ?

  32. Theresa Harrington Says:

    NBC just teased the MDHS story. Coming up next after commercials. It’s the top story.

  33. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Sue Berg: The students heading up the campaign have made fliers asking students to keep the restrooms clean after they are opened. You can see this flier in the video posted with my story, about 30 seconds in:
    At the PAC meetings I have attended, I have not heard this issue brought up.

  34. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here is a new blog post with photos from a student showing no soap dispenser in the boy’s restroom and the floor beneath a stairwell in the Academic building, which he says is stained with urine:
    Restrooms in the Academic building are locked.

  35. Just J. Says:

    ABC news just did a story this morning.

  36. MDHS Teacher Says:

    ABC News story here:

  37. Sue Berg Says:

    MDUSD Board Watcher Says #29, you do see the irony of taking me to task for writing under an alias, right? I long ago decided I would never post a comment I couldn’t put my name to. I believe I’ve said this before: if it doesn’t have my name on it, it’s not my comment. Whatever you’re insinuating is not true and, frankly, insulting. See comment to Dr. J, following.

    Dr. J, not working for (or on behalf of) anyone since my retirement after my job in MDUSD was eliminated in 2009. Just enjoying some quite remarkable grandchildren and watching what’s happening in a school district where I loved working for 9 years.

    My question about the bathrooms has nothing to do with defending anyone. As a news reporter myself for many years I see it as an important part of the story: The bathrooms were locked because they were being trashed. Did anyone try to solve the trashing problem before or just after the bathrooms were locked?

    Theresa, I said the PAC discussed problems with school bathrooms when I was attending those meetings. If, as you say, the topic hasn’t come up since you’ve been covering the meetings, I can only assume parents haven’t raised it. That’s how many topics were placed on the agenda.

  38. Wait a minute Says:

    Sue Berg @28,

    So now you are going to blame the victims? That would be the vast majority of students who are NOT troublemakers for your information.

    With that logic I can see why you are such a staunch supporter of Stevie Lawrence and the rest of the corrupt regime here.

    You might want to peruse the laws that govern this availability of restrooms at schools. Not only is it the right thing to do it is at its core both a public health issue and a basic human rights issue.

  39. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Sue B.: Yes, that’s how many issues come up now, too. But, unfortunately, the agendas and minutes aren’t posted on the district’s website.
    I did attend one PAC meeting where James Wogan talked about the district’s positive behavior programs in the context of anti-bullying efforts. I don’t know if MDHS has tried these programs in relation to positive bathroom behavior.

  40. Wait a minute Says:

    TH @13

    Apparently there were informal complaints but I can’t find any evidence of a Williams Complaint.

  41. Doctor J Says:

    @SB #37 At the last SBE meeting, “Sue Berg” was praised, and I just wondered if it was you. As TH points out, the PAC Agendas are not being posted on the website, now a Brown Act violation after AB 1344 starting Jan 1, 2012. Its Principal McClatchy’s job to focus on how to solve the graffiti issue, but that doesn’t give her the option of violating the Ed Code on keeping the restrooms open and stocked.
    The State of California is open today and accepting bathroom complaints.

  42. MDUSD Board Watcher Says:

    Does anyone recall which topic it was where we caught Sue Berg using an alias red handed?

    I would like to remind her of the evidence. She has apparently forgotten (see post #37).

    Any guesses why Sue would be defending McClathy and Stevo? Any?

  43. MDHS Supporter Says:

    Sorry Anon, but what school are you speaking of? Which “new” school is in Bay Point? An elementary? Maybe I’m just misinformed. But do you think if you went to the “River” schools and asked the teachers would say that they have all they need?

    Either way, the real issue is the inequality and racism in our little region here, which has less to do with McClatchy and more to do with Chevron,Bank of America and other businesses who want to starve public education in order to create this type of turmoil. This principal is certainly their servant and she needs to go, but the school board and superintendent are going to be looking for another crony to replace her and still keep the bathrooms locked.

    Mt. Diablo students have to wake up at 5:30am to catch their 6:30 bus, they have to deal with generally old facilities, a lack of books, and all of the other stresses at home and in their neighborhood. We should be praising their courage to speak up in this situation–what a great thing to learn!

    The bathrooms were locked because the campus administration sees their need to go to the restroom as less important than the need to provide “security.” Guess who is destroying the bathrooms? The kid that is not getting helped! Let the teachers create a school that the students feel is really working, and the bathroom problem goes away. That is exactly what most teachers at Mt. are trying to do RIGHT NOW.

    I agree that this is not just about Mt. Diablo. I’m sure there are many kids at Northgate and College Park who are not being served either (drugs, bullying, violence, etc). The system that we are living under is good at going to war and trying to make profits–not at helping young people.

  44. Wait a minute Says:

    MDUSD BW @42

    Yes, Sue Berg has apparentlyconveniently forgotten this.

    Here is the link:

    By the way, after she was exposed the so-called Long Time Board Watcher never posted again. How is that for evidence?

  45. Doctor J Says:

    @#28 Sue, I believe you previously pointed out to me sometime last year that Delta View is really in Pittsburg, not Bay Point. 2916 Rio Verde, Pittsburg, CA 94565.

  46. MDHS Teacher Says:

    Ms. McClatchy is going to say in her defense that locking the bathrooms was the “policy when she arrived in 2010.” Maybe one bathroom was closed for cleaning or vandalism, and those in the Art Building have been closed for years..?? but it was never as bad as it is now. Student restrooms in the Academic, Science, Commercial, and English buildings are locked 24/7 and the only bathrooms open are Shop Building and now Home Ec Buidling. Regardless, there are far too few toilets available to students and those restrooms open lack soap or towel DISPENSERS even. (shaking my head). I don’t care what Ms. McClatchy says about old policy; she had the chance to change it and support basic human rights and public health, but no. Teachers and students have been complaining about the bathroom situation at MDHS for MONTHS. Finally people are listening!! This is just another KateGate atrocity and I just ask: When is enough, ENOUGH?

  47. MDUSD Board Watcher Says:

    Wait A Minute, Thank you.

    Sue – Your statement above, “I long ago decided I would never post a comment I couldn’t put my name to. I believe I’ve said this before: if it doesn’t have my name on it, it’s not my comment. Whatever you’re insinuating is not true and, frankly, insulting.”

    Is inconsistent with your previous postings as “long term board watcher”. Did you forget about that?

  48. Tagg Says:

    It is scary to think we allow this district to educate our kids and yet they can’t figure out how obey the law and keep bathrooms clean and servicable. I won’t even get into gross and unfunctional drinking fountains and the generally shabby, littered, neglected appearance of our district high schools. No wonder CV had enough and took appropriate action to become independent of this shoddy outfit we call MDUSD.

  49. Anon Says:

    Antioch has found success with a K-8 school and is looking to open another
    MDUSD could have tried this model, but instead closed high-ranking neighborhood school Holbrook, and lost Glenbrook SIG funding. Imagine if the other trustees had joined Cheryl Hansen’s opposition to the hasty school closure decision. Imagine if the district followed a strategic plan. Imagine . . .

  50. Doctor J Says:

    @Anon, staff told the board it could save millions by closing the two schools — yet staff now refuses to account for any savings by the two closures. Let’s have the truth !

  51. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I have just posted an update with information from teacher Dan Reynolds regarding the academy vote.

  52. MDHS Teacher Says:

    Theresa, where can I find the update you speak of @51.

  53. Theresa Harrington Says:

    It is at the end of this blog post, labeled FEB. 13 UPDATE.

  54. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Restrooms are open and being stocked this morning, according to teacher Dan Reynolds. I have posted details in an update to this blog.

  55. Anon Says:


  56. Doctor J Says:

    The credit goes to Theresa not Eberhart — the power of the press — it took National ridicule to correct the bathroom situation at Mount. So why is Gary “touring the toilets” this morning ? “Re-election” campaign. The constipation of the accuracy of the SARC reports still needs to be answered by Gary — why has he allowed the Audits for the last three years to cite the inaccuracy of the SARC reports on the Physical Inspection of the campuses to be inaccurate WITHOUT correction ? So why is Kate McClatchy still there ? So why is Steven Lawrence still there ? Don’t they know how to solve problems ?

  57. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Anon: You are absolutely correct. Both governance facilitators have told trustees that they are responsible for the big picture — and for hiring staff that is accountable for carrying out the board’s goals. The superintendent and his staff are accountable for the day-to-day operations of the district.
    Trustee Gary Eberhart told me last week that he was continuing to ask questions about the situation at Mt. Diablo High and to “apply pressure.” He also told me that it would not be uncommon for him to pay a surprise visit to a campus to see the restrooms for himself.
    Apparently, his behind-the-scenes pressure was not working, so he decided to pop by the school.
    As you may recall, I also saw Eberhart outside Glenbrook MS when complaints surfaced about overcrowded buses taking students to El Dorado Middle School. It’s clear that he is not necessarily content to submit questions in writing to district staff and wait to get answers.
    Although Principal Kate McClatchy can say, “no comment” to the press, the public deserves to know why the restrooms were closed. As student Jeffrey Mosher told the board, their job is to provide information to the public.
    All of this could have been avoided if the district simply complied with the law.

  58. Doctor J Says:

    Theresa said: “All of this could have been avoided if the district simply complied with the law.” PRICELESS. When will the Board learn to hold the Supt publicly accountable ? Since keelhauling and public flogging are no longer socially acceptable, what should Lawrence’s and McClatchy’s punishment be ?

  59. Wait a minute Says:

    So, Gary Eberhart is trying to take credit for “solving the problem” in order to boost his reelection bid and he’s taking his “Tour of the Toilets” to “prove” how active he is???

    First of all, The Gary is relentlessly micromanaging the administrators he oversaw by hiring.

    Secondly, The Gary is every bit as responsible FOR THE PROBLEM since he hired blatantly incompetent administrators to begin with.

    Thirdly, The Gary and his board majority WILL NOT hold Stevie Lawrence or Kate McClatchy accountable!

    Don’t forget the stunning lack of safety at MDHS under Kate/Stevie that led to “Toilet Gate” in the first place and this after Kate failed at her last school (Olympic HS).

    Don’t forget the Vote of No Confidence in Kate by the teachers and her incompetent top-down management style that she shares with her direct supervisor Stevie Lawrence!

    Yes my friends, from busses to toilets to lack of safety, the students of MDHS and the MDUSD have suffered long enough under the tyranny of The Gary and his pals.

  60. Doctor J Says:

    MIA: Lawrence and McClatchy. They are at the infamous “undisclosed location”. Fill their voicemails !

  61. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I just received an email reminder about this free Ed Trust webinar: “Great Principals Talk about Getting It Done”
    I wonder if any MDUSD principals or SASS administrators will participate.

  62. Doctor J Says:

    2 reasons NO: its free, no travel; contrary to MDUSD culture: “getting it done” not part of district culture.

  63. Theresa Harrington Says:

    It is also curious that General Counsel Greg Rolen apparently didn’t inform the superintendent and McClatchy that locking restrooms and failing to keep them stocked with necessary supplies violated the law, after hearing complaints at the Jan. 23 and Feb. 6 board meetings.
    He is accountable to the board.

  64. Doctor J Says:

    Gary’s intervention undermines the authority of McClatchy and Lawrence — EMPOWERING the students to go “public” with their complaints and ENCOURAGING the faculty to bypass McClatchy and Lawrence and go straight to the Board for resolution. The unresolved “NO CONFIDENCE” vote in McClatchy [and indirectly of Lawrence as her direct supervisor] leaves little room for resolution of the issues between the faculty and the administration.

  65. Theresa Harrington Says:

    The students and faculty both said they have been complaining about these issues for months. If the school and district resolved such issues expediently, it’s unlikely that students and teachers would go to the board and the press.
    As I have previously mentioned, I also have special ed parents complaining to me about compliance violations.

  66. Anon Says:

    Rolen’s inaction is tantamount to complete abdication of duties. The General Counsel is responsible for Brown Act compliance in addition to all other legal compliance, and in this district he’s also responsible for busing. That puts him near the top of the list of people who should have been FIRED before this. The buck stops where?

  67. Doctor J Says:

    chaos. Chaos. CHAOS. Who is in charge ?

  68. g Says:

    Oh, you are bad..;) Yes, he is a busy man, and we want to keep the District on their toes…so— Inquiring minds do want to know:

    Since the Fardella case was settled, on January 9th the board reported three more potential legal cases. As they reported out on 2/6, we now know that one is Roaldson.

    I now see that another Small Claims case against MDUSD is in the works. On 1/31 MING JUNG CHOE filed for $10,000. in Small claims court. Trial Date set for 3/12. The District has not yet reported out on this one.

    I wonder what this one is about, and if they are going to fight this one too. Does anyone have any info?

    And speaking of Roaldson, does anyone know why they are sueing a science teacher and the vice principal at College Park?

    …and the ‘third possible case’…hmmm?

  69. Wait a minute Says:

    Rolen is that “kind of guy”!

  70. The Observer Says:

    A couple of points…….. Did anyone bother to talk to the custodians about bathroom maintenance? Were they not cleaning the floors, toilets, urinals, filling soap dispensers, and filling paper towel holders? If they were doing all that, then someone was soiling the floors, not flushing toilets,backing up the urinals, destroying soap dispensers, and tearing paper out of dispensers for some nefarious purpose. Let’s see…..who might be urinating on the floors, not flushing after use, plugging up urinals with paper towels,and tearing soap dispensers off of walls, and urinating in stairwells? It’s not done by elves…

    Perhaps all of those who are posturing about the bathrooms should spend some time following a custodial crew around for a week before passing judgement.

    Over the years school bathrooms have an ongoing infamy only surpassed by the mystery meat in the cafeteria. Ask any group of administrators from a diverse range of schools and they will tell horrific stories about what they have seen occur in student bathrooms. Much of the problem stems from a school culture in which some teachers will support a “Pissing is a human right” philosophy as opposed to developing a culture in which students take responsibility for using facilities appropriately.

    Right now you have Gary Eberhart. who is clearly clueless of his role, acting as “Inspector Clouseau Toilet Inspector”, Lawrence who once again seems to have gone into the witness protection program, a teacher, who candidly is using kids for political purposes, and a whole lot of people missing the forest for the trees running around like stampeding lemmings. This thing should never have gotten this far.

    Open the bathrooms and display the following signs.

    The floor is for walking…….Flush when finished……Stand close ….wash your hands with soap……….use only the towels you need……. Throw litter is garbage cans….. Do not write on the walls…….Thank you for your courtesy……….Go to Class.

    Take pictures at beginning of each day and end of each day. Compare pictures. Invite public and media to see pictures and in person.Take action when necessary.

    Get on with the learning

  71. Just J Says:

    Thersa, don’t get us started on Special Ed violations. This district is sinking. I was thinking that there might be some hope but I think it is a lost cause.

    I hope Lawrence and Mc whats her name are together reading the want ads!

  72. Doctor J Says:

    Observer said “Gary Eberhart. who is clearly clueless of his role, acting as “Inspector Clouseau Toilet Inspector”, Lawrence who once again seems to have gone into the witness protection program,” Your comments are priceless:-)

  73. anon Says:

    I love when the board doesn’t go and actually see for themselves what is happening at a school site, they are criticized. I also love that when they do go and actually see for themselves what is happening at a school site, they are also criticized. That’s pretty cool. How can I sign up for a sweet gig like that?

  74. Helll Freezing Over Says:

    Observer also made me question the custodians … if they were NOT cleaning the ONE bathroom that was available until today (why clean locked bathrooms that don’t get used?), and NOT filling soap and towel dispensers because there were NONE hanging on the walls to fill, then what were they doing? Were they cleaning under the stairs where students found some bit of privacy to relief themselves?

    I know there are several ‘jobs’ a custodian does, but I still want to know if the adminstration was paying them to clean all those bathrooms if they weren’t being used.

    And I totally agree with daily before/after pictures, and suggest the school admininstration places a monitor – an adult – at each bathroom to help ensure the bathrooms remain clean, available to all students and used for the intended purposes. I don’t want to hear “we don’t have any $$ for that, the state budget … wah wah wah” -The District managed to create a rather large reserve as we all learned … I want to hear solutions from the administration, solutions that are legal and enforced – that’s what they get paid to do. Not lock every bathroom except one on a campus that serves 1500+ students because that’s easier.

  75. Helll Freezing Over Says:

    Oh, I want to make it clear, I have total and utmost respect for the school custodians, as I do for anyone in the business of cleaning up after anyone else.

    I think the custodians deserve far more than they are paid for what we, the public, expect them to do and take for granted.

  76. Just J Says:

    I called the school today to see if all bathrooms were open. They told me they were and the issues with the No confidence was with 5 teachers only. She also said that the bathrooms were open during passing times and locked during class time. I think she was fibbing. She had no knowledge of urine stained areas on campus. Just that the kids were out of control and they get no support or money from the district to fix any of the problems. When I told her that the HS gets more money than most she said it was grant money and seemed to act as if that does not count. I guess money is what is what it all comes down to with the adults in this district.

  77. g Says:

    …and speaking of strange things and ‘such’, why in the world did the District pay Marisol Padilla $2100.00 last year to (translate??) books on Permaculture and Climate. Was that required text? Is it one of those things all schools are charged for? It wasn’t charged to an individual school, but rather to the Dent Center site account.

    Did your school get copies of those (translated?) books? Did you get English copies?

  78. Wait a minute Says:

    Just J @77,

    Only FIVE TEACHERS voted No Confidence is complete and total BS which is exactly how these so-called “leaders” and their supporters/apologists operate!!!

    A Majority of the teachers voted No Confidence.

  79. MDUSD Board Watcher Says:

    Where in the world did Sue Berg go?

    Or maybe she is posting under one of her alter egos? She no longer uses Long Time Board Watcher.

    Sue where are you?

  80. Just J Says:

    @79 I know this. This is what the office told me when I called them.

  81. Anon Says:

    Instead of SARC’s meaningless pro-forma status report, the district should open up all the student restrooms for inspection during the public meetings being scheduled at each high school and Bay Point. Give the community guests a map of the campus including student restroom locations and let us decide for ourselves.

  82. Doctor J Says:

    @M. Bd Watcher: Sue is like a Ground Hog — outed once again, she went back into her space for another 6 months. Actually, I do think she has been moonlighting at the CDE and got double caught yesterday. Last Sept, it was on a Saturday night but yesterday it was in the morning, so perhaps one too many lattes ?
    @Annon#82 — The SARC is only meaningless on facilities when the Facilities Inspection report is not accurately reported on the SARC as has happened THREE years in a row, and caught THREE years in a row by the Auditors.

  83. Doctor J Says:

    This is confusing; today Lawrence orders McClatchy to open all the restrooms, and yet Eberhart is the one who shows up to do the “inspections” and talk with the students. Why didn’t this happen way back on Jan 24 after the first complaints to the Board that McClatchy was present to hear ? Sounds like a lot a manure to me.

  84. Realia Says:

    Just J, did you get a name when you called the MDHS office? My guess is you talked with the office manager who followed McClatchy from Olympic (why she left Olympic is another story in itself). She’s a mercenary and will say whatever she’s told by Comrade Kate, who in turn says and does whatever she’s told to say and do by the board and superintendent. MDUSD, where lies come first – from the top down.

  85. g Says:

    Election year– Eberhart’s cause celebre–Employees taking the heat–par for the course.

  86. MDHS Teacher Says:

    @77 Whoever you spoke to on the phone LIED to you. I was one of 60+ teachers voted NO CONFIDENCE in Kate McClatchy, not five. That is a lie and a joke and just goes to show how they want to cover everything up. I’m sorry you were lied to, muliple times. Kate McClatchy is in denial and if she can’t smell the urine in the Academic Building stairwell then she obviosuly doesn’t tour her school very often.

  87. Just J Says:

    I know she lied. I thought it was interesting. I just decided to call and see if anyone would talk. She had a very nice voice but I could hear the B.S. in her voice. So sad that it has come to all of this. The kids are what matter! I did tell her that the kids deserve better. She asked me if I knew why the bathrooms were closed to begin with and I told her yes but what is being done about the supervision. She could not answer me except to say that there is not enough money. So sad

  88. Students at Mount Diablo Says:

    Sadly this isn’t the worst.
    Kate McLiar isn’t what this school needs, we need a teacher who cares about the problem not about his/her own self-gain. her selfish ways alienate teachers and punish anyone who wants to feel safe on campus. at the beginning of the school year students who attended the registration process (IE getting PE uniforms filling out emergency info that hasn’t changed) were given a clip board with the following question.
    Do you feel safe at Mount Diablo? please rate with 1 being safe as possible and 10 being life threatening.
    My fellow students and i circled 10. the school is unsafe and unclean.
    her excuses as there is not enough money isn’t true. if that was the case then where is the donation box in the office, the answer is that it doesn’t exist. just as her “Great feeling and support to teachers and students at Mt.D” are non-existent.
    Her ways of handling death threats is a minor pat on the wrist and a “Don’t do it again”
    she refuses to suspend or school transfer without a parent or student going over her head.
    her office should have been cleaned out before she got the chance to put down her disgracing name plate.
    She is an evil, dark hearted being as far as my peers and teachers are concerned. teachers can’t speak their mind about her in fear of getting fired. those who support her are just as bad. she does nothing to support the learning environment we students deserve.
    Her rambling to find an answer to cover her ass is hurting us even more. all she cares about is making herself look good and firing teachers who think that she should be fired PERMANENTLY.
    How she ever got her license can’t be explained by logic unless she bribed the instructor to give her the license.
    everyday me and my friends go to school we look at the ground in fear of looking at the wrong person and getting into a fight.
    teachers say we should help but what can we do besides cry for help on the internet where we can hide our names, our age and our fear.
    she hasn’t made any improvements, we want a principle who can take a step of action every day against the violence at our school.
    she takes away our rights and limits our voices and those who speak out are most likely on her to get list.
    Mount Diablo needs a change for the better not for the worst and Kate McClatchy needs to go.
    – a concerned party of students.

  89. simple solutions Says:

    Great! Sounds like they need bathroom monitors… A couple of very simple solutions:
    Hire one of those bathroom ladies ever present in Eastern European public restrooms (for a fee they let you, give you 10″ of TP and may even let you use soap!). It is a shame that all this time is being spent on something that could be easily solved by students. Let me quess, those 14 years old kids (and older) don’t know where to urinate or that they need to leave the place clean if they want to find it clean next time they want to use it. The principal maybe a bozo, but that is not an excuse for poor behavior! Please clean these toilets, keep them clean and move on to the next topic which should be teaching, improving quality of teaching and making sure that these kids are learning!

  90. Doctor J Says:

    Are the custodians taksed with cleaning ALL those restrooms every night ? A good question for Jeff McDaniel. If so, going from two to all is a huge increase in effort. I suspect they won’t be able to keep up with the effort and then blame the dirty restrooms on the students again.

  91. Wait a minute Says:

    Students at Mt Diablo @89,

    You are brave and I applaud your stand against what is wrong with your school.

    I urge you to focus your passion and ask your parents to get behind and support a teacher-trigger charter conversion for MDHS like what happened at CVCHS.

    Charter conversions should not be just for the wealthier areas of the district but should be for all schools that the MDUSD has failed.


    If you and your parents collaborate with the teachers you can take back control of your school and fire McClatchy and the Superintendent and have a school that is controlled by the families in your community and the staff at your school.

    You will regain contol of the millions of dollars that the MDUSD takes out of your school to spend on administration that never even benefits your school and instead use this money to improve your school.

  92. Doctor J Says:

    Correction to CCT Editorial: Lawrence’s extension is x4009 not 4000.

  93. Just J Says:

    Noone is answering the phone at Lawrence’s office.

  94. School Teacher Says:

    Simple Solutions @#89

    In my opinion, the great majority of high school kids do know how to relieve themselves properly. The thing I’m not sure I know is what to do with the small majority that are disrupting this basic right, and causing the damage. My first thought would be the perpetrators need to be identified, and then something must be done about that. I don’t know what punishment would really get through to a teenager who thinks it is cool to vandalize a restroom. You could charge parents for the damage, you could make them put on the rubber gloves and do the cleaning, you could put them out in front of the school with a sign that says “I am one of the people vandalizing the bathrooms”. I don’t know if any of that will change them. I don’t think these are the type of people that will respond to sensitivity training type interventions. I would love to hear from others what their ideas might be. Something must be done. Just cleaning up their messes won’t make the problem go away.

  95. School Teacher Says:

    Correction on previous post

    Second sentence phrasing should read “small minority”.

  96. Doctor J Says:

    @ST#84 Actually Gary has the right idea: instill pride in the students and have them self-police instead of instilling an adult v. child confrontation. Take away the incentive of destruction by making repairs immediately, just like we do by painting over graffiti ASAP. After a period of time, the destruction will stop.

  97. g Says:

    I’m going to take the liberty of editing for Students @88. The English/grammar wasn’t great, and because of that, it may have disguised the theme. This kid was screaming for help!

    This is not only more important than where some kids take a leak, it is very high on the probable list of who does most of the destruction at this and other schools.

    Students said:
    (1) (we)were given a clip board with the following question: ‘Do you feel safe at Mount Diablo? please rate with 1 being safe as possible and 10 being life threatening’. My fellow students and i circled 10. the school is unsafe and unclean.
    (2)Her ways of handling death threats is a minor pat on the wrist and a “Don’t do it again”
    (3)PAY REALLY CLOSE ATTENTION HERE FOLKS— “everyday me and my friends go to school we look at the ground in fear of looking at the wrong person and getting into a fight”.

    (4)”teachers say we should help but what can we do besides cry for help on the internet where we can hide our names, our age and our fear.”

    EVERY DAY there is a fight at some one of the schools.
    Right this minute there is a call for cops for a huge fight happening behind Riverview Middle in Bay Point!

    Students that want to learn will not have a chance in hell until the District puts its foot down on violence!

    I don’t mean 1 or 2 kids here and there who get suspended only for guns and knives. I mean– ZERO TOLERANCE FOR FIGHTING WITHIN 500 YARDS OF ANY SCHOOL PROPERTY! You start one fight, you finish your schooling at an alternetive–period!

  98. Theresa Harrington Says:

    After hearing the MDHS grad talk about McClatchy’s decision not to allow her academy to have a service in memory of her boyfriend who was murdered, I found this section of the WCCUSD agenda interesting:

    * D.2 In Memory of Members of the School Community
    The District would like to take time to recognize the contributions of members of our school community who have passed away. The District requests the community to submit names to be reported as a regular part of each agenda.
    Jeremy Crowder, age 17, passed away on January 29, 2012. Jeremy was a young man that showed maturity, perseverance, and commitment to improving himself. Jeremy played football and was an honor roll student at ECHS as well as a member of the Young Scholars Program and the Angaza Program.
    Tyler DeMartini, age 18, passed away February 1, 2012. His love of baseball and passion for skateboarding and life in general were an inspiration to teammates, friends and family. Tyler will be fondly remembered for his charisma, infectious smile and charm.
    Our thoughts go out to the family and friends in the loss of their loved one.”

    The MDUSD board often recognizes former employees who have died, but I don’t recall trustees highlighting students who have died.

    Here is the entire WCCUSD agenda for tonight’s meeting, where trustees will also consider a new parcel tax:

  99. Doctor J Says:

    Where is the posted AGENDA 72 hours in advance — REQUIRED by the Brown Act and AB 1344 — “The next meeting of the 2010 Citizen’s Bond Oversight Committee is scheduled for Thursday February 16th, 2012 at 7:00 PM in the Board Room at Dent Education Center”

    MDUSD continues to thumb its nose at the Brown Act ! When will the Contra Costa County District Attorney take action against them for clear violations of the law ?

  100. Theresa Harrington Says:

    It’s posted on the Measure C website:

  101. Doctor J Says:

    I am looking at and do not see it under Agendas or anyplace else.

  102. Theresa Harrington Says:

    It’s on the Oversight Committee page, labeled: CBOC Thursday February 16th 2012.

    I would post the link, but this site doesn’t give specific URLs for documents. (Somebody should fix that.)

  103. Doctor J Says:

    More hide the ball putting the agenda in the wrong section, not clearly labeled. And no attachment of the Audit ? When will that public record be made public ?

  104. School Teacher Says:

    @Doctor J #96

    I conceptually understand your point, but disagree from a practical perspective. The kind of person that causes this destruction will not be responsive to the methods you refer to. The last thing I would want is to have the students confronting each other. The people responsible for the vandalism I think would not think twice about physically threatening other students wanting to correct them. From what the students mentioned in another blog response, they already don’t feel very safe on campus. Those elements making them feel unsafe are the same ones they will most likely have to confront to stop the destruction. I hear teachers talk about having the leadership students getting involved and trying to do this. I don’t think the students causing the vandalism have any respect for the leadership students to begin with, and wouldn’t have a problem threatening them if they tried. At some point the adults have to step in, and I think this is one of those moments. How they step in can be open for discussion, but I think they will need to be the ones to come up with something.

  105. g Says:

    Theresa @98; I think I have McClatchy’s back on that one. The school is not the place to glamorize a child’s death with candles, flowers and stuffed animals, and if it was a gang death, that service would have invariably have culminated with another fight or payback.

  106. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I understand what you’re saying. But, it appeared that the student was concerned because there didn’t seem to be a consistent policy.
    I remember a Northgate student who died of heart failure and I don’t think there was an agenda item remembering him either.

  107. Anon Says:

    Our high school has lost students. Their friends spontaneously created remembrances for them such as posters and charity work. The parent club maintains a garden which has memorials. Everyone wants to grieve and memorialize those who died too young, whether from natural causes or otherwise. Las Lomas HS is creating an outdoor classroom as a memorial to the two boys who tragically drowned last year. It can be done tastefully and appropriately without glamorizing.

  108. Doctor J Says:

    Why is Supt Lawrence hiding the Measure C audits ? They have not been posted with the Agenda for tomorrow’s meeting and appear to be the major topic. Why does the public have to fight everytime to get “Public Records” from Lawrence ?

  109. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I have posted a link to the audit, as well as a link to Alicia Minyen’s Oct. 10, 2011 memo to the committee outlining “Questionable expenses paid for using 2010 Measure C bond proceeds”

  110. MDHS Teacher Says:

    It would be nice to memorialize every student and teacher we lose with some type of appropriate memorial, but since the student our school lost last year was a “gang member” his death was treated by Ms McClatchy as if it was not worth fussing about one bit at school. Children who lose friends (other children) need to mourn and heal, regardless of where they are. The child who was shot and killed was Mexican and in the Mexican culture one who dies is memorialized immediately, yes, with flowers and candles.

    The students and staff were not trying to make a large public display about his death during class time, they just wanted to do what they could as a community/academy at lunchtime inside a classroom and Ms.McClatchy wouldn’t allow it. So sad for everyone.

  111. School Teacher Says:

    @ G #68

    You mentioned a lawsuit involving a College Park vice principal and science teacher. Does someone know what this is about? I think I have some knowledge of this? Do you know anything Theresa?

  112. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Some time ago, someone posted a link to this lawsuit, which I believe involved a student shooting a potato gun in class and hitting another student in the eye. The student hit in the eye was injured and is suing the district, I believe.
    The lawsuit alleges the teacher was negligent for encouraging the first student to build the potato gun and for not supervising him well, which resulted in the classroom injury.
    I believe the plan was for the student to shoot the gun outside.

  113. Realia Says:

    Theresa, you are correct about the Roaldson lawsuit. I saved the PFD file of the lawsuit and can forward it to you if you like.

  114. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Yes, please forward it to me at
    Last I checked, it was scheduled for a case management conference April 10. (But that could have changed by now.)

  115. Theresa Harrington Says:

    MDHS student Savannah Ridgley took second place in county “Poetry Out Loud” competition:

  116. g Says:

    Way to go Savannah!

  117. g Says:

    I expect some of my taxes to pay for lawsuits against the district, but…Can someone enlighten us about the District taking the helm in getting a two year Restraining Order to keep a Mr. Katz (whomever that is) from harassing McClatchy on the job? Is that what we pay education taxes for?

  118. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Where did you see that?

    The district also paid to hire at attorney to get a restraining order against the father of a then-district student, who was asked to stay away from General Counsel Greg Rolen after a verbal confrontation in Safeway.

  119. g Says:

    The Online Case Info site at Contra Costa County Superior Court is a wealth of information.

  120. g Says:

    Now everyone is going to spend all night looking up every person they know.

    If you want to search the District, you have to look under Mt. Diablo Unified School District (both with the period and without; Mount Diablo Unified School District; MDUSD and Mt. Diablo School District (both with the period and without).

    Now you know why they need sooooo many Legal Firms!

  121. MT HS Graduate Says:

    I personally went to Mt.Diablo High School, most of the Teachers were a joke! All you had to do was show up to class and you would pretty much get a passing grade. The bathroom were used to setup kids to get jumped. There were nothing but wannbe gang members there trying to throw around their “weight” to the student body, to the teachers. I’m glad that this principle is putting her foot down and making changes. When I was there, it was nothing but dickies, rosaries, and rags hanging from every other kid there. Change needs to happen now and these teachers need to get off their butts and back her play!!! Yes, Mt.Diablo teachers you are expected to TEACH!!! So sorry shes actually making you go to training and re-educate yourself!!! One thing is clear not many students at Mt. can even perform in AP classes. Most of the students from Mt. will end up in the lower workforce. An Academy might just be the answer for this school. Why don’t some of you research and analyze the effect of the technical inefficiency and schools poor performance and that effect it has on the high school dropout rates. The effect it has on the economy, the crime rate etc. Yes, it’s the parents responsibility to keep their kids in school, but it’s also the TEACHERS responsibility to teach. If their parents allow their children to go to school late then we can already see they are dealing with bigger issues than the alarm didn’t go off. If the same students are perpetually late, I’d send them to pick up trash too. They might as well get an early start on their future job! Why send them into the classroom where they are going to be disruptive??? A few years ago, I had sit in a class room at Mt.Diablo where a particular student was very disruptive. The teacher could not teach because of this one student! She was also too scare to send the fool to the office!The kids who are clearly not going to graduate are already marked, let them go to continuation or pickup trash! Before all you make judgements based on a few links, go and actually spend time on the schools campus and YOU CAN SEE FOR YOURSELF!!! Its a JOKE AND CHANGE NEEDS TO HAPPEN!!!

  122. Doctor J Says:

    CDE “conditional approval” of MDHS QEIA waiver. But when you read the “conditions” I don’t think Mount will be able to meet the “conditions” !!!! Why ? The District’s waiver application was not totally accurate nor forthcoming !! They have to meet the targets by the end of the ‘CURRENT YEAR’. Won’t happen. Read and decide for yourself: “The California Department of Education (CDE) supports Mt. Diablo USD’s request that the QEIA 27-student cap per core classroom be waived for four grade eleven classes and two grade twelve classes at Mt. Diablo HS for school year 2010–11. The CDE also supports Mt. Diablo’s similar request for waiver of the QEIA 27-student cap per core classroom CSR requirement for school year 2011–12, based on the district’s assertion that the school will meet its target by the end of the current year.

    The CDE recommends approval with the following conditions: (1) Applies only to four grade eleven classes and two grade twelve classes at Mt. Diablo HS for school year 2010–11; (2) Applies to grades nine through twelve at Mt. Diablo HS for school year 2011–12; (3) Within 30 days of approval of this waiver, Mt. Diablo HS USD must provide to the CDE a description, including costs covered by QEIA funds, of professional development activities and any other school improvement activities added to the school improvement plan as a result of the additional funding now available, if any, through this waiver of the CSR requirement.”

  123. Doctor J Says:

    Closer look at CDE “conditional approval” of MDHS QEIA waiver reveals that CDE got “additional commitments” from Mount NOT described in the “Waiver application”, but who gave the commitments ? Kate McClatchy ? Lorie O’Brien ? Steven Lawrence ?

    Problems with CDE summary of “facts”. 1. CDE says: “Mt. Diablo USD states that the high school has consistently had significant administrative and staff turnover, which made the training, scheduling, and execution of the master schedule difficult. ” NOT according to Dan Reynolds who begged Kate McClatchy to fix the schedule. 2. CDE says: “The district states that there was also simultaneous turnover of QEIA staff at the district level that affected the QEIA CSR calculation requirements.” NOT, Jen Sachs did not leave until June 30 and signed, along with Rose Lock, the “non-compliance” report sent to the County. 3. CDE says: “The district states that it has taken steps to ensure that there are no more than 27 students in each core class and will be compliant at the end of the current semester; further, the district anticipates full compliance with QEIA CSR requirements for 2011–12.” Really ??? Where does it say that in the Waiver application ? It doesn’t. Since we are in the final semester now, show us the numbers !!!! Who said that ? Kate McClatchy ? Lorie O’Brien ? Steven Lawrence ? When did they say it and is it in writing ?

  124. Theresa Harrington Says:

    You’re right. Both Dan Reynolds and Patrick Oliver have told the MDUSD board that Principal Kate McClatchy reported to the site council that she didn’t schedule for QEIA.
    Also, as you point out, Jen Sachs was the district’s QEIA administrator until the end of last school year — after the district completed its end of the year report. Certainly, her departure at the end of June could not have affected the 2010-11 QEIA CSR calculations. However, her departure definitely could have impacted the district’s ability to figure out that it could apply for a waiver. Sachs prepared documents for the Pittsburg district to apply for a QEIA waiver by its December board meeting. In contrast, MDUSD didn’t even realize it could apply for a waiver until December.
    And if the district is so sure that it will be fully compliant with QEIA by the end of this year, then why is it asking for a waiver for 2011-12? It will be interesting to see if the SBE questions this and decides to only grant the waiver for 2010-11. If the SBE grants the waiver for this year also, it will eliminate the incentive for the district to truly be compliant. There’s a big difference between ensuring compliance and merely “anticipating” that it might be compliant.

  125. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Tonight, the school board expects to approve extended leave of absence for SPI Tom Torlakson from his job as a science teacher at Mount:

  126. Anon Says:

    Did the board approve this status before now, or has he been active?

  127. Doctor J Says:

    Just a year ago, Gary Eberhart said this about MDHS: ‘Mr. Eberhart shared that State Superintendent of Schools Tom Torlakson was sworn into office at Mt.
    Diablo High School on January 3. He commended the school for doing an amazing job representing the
    District.’ (Board Minutes Jan 11, 2011). How things deteriorated in just a year under Principal Kate McClatchy, going from “amazing” to “toiletgate”.

  128. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I believe Torlakson has been granted an extended leave annually since he left the district.

  129. Doctor J Says:

    Has Dan Reynolds or Kate McClatchy or anyone else confirmed that Mount can or cannot meet the ‘conditions of approval’ required by the CDE for granting of the QEIA waiver ?

  130. Theresa Harrington Says:

    In the waiver application, Lorie O’Brien states that the district has beefed up its monitoring and support to ensure that it will be compliant. The application also states that the school will convert to an all-academy model in the fall: .

    “By the fall of 2012, all 9th graders will also be placed in academies. An administrator is assigned to each academy and teachers share common preparatory periods for planning and collaboration. The flourishing academies offered to students further restricted the ability to manipulate the master schedule making it not feasible to add additional sections of Pre-Honors, Honors, or AP courses mid-year. Students in academies have a series of required classes at each grade level that they must complete. …With the growth of academies, rescheduling students or adding additional AP/Honors courses was made more difficult.”

    The application doesn’t state how the school plans to get around this difficult situation, which it admits is exacerbated by the all-academy plan.

  131. Doctor J Says:

    @TH #130: The QEIA Waiver also states, which appears to make compliance by the end of the semester somewhat “iffy” : “Mt. Diablo High Staff, in good faith, developed a master schedule that was QEIA compliant but has not monitored it closely for compliance. At the time of the submission of this waiver request, District staff is working with site staff to conduct a rigorous review of the current master schedule to ensure compliance with QEIA and to make any needed adjustments at the semester change to minimize any potential negative impacts on students.”

    Since we are now in the second semester, can Dan Reynolds, Kate McClatchy or Lorie O’Brien positively confirm that MDHS is in QEIA compliance, which is a condition of approval ?

  132. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the SBE asks the same question. In fact, as I previously stated, I would think the SBE would be tempted to grant the waiver only for 2010-11 and not for 2011-12, to compel the district to follow through on its word.

  133. Doctor J Says:

    If Dan Reynolds shows up at the State Board of Education and requests that, they may go along with him especially if he can show how poorly he was treated by Principal McClatchy.

  134. Theresa Harrington Says:

    It will be interesting to see how the district will change its improvement plan based on the grant money. The truth is, the district never changed its plan to reflect the fact that it wasn’t anticipating getting the money, since McClatchy didn’t tell the site council before it approved the plan.

    So, the district can just say it will follow through on its original plan, which was never altered.

    This, however, could raise a red flag with the SBE, which might wonder why there wasn’t more transparency and proactive planning going on at the site and district office.

  135. Doctor J Says:

    The CDE in its recommendation never talked about one tenth of the timeline of QEIA issues because the district misled them in the Waiver application.

  136. Theresa Harrington Says:

    The most glaring factual error is the statement that the turnover in QEIA staff at the district office affected the QEIA calculations. That is simply false.

    Interestingly, Jen Sachs may be at the SBE meeting to speak in favor of the Pittsburg waiver. Perhaps the SBE could ask her how her departure at the end of June affected the QEIA calculations that were turned in before she left.

  137. Doctor J Says:

    @TH#136 Jen Sachs ratting out Lawrence and McClatchy — I think she would enjoy that after the way she was treated or should I say disrespected. That would be worth watching the replay posted by the State Board of Education.

  138. Theresa Harrington Says:

    She was very tight-lipped with me. But, if the SBE asks her questions about her role in the school’s failure to meet grant requirements , I would think she would feel compelled to be more forthcoming.

  139. MDHS Teacher Says:

    This makes me so mad. Please note that there is a difference in TEACHING staff and ADMINISTRATIVE staff at MDHS. The ADMINISTRATION staff is the one referenced here:

    “Mt. Diablo High Staff, in good faith, developed a master schedule that was QEIA compliant but has not monitored it closely for compliance. At the time of the submission of this waiver request, District staff is working with site staff to conduct a rigorous review of the current master schedule to ensure compliance with QEIA and to make any needed adjustments at the semester change to minimize any potential negative impacts on students.”

    The ADMINISTRATORS at our school made the non-compliant QEIA schedule, not the TEACHING staff. I wish they would specify this so it doesn’t sound like the teachers had anything to do with the loss of QEIA; quite the opposite, however, teachers WARNED Kate McClatchy and ALL the admins at MDHS they would be out of compliance… (shaking my head).

  140. Doctor J Says:

    @MDHD Teacher #139 Maybe the Teachers “en masse” should show up at the State Board of Education meeting and set the record straight. Obviously Eberhart and Lawrence have influenced Torlakson.

  141. School Teacher Says:

    How many years has Tom Torlakson’s leave of absence been extended? I’m curious why this is such a big deal.

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