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View from inside Mt. Diablo High

By Theresa Harrington
Monday, February 13th, 2012 at 12:16 am in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

William Maldonado, who is a senior at Mt. Diablo High, sent me the three photos above to illustrate problems with locked restrooms and others that are not sufficiently stocked with supplies at the school.

Here’s what he said about the photos in an email:

“These are the pictures I took. One is of the bathroom with no soap or paper towel fixtures even on the wall. That is of the shop building bathroom, the only bathroom usually available to students. The other pictures are pictures of the stair well in the Academic building where students often urinate because they cannot find a bathroom open or because they are too disgusted by the condition of the bathrooms to actually use them.”

Maldonado was one of several students who spoke to the school board last Monday, complaining about the lack of restrooms, lack of supplies in the few restrooms that are open, and the punishment that Principal Kate McClatchy requires when students are late to class — even if the reason they’re late is that they had to wait for a chance to use a restroom. They must get a tardy pass and pick up trash, which ends up making them even later, Maldonado told the board.

During a phone interview, Maldonado also expressed concerns about McClatchy’s plan to convert the school to an all-academy model. Maldonado has reached the highest rank in the school’s JROTC program. He and other members of JROTC fear that the program might not survive if the school converts to all academies, because students would not have enough options to take JROTC courses. He also said students would not be able to take courses from two different academies — such as woodshop and biotech. This is unfair because it limits their choices, he said.

During previous budget cuts, the school board considered cutting a JROTC program from MDHS or Olympic High. But students from both programs came to the board meetings dressed in their uniforms and talked about how it changed their lives. Teachers and parents also talked about how beneficial JROTC is on both campuses. So far, I have not heard this brought up at a board meeting. But, if the all-academy model would jeopardize the JROTC program, the public and the board should be made aware of that.

Do you think students should have to pick up trash if they are late to class because they were waiting to use the restroom?

FEB. 13 UPDATE: Toilet in the boy's restroom in the shop building at MDHS

Maldonado just sent me this additional photo, which he said was taken by his friend. Here’s what he wrote about it in an email:

“I found this picture on my friends phone and had him Bluetooth it to me. This is the only toilet available in the shop building bathroom.”

When I asked when it was taken, he responded: “This one was taken a couple weeks ago. The photo was time stamped as being taken on 1/17/12/”

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55 Responses to “View from inside Mt. Diablo High”

  1. MDHS Teacher Says:

    I am embarrassed that I work at a school whose administrators allow only one (or two at most) restrooms open at a time to 1500+ students. The Shop Building bathroom is always open but as the pictures show, there arent’ even towel or soap dispensers AVAILABLE. Ms. McClatchy has been aware of this issue for months and she has done nothing more than lock more and more restrooms over the last year and half. This is flatly a human rights issue and a public health issue. I commend the Amnesty International Club for bringing this issue to the board from a student’s voice, since they clearly did not hear it when teachers complained about the restrooms months ago along with the vote of no confidence in Ms. McClatchy. What will it take, people? Why is this failed leader still LEADING??? Disgraceful.

  2. Doctor J Says:

    Anyone can file a complaint with the State — that’s all it takes. Today Monday is a perfect day. Its not a state holiday, just a holiday for MDUSD. Quit complaining and file a complaint.

  3. Sad Face Says:

    I already did.

  4. Sad Face Says:

    I encourage everyone to file a complaint. These students and staff deserve better.

  5. Just J. Says:

    The board had better take action! This is terrible. So glad I live within the mdusd where children come first. Mt. D students and teachers. We hear you and I want to help but am unsure what to do? Perhaps you could have a meeting announced to all communities at 7 p.m and let’s try to pull together and help. One thing we should do is DEMAND that this leader get fired!

  6. 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?

  7. Doctor J Says:

    Principal Kate McClatchy took an oath to obey the law: She is in violation of Ed Code 35292.5 which says:
    “(a) Every public and private school maintaining any
    combination of classes from kindergarten to grade 12, inclusive,
    shall comply with all of the following:
    (1) Every restroom shall at all times be maintained and cleaned regularly, fully operational and stocked at all times with toilet paper, soap, and paper towels or functional hand dryers.
    (2) The school shall keep all restrooms open during school hours when pupils are not in classes, and shall keep a sufficient number of restrooms open during school hours when pupils are in classes.”

    What kind of an example to the students is she when she knowingly breaks the law ? Was Dr. Nugent’s conduct any worse ?

  8. Wait a minute Says:

    MHHS Teacher,

    Why don’t you and your fellow teachers start a teacher-trigger charter conversion for MDHS and put an end to MClatchy, Stevie, and EberMarsh’s tyranny over you?

    All you have to do is get a majority of teachers to sign the intent form. Ask your colleagues at CVCHS how to go about this and I’m sure they would even let you use their charter application which you will only have to modify somewhat for your school.

  9. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I have posted an update with another photo emailed to me from Maldonado — showing the one toilet available to boys in the shop restroom.

  10. Doctor J Says:

    You want to solve the problem ? Require Lawrence and Eberhart to sit on it.

  11. 2busymom Says:

    The janitor deserves hazard pay! For anyone to have to resort to peeing in stairwell is horrible.
    Perhaps Ms. McClatchey should allow them to use the staff restroom in the office.

  12. g Says:

    Clicking on each picture gives new comment space. In addition to the one I left, I would like to say I don’t want to hear another comment at the board meetings from Custodial workers (especially) or teachers at Mount complaining about their own jobs or wages until I see a picture of one of them actually doing something besides whining about their own poor living status.

    I don’t care what your contract says you should or should not do—grab a friend, grab a bucket, a fire hose, a health department inspector, a mayor, a senator.

    Send an email to parents asking if they have any idea what comes home to their carpets on their kids shoes.

    I’ll bet staff restrooms are at least flush-able.

  13. g Says:

    Are there separate restroom accommodations for disabled/wheelchair students, or do they also have to maneuver through this disgrace?

  14. Doctor J Says:

    More lies: MDHS SARC for 2011-12: “Restrooms/Fountains: Restrooms, Sinks/ Fountains: Repair Status GOOD” Here is what the SARC report, accessible from the school website via the district website says: “The District takes great efforts to ensure that all schools are clean, safe, and functional. To assist in this effort, the District uses a facility survey instrument developed by the State of California Office of Public School Construction. The results of this survey are available through the Maintenance and Operations Department.
    District maintenance staff ensures that the repairs necessary to keep the school in good repair and working order are completed in a timely manner. A work order process is used to ensure efficient service and that emergency repairs are given the highest priority.”
    Theresa, lets get a copy of the facility survey to see who did it, and when. SARC means “School Accountability Report Card”.

  15. Doctor J Says:

    Remember the Audit Report approved last month FY ending June 30, 2011: Prophetic words.
    “Finding #2011‐3: School Accountability Report Card (72000)
    Criteria: School facilities conditions assessments as indicated in a school’s annual School Accountability Report Card should match the information indicated in the facility inspection tool (FIT) form developed by the Office of Public School Construction and approved by the State Allocation Board, or local evaluation instruments that meet the same criteria, as per Education Code Sections 33126(b)(8) and 17002.
    Condition: The facility inspection tool (FIT) forms for selected schools were inconsistent with the School
    Accountability Report Card (SARC) that was published in the fiscal year 2010‐11.
    Context: 4 of 9 school sites tested
    Cause: School Accountability Report Cards were not filled out correctly based on the most recent FIT forms.
    Effect: The 2009‐10 School Accountability Report Cards as tested in the 2010‐11 fiscal year were not in compliance with Education Code.
    Questioned Costs: Not applicable
    Recommendation: We recommend that the District updates the SARC and ensure it agrees to the FIT forms. In
    addition, we recommend the District makes certain that future SARC’s posted to the District’s website are complete and in compliance with Education Code.
    District Response: The District will establish new procedures under which the facilities office will forward copies of the completed facilities inspection tool forms to the research and evaluation office for inclusion in the school accountability report cards.”

  16. Theresa Harrington Says:

    The signs on the doors showed wheelchairs, so it looks like they serve both.
    Regarding the SARC, it reported restrooms in “good” condition.

  17. g Says:

    Thanks Theresa, but I don’t think “serve” is the word I would use–unless you’re talking about e-coli and salmonella–it looks like they probably serve up a lot of that.

  18. Doctor J Says:

    @TH #16 But what did the Facility Survey say ? I just looked at the last THREE audits [FY ending June 09, 10, 11] and they ALL say basically the same thing: the facility surveys are not being accurately reported on the SARC’s. Each year, the district admits they have been caught again, promise to correct it, and don’t ! Hellooooo Board of Trustees, where are you ?????????? No one is following up on the audit problems that are promised to be corrected and instead ignored by the Supt. “We recommend that a process be put into place to ensure that all school site
    complaints be reported in the SARC.” Supt. Lawrence, why aren’t you ensuring these audit corrections are being carried out ? That’s your job !

  19. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I have a call in to the CDE to see who filled out the report.
    In the meantime, here’s a CCT editorial about the restrooms:

  20. Doctor J Says:

    Since the Editor posted Lawrence’s phone number, Let’s post Lawrence’s cell phone — its paid for by the district — and all call at once !

  21. anon** Says:

    Aa@ just j (#5): let’s meet as community members on Feb. 22nd at 7:00 at the Buttercup (I’m serious-this location will symbolically represent the deceitfulness of certain board members) and the ate will send a message to the supt and board members that although they’re holding a board meeting that night, we’re holding our own meeting because we can get more done by going directly to the CCCOE or filing complaints with CDE than they can. We can discuss making MDHS a charter and I can guarantee that a spokesperson from CVCHS will be there to offer support and answer questions. I already have 18 parents who are ready and willing to attend. Please respond via this 2b (anon**)

  22. anon** Says:

    I submitted before editing-meeting on Feb 22 @ Buttercup at 7—18 parents and cvchs Rep already confirmed. RSVP on this blog to anon**. @ just j (#5), spread the news

  23. Doctor J Says:

    When will this Board hold Supt Lawrence ACCOUNTABLE for failing to implement the Board mandated reforms in the last THREE audits to have the SARC reports accurately reflect the Facility Inspection reports ? Or was the Board just kidding [wink and a nod] when it adopted the reforms promised by the district in the audits ? Lawrence has had two years to get this done, and he hasn’t even attempted.

  24. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Perhaps he has delegated this task to someone else. Apparently, each district has a SARC coordinator. But, so far, I have been unable to find out who that person is in MDUSD.
    When I called the CDE about the MDHS SARC, the PIO said,”Oh, is this that school that locked the restrooms?” Word has spread around the CDE.
    It remains to be seen if the same question will be asked when the SBE hears the QEIA waiver.

  25. Doctor J Says:

    @TH#24 Its the “Integrated Systems Program Manager” created by Steven Lawrence in one of his first moves as Supt. Of course, we must give credit to Pete Pedersen for recommending it on February 7, 2010 ! Approved by the Board on Feb 23, 2010. Such brilliancy ! Net projected savings: $18,395.

  26. Doctor J Says:

    Theresa, we should also be reminding the CDE PIO that MDHS is the school that State Supt. Torlakson is a “teacher on leave” from ! Coach Torlakson has to be proud of that !

  27. Doctor J Says:

    Can anyone explain to me who is the “Integrated Systems Program Manager” or what happened to the position created by the Board on Feb 23, 2010 ?

  28. anon** Says:

    @Dr J (27): research and evaluation gathers that info-but I don’t know if anyone in that Dept was assigned to that position by the board on 2-23-2010

  29. Doctor J Says:

    I think Dan may be right — there were probably custodians working overtime today to get the bathrooms spic-n-span, ready for the onslaught of TV live-cams tomorrow. Theresa, all I can guess is that with the district off on vacation today, the national news media was calling the California Department of Education !!!

  30. MDUSD Board Watcher Says:

    Anon** regarding the Buttercup meeting I will be there. I bet Whitmarsh shows up, she has been desperate know who I am.

  31. g Says:

    Theresa @24; I have little faith in the accuracy or timeliness of the district website, with frequent suffle of employees, but maybe you are looking for Joe Marsich?

  32. Anon Says:

    The 2010 Measure C Bond Oversight Committee meeting will be held this Thursday at 7pm on February 16th. This is a special meeting where the 2010 Measure C Bonds’ financial and performance audits for the period will be presented by Christy White.

  33. g Says:

    Dr.J.@27 That request was really hard, until I realized how easy it was 😉

    They kept Silvia Esteban (the person hired for that position in 2007) when they made the temp job permanent.

  34. anon Says:

    @MDUSD Board Watcher: thrilled that you’ll be there; whitmarsh can’t attend because she’ll be at the board meeting.

  35. Anon Says:

    Dr.J@29, how much extra will that overtime cost?

  36. Doctor J Says:

    Silvia, how many years will it take to get the SARC reports accurate ? Oh yeah, she reports to Bryan Richards, so compliance with the Audits are inconsequential.

  37. Doctor J Says:

    How many restrooms are open at Mount this morning ?

  38. Theresa Harrington Says:

    All of them, according to teacher Dan Reynolds. See update to “Complaints mount…” blog post.

  39. Doctor J Says:

    Are the missing soap and towel dispensers still missing ?

  40. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Reynolds said that a custodian was going to each restroom with Eberhart to remedy problems. I assumed that meant that dispensers were being replaced, but I will need to double-check on that.
    Perhaps a student can provide another view from inside.

  41. Doctor J Says:

    Where is Kate McClatchy ? Where is Steven Lawrence ? Remember the TV show, “Car 54 where are you ?”

  42. Just j Says:

    @anon**. I will be there

  43. MDHS Teacher Says:

    @41: That’s exactly what I’m saying? You watch. Kate McClatchy will SILL have her job. (Shaking my head…) I don’t get it. She is somehow surviving one blunder after another. How, you ask? I do not know. MDHS deserves better! MDUSD: Courtesy flush, please!

  44. Doctor J Says:

    @MDHS Teacher: Kate McC is holding an Ace of Spades, and I don’t know what it is, but apparently the Supt and Board are afraid of her playing that card. One’s imagination can go wild based on the link I provided in Comment #67 under “Complaints”. Only time will tell.

  45. Jim Says:

    Ms. McClatchy’s “ace” may have something to do with the plan for converting MDHS to all academies. The two phenomena just seem to be too odd, not to be related. I thought that the Anonymous comment of a few days ago, speculating that MDHS could become an all-academy “magnet” school to make way for a new high school in Bay Point, could make sense. Naturally, the empire-protectors at Dent would like to be making plans to expand, even as they demonstrate, daily, that they can’t manage what they have. But how would residents feel about capital improvement funds, obtained ostensibly for other purposes, going toward building an expensive new high school? The accounting for the “Measure Cs” is murky enough to hide quite a bit of hijinks. More and more people understand that MDUSD should be getting smaller, not larger. Kate may know the real long-range plan and how unpopular it would be if word got out.

  46. MDHS Teacher Says:

    MDUSD: Where failed administrators come first.

  47. Wait a Minute Says:

    Good one!

  48. anonymous Says:

    The bathrooms are definitely a problem but how many people on the campus are willing to help? I hear many people blaming McClatchey and the administration but there is just too much space to supervise for the administration and the campus supervisors. Here’s an idea, how about some of the teachers help supervise the bathrooms and the campus in order to keep the vandalism down and help keep the campus safe? How many would be willing to do that? I’m no huge supporter of the admin at Mount but there are more people to blame here than just the admin. It is not the admin who use all of the toilet paper and paper towels to shove down the toilet or set on fire. They do not defecate on the floor or write graffiti on the wall but they are the ones held responsible. Yes they should be held accountable for many of the problems at Mount but when it comes to the bathrooms there is definitely more sides to this story than what is being told. I hear people complaining about the problem but how many are offering possible solutions?

  49. Clayton Squirrel Says:

    My husband works for Kaiser and they are given the option to work on a community service project every Martin Luther King Jr. Day. He chose to join the large crew that was fixing up and cleaning MDHS all that day. He thought they had that place spotless regarding litter. He did say that it was quite a mess before.

  50. Wait a minute Says:

    Anonymous Says @48,

    What your statement doesn’t take into account is that MCClatchy is a well known failure at running safe and sane schools when she was also given a Vote of No Confidence by her staff at her previous job in the MDUSD as the Principal of Olympic (Alt Ed) HS. As a Principal of an Alt Ed school she should have been very experienced in handling troubled students but it is obvious that she is a failure at this basic duty.

    Aside from her failure at Olympic, McClatchy’s NEGLIGENT SUPERVISION at MDHS goes back to the beginning of the year, see this thread from

    Now look at comment#88 by Students at Mt Diablo says in here:

    Students are afraid of their lives at MDHS!!!

    This is bad, very bad. If students don’t feel safe then students are not going to learn (or test) very well. So when McClatchy issues her top-down edicts (that probably come from Mr. top-down Stevie Lawrence), nothing gets solved without administration willing to truly collaborate.

    McClatchy, along with Stevie, Greg, Gary, Sherry, Linda are THE PROBLEM, NOT THE SOLUTION here and must be ousted to bring positive change to not only MDHS, but also the rest of the MDUSD–since currently its Where Failed Administrators Come First” like Kate.

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