"Honesty is not the best policy " it is the only policy." - A decorated Marine Corps officer on Vietnam policy
The North Valley Military Institute (NVMI) applied to the LAUSD so that it could be provided with space for 750 students in LAUSD facilities during the next school year. This request was made under PROP-39, the California law that allows charter schools like NVMI to force their way onto public school campuses no matter the disruption to the existing students.
In previous years, the district was able to accommodate NVMI's request for space on a single campus. Unable to continue with this arrangement, the LAUSD offered space to the charter school on two different campuses. NVMI was not happy with the fact that they would have to split their student body and sued the district.
As a result of a court ruling in NVMI's case, the Board of Education had to formally make a finding at the June 21, 2022, meeting stating the reasons why NVMI could not be accommodated at a single school site. Before taking a vote on the matter, the charter schools Superintendent and lawyer were allowed to give public comments.
Instead of making a case against the reasons that the district had cited, both of them presented the board with "alternative facts." The following video provides a fact-check for some of their comments:
This is not the first time that the school's leadership has lied in an attempt to get their way. As part of their approval process with Los Angeles County, NVMI promised to eliminate punishment for students who did not respect the flag to the school's satisfaction, but then they kept on doing so anyway. It continued to deny wrongdoing for charging students to attend summer school while refunding fees that had already been paid. Instead of properly investigating "abhorrent child sex abuse" at the school, NVMI is alleged to have retaliated against parents who made the charges by turning them into Child Protective Services.
The lies told before the school board provides more evidence that the leadership of NVMI is unfit to lead a school, especially one that is supposed to be based on military discipline. As the agency that is the authorizer of this school, the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) needs to take immediate steps to ensure that the students in this school are protected.
Carl Petersen is a parent advocate for students with special education needs and public education. He was elected to the Northridge East Neighborhood Council and is the Education Chair. As a Green Party candidate in LAUSD's District 2 School Board race, he was endorsed by Network for Public Education (NPE) Action. Dr. Diane Ravitch has called him "a valiant fighter for public schools in Los Angeles." For links to his blogs, please visit www.ChangeTheLAUSD.com. Opinions are his own.