LANCASTER — Multiple community members appealed to Antelope Valley Union High School District Board of Education member Amanda Parrell to resign or uphold her oath of office during Thursday’s meeting.
Instead of a line of people waiting to speak at the podium, the public comments were submitted as letters and read by Rachel Orosco, executive assistant to Superintendent David Vierra.
Parrell did not immediately respond to an email request for comment on Friday.
Letter writers called out Parrell’s recent actions in either voting with member Victoria Ruffin to deny the District representation for the California Interscholastic Federation’s Southern Section leagues, and a $125,000 grant, or abstaining, and thus barring, employee Anthony Hunt from obtaining a provisional internship permit to fill a vacant special education teacher slot.
“When you won your seat two years ago and took an oath to serve students and staff of this District, how can you in good conscience continue to abstain from voting, or worse, be told how to vote by another unserving member of this Board?” volunteer and District retiree Georgia Carol Dimeglio wrote. “You are not fulfilling your duties you were elected to do, and therefore I and many others have urged you to please resign.”
Letter writer April Davis quoted motivational speaker Les Brown at the start of her letter with Brown’s “Honor your commitments with integrity.”
“Mrs. Parrell, it’s time to step up and do what you were elected to do: represent the best interests of students, not the interests of Ms. Ruffin,” Davis wrote. “Demonstrate to this community that you have integrity and be a Board member that advocates for students. If you are unwilling to honor your commitment with integrity, then it’s time for you to resign.”
Letter writer Bianca Ortiz said she hoped Parrell would think long and hard about resigning.
“Her contributions to this Board, or more specifically, her lack of contributing to standing up for what’s right are not what we voted for,” Ortiz wrote. “I’m embarrassed to have voted for her in the last election.”
Letter writer Sarah, who is a former student of the District, asked Parrell to resign effectively immediately to allow the District to start heading back in the right direction.
Another letter writer named Humberto, who lives in Parrell’s Trustee Area No. 4, said he would like to be considered for a provisional appointment to Parrell’s seat.
A District employee who said he will retire at the end of the year and thus does not fear retribution from Ruffin and Parrell said virtually every District employee wants them to resign.
“You add anxiety to our lives,” the letter writer said. “You make us wonder every day how much money you will cost us next; how much harder you will make our jobs; who might you try to fire next; what funding might you will vote down for no reason with no justification given.”
The employee added thousands pray to be relieved of what they put them through and for them to resign.
“If that doesn’t sit heavy on you, then you are beyond healing,” he wrote.