Parents of former and current students at Wagner Ranch Elementary requested action from the Orinda Union School District board of trustees at its Monday meeting. They presented a petition requesting an investigation into perceived inconsistencies in the principal’s use of disciplinary action and spoke about a punitive environment at the school.
In addition, parents questioned the administrative review process provided by the district to address grievances.
Parents noted that Wagner Ranch had significantly more suspensions than Del Rey, Glorietta or Sleepy Hollow. They spoke of children coming home in tears, fearing reprisal from administration. In addition, several parents stated that their children had provided video testimony without parental notification or consent when dealing with disciplinary issues.
The issue is a divisive one, with parents also speaking in support of principal Janis Arnerich and the school's administrative process. Riki Sorenson, former OUSD board member and part of the hiring committee for the principal, stated that the principal brought in "really good employees, really good teachers. I saw her move forward with district’s strategic goals. I saw her as a collaborator with the administrative staff.”
Sorenson stated that she was concerned that the community at Wagner Ranch is splintering, with repercussions for the district.
The comments were provided during the public comment period. The Brown Act forbids the board from engaging in discussions that are not on the published agenda.
Watch the video to get a sense of the issues raised.