Hoping to end a recent rash of loud, cuss-filled coach-bashing
at Santa Barbara High School football games, school officials have
begun filming the stands at Friday-night games and have beefed up
staff presence in the crowd. With the Dons mired in a season-long
losing streak, a few fans, according to Principal Paul Turnbull,
have begun a campaign against new head coach Will Gonzales.
According to Turnbull, the campaign – which has also included
emails and phone calls – seeks to unfairly paint Gonzales, who was
formerly head coach at archrival San Marcos High, as a “monster.”
After two fans reportedly told Gonzales they would slash his throat
if they saw him in public, restraining orders were filed and the
school adopted a zero-tolerance approach to all inappropriate
During the latter half of an exceptionally late Santa Barbara
School Board meeting last week, the board punted a final decision
on a planned revamp of their expulsion process, pending more
feedback from community and staff. Boardmembers seemed concerned
with a proposed change that would make it more difficult for
students to appeal expulsions, and would empower the board to
outright deny a student’s right to appeal. The policy is being
revamped after boardmembers expressed distress several months ago
with the amount of time they were spending dealing with expulsions
and the one-sided nature of the hearings.
About 100 students held a sit-in protest at San Marcos High
School last week to support teachers who are at a standstill in
their contract negotiations with the district. Around 2 p.m. on
Friday, the students gathered at the main office entrance, where
they remained until school authorities informed them that they
could face truancy and/or possible arrests if they continued to
block hallways and fire exits.
A Carpinteria Unified School District advisory board officially
recommended that the district close down Main Elementary School,
one of the district’s three elementary facilities. Though the
school board approved the controversial closure with a 3-2 vote
earlier this year, the specific school to be closed was uncertain
until last week. The idea of a closure has been met with fierce
opposition by some teachers and families, and has been a main issue
in the race for two available seats on the Board of Education.
Adding more fuel to the controversy is the new contract for
Carpinteria teachers, which stipulates an additional 2 percent
raise in July 2007 only if a school gets closed.