Bonita Unified School District - Anything but "Beautiful"
To paraphrase the web site of Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo - Bonita Unified's legal counsel, (where they brag that the district prevailed in another matter):
"Parent and Student Advisory - Caution, Watch Out for Your Civil Rights!"
PARENT PREVAILS again, and Again, and AGAIN, AGAINST BONITA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR FAILING TO PROVIDE STUDENT WITH A FREE APPROPRIATE PUBLIC EDUCATION (and on other matters)!
Eager to read the results of the United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights and the California Department of Education, Special Education Division findings the Bonita Unified School District in out of compliance with Federal and State laws? Use the quick links provided below:
That's right, a parent prevails (again) against Bonita Unified School District, San Dimas, California for failing to comply with both Federal and State laws! Even a cursory search of the 'net will reveal that this District is BAD NEWS for children and that many others have tried (including a few unsuccessful attempts) to take actions against this district for alleged unethical and illegal activities. A sampling of sites with information about this pathetic excuse for a school district include:
- Former Bonita Unified School District Board member, Bob Olander, receives award for exposing corruption in the district!
- Angela Swift, parent and special education teacher with 20 years experience tells of her battle with Bonita Unified School District to get help for her autistic son. Like in the case of the OCR case that appears later on this page, it seems as if it took the district three years before they even "began to listen." Be sure to read the reprint of an article that appeared in the Los Angeles Times about the nonsense this parent went through to get assistance for her son by following this link [link no longer valid]. In that article, Ms. Swift stated (in 1996) that, "It is time for Bonita Unified to train its teachers in effective methods and then insist that those be used." Well, here it is, six years later, and we would still agree with Ms. Swift. There is one minor correction we would like to add - it is also time for the district to train its administrators.
- Another article, "Cracking the Code," regarding Angela Swift's "uphill battle" with Bonita Unified. This article is posted on the web site for the Agape Learning Center
- David Dangleis, a Bonita Unified School District teacher, arrested for having sex with a student.
- David Dangleis, a Bonita Unified School District teacher, serves four years in prison!
- The California Bar Association reports that Bonita Unified School District "hires/retains alleged molester" that results in an award of $10,801,700 (yes, that's over TEN MILLION dollars)! Re: William S. v. Bonita Unified School District, Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Another article regarding Bonita Unified School District TEN MILLION DOLLAR award regarding the William S. v. Bonita Unified School District case (see page five of this report)!
- Yet another article on the TEN MILLION DOLLAR molestation case.
California Department of Education, Special Education Division - This case, in which the student did not prevail, has many similarities with the one in which the student and his father did; these similarities include:
- Both students attend(ed) Lone Hill Middle School, "A California Distinguished School"
- Both students have a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder, Inattentive Type
- Many of the same individuals were involved in both cases, these include:
- Karen Gilyard, attorney for the school district (from the law firm of Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo - an agency that proudly proclaimed on their web site that they "advise and represent public school districts when they are subject to investigation or complaints by the United States Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, in regard to alleged violations of civil rights laws." (Gosh, isn't that nice? ASEE wonders about how many tax dollars go to this law firm.)
- Cathy Shehan, Special Education Coordinator for Bonita Unified School District
- Mary Ellen Newcomb, assistant principal at Lone Hill Middle School
- Barry Sandoval, school psychologist
- Chuck Mayfield, program specialist
As mentioned above, this student and her parent did not prevail against the district. ASEE wonders, however, if the information that was uncovered by the United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights complaint that resulted in the finding that the District was OUT OF COMPLIANCE with several Federal Laws had been known, if the outcome would have been different.
Obviously, this is not the kind of school district that ASEE believes most parents would want their children to attend!. For such a relatively small school district to have so many vile problems is almost beyond comprehension. The only way for parents to change things for their children, who may be trapped in such a deplorable place, is to fight back - and that is exactly what one father did when he learned that the district had illegally exited his son from special education, with neither his knowledge nor consent. So far, his efforts have resulted in both OCR and the California Department of Education finding the school district OUT OF COMPLIANCE with numerous Federal and State laws! As the father has successfully prevailed in these cases, it is believed that there will be a significant benefit for all special needs children within the district. Furthermore, significant changes are being required of the District to bring them into compliance with the law. Full details of this story may be found on our page devoted to Lone Hill Middle School, "A California Distinguished School.)
Click here for additional information on the successful complaint filed against the Bonita Unified School District with the United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.