California Attorney General to Investigate Compton Parent Trigger Move California Attorney General to Investigate Compton Parent Trigger Move
Education

California Attorney General to Investigate Compton Parent Trigger Move

by Liz Dwyer

December 20, 2010
As we've previously written, the so-called "parent trigger" is a controversial new California law that allows parents to change the administration at their child's failing school with enough signatures. Parents having the opportunity to give their children an excellent education sounds good, right? Well, the war between the adult players on either side of the pulling of the trigger at McKinley Avenue Elementary in Compton, California is definitely on, and now the State of California's getting involved.

The president of the California State Board of Education, Ted Mitchell, plans to ask the state's Attorney General's Office to look into allegations of misconduct on the part of the both the collector of parent trigger petition signatures, Parent Revolution, and McKinley's staff members.

Some parents claim they were told by Parent Revolution that they were signing a school beautification petition. The petition actually hands the school over to a charter school organization. Other parents say that once the petition was turned into Compton Unified School District officials, teachers told them they'd be deported and that the replacement charter school won't take special education students.

In an interview with Educated Guess, Mitchell says the stories he's heard are unverified but he's asking the California Attorney General’s Office to look into them anyway. He wants to get the facts and ensure that going forward, parents can fearlessly exercise their rights.

"What I've been hearing is that there's been rampant abuse and rampant lying that has been trying to intimidate parents, and there's no place in the parent trigger, or in any kind of open democratic process for that level of fear and intimidation," Mitchell said.

Parent Revolution executive director Ben Austin—who's also a member of the state Board of Education-says his organization has no plans to back down from the parent trigger takeover bid.

"We're not naive," said Austin. "We know people in power don't give it up easily. We know the law's on their side but that may not be enough so we have a number of law firms that have volunteered to represent the parents of Compton pro bono. We have a big legal team ready to represent parents, so we're ready to go however this plays out."

photo (cc) via Flickr user Isaac Singleton Photography

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California Attorney General to Investigate Compton Parent Trigger Move