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Parent group plans to rally during Lucia Mar school board meeting

lucia mar school board meeting.JPG
Posted at 4:23 PM, Aug 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-17 22:43:15-04

For the second time this month, hundreds of parents are expected to show up outside the Lucia Mar Unified School District board meeting.

Parents are set to hold a peaceful protest because Tuesday's board meeting is only accessible on Zoom versus in-person.

During the August 3 meeting, things got heated.

"It seemed like there was an intention to be disruptive because it got the other people in the room riled up," said Cody King, Lucia Mar Unified Teachers Association President.

"Were there a couple people out of 200 that were maybe a little louder than they needed to be or spoke out of turn? Absolutely, but you don't close an entire meeting to the entire public because one or two people spoke out of turn and didn't act how the board wanted them to act," said Shannon Galvan, Central Coast Families for Education Reform President.

KSBY News reached out to the school district for clarification on why Tuesday's meeting is now virtual instead of in-person but they declined to comment.

At the top of the agenda, however, it says in the interest of public health, the meeting will be held online. It also mentions the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in San Luis Obispo County and to accommodate the increased interest in public participation.

"I think that Zoom allows the district to have the ability to include all voices from the community, not just those that may be the loudest," King said.

Some parents disagree.

"Personally, I'm disgusted with their actions. Like I said, we had a lot of people come out to the last meeting to voice their opinions and by them closing this meeting it just kind of makes it clear that they have no interest at all in hearing what the community has to say," Galvan said.

"To me, feels a little bit of an arrogance by the board that they can do whatever they want," said Christin Brittingham, Central Coast Families for Education Reform. "I understand they have until September 30 to still go virtual but they've been open."

The group Central Coast Families for Education Reform (CCFER) is spearheading Tuesday's peaceful protest.

They also helped get the word out about the rally earlier this month.

Their efforts started though when students were doing virtual learning only, prompting the push now underway to get three board members recalled.

They say they want their voices heard, not only when it comes to curriculum but a choice of masking.

"We're not anti-mask. We're not saying that you or your family shouldn't wear a mask if you don't want to. We're saying we should not be forced to," Galvan said.

Opponents of the group's message say a mask is a minor inconvenience to be able to return to the classroom.

Meanwhile, with rumors swirling that some participants at the previous rally were not from the Lucia Mar Unified School District, CCFER says only one person was from San Francisco.

"But the majority of the people that are attending the meeting are certainly all from the Five Cities area and Lucia Mar School District," Galvan said.

Despite it being virtual, Tuesday's meeting is expected to have a large turnout with those on both sides expected to log in.

The school board meeting starts at 7 p.m. Some parents say they will be watching outside the district office on their devices.

Central Coast Families for Education Reform say they will make an announcement on Tuesday evening about the latest recall efforts of three board members.

We will have updates tonight at 10 and 11 p.m. on KSBY News.