2022 LAUSD Elections
Candidate Alleges Possible Retaliation
Jesus Arana, who is running against LAUSD Board President Kelly Gonez, claims that he was forced to retire from his job as a LASPD Sergeant.
“Actually, I have been forced to retire by LAUSD and I think it is because I am running against Kelly Gonez.”
- Jesus Arana
While LAUSD Board Members are not allowed to be employees of the district, there is nothing that prohibits employees from becoming candidates. Winners of the election will just need to resign their position before taking office. This is what Mónica Ratliff did after she won her Board District 6 seat in a 2013 upset.
In that same Board District, Jesus Arana is running against Ratliff’s successor, Kelly Gonez. While Arana listed his Occupational Designation as an “Educator/Police Sergeant,” he says in an email this week that “this statement is not true as [he] no longer work[s] there.” Arana says that he was “forced to retire by the LAUSD” with the official date of his retirement being April 19, 2022.
The candidate makes it clear that he believes the reason that he was “forced to retire” was “because [he is] running against Kelly Gonez.” Arana claims that he “saw this coming and is why [he has] been picking who [he] should respond to or not as [he] did not want to lose [his] job.” Apparently, this is the reason why he has not responded to any of the monthly questionnaires that I sent to him. Given that he is no longer employed by the district, he has been given the opportunity to answer those questions now.
If Arana’s allegations are true, it would represent a dangerous step in Gonez’s efforts to limit community engagement in the district. Parents, teachers, other district employees, and community members should be able to advocate without retribution. This should include running for office.
Carl Petersen is a parent advocate for students with special education needs and public education. He is an elected member of the Northridge East Neighborhood Council and serves as the Education Chair. As a Green Party candidate in LAUSD’s District 2 School Board race, he was endorsed by Network for Public Education (NPE) Action. Dr. Diane Ravitch has called him “a valiant fighter for public schools in Los Angeles.” For links to his blogs, please visit www.ChangeTheLAUSD.com. Opinions are his own.