Who Will Step In To Help These Students?
With allegations of harboring a bullying culture and enabling sexual misconduct, will anyone hold the NVMI charter school accountable?
- José Cole-Gutiérrez,
LAUSD Charter School Division
When the Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) School Board voted to deny the North Valley Military Institute’s (NVMI) charter renewal in 2017, the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) overruled its decision. In making this decision the LACOE board ignored the fact that a current, certified copy of the school’s required annual independent audit was not on file, that a lawsuit alleging “abhorrent child sex abuse” had been filed against the school, and that its own staff had found that NVMI was failing in governance, student achievement, organizational management, and fiscal operations.
With LACOE saving NVMI from its well-deserved death sentence, the LAUSD was powerless to keep the charter school from demanding space on one of its campuses. Under PROP-39, a charter school can force its way onto public school campuses no matter the disruption to the existing students even if that publicly funded private school is poorly run, hemorrhaging money and endangering its students.
The space that NVMI was given was on the campus of Sun Valley High School. Currently, the LAUSD’s Valley Oaks Center for Enriched Studies (VOCES) operates at the site. According to a letter sent on behalf of the VOCES community to LACOE, the students and staff continue to be adversely affected by the presence of NVMI on their campus.
Among the accusations made against the charter school are that its students were taunting a VOCES student participating in an Adapted P.E. class. The target of their verbal attack was his disability. This was not an isolated incident as this same student with Special Education needs was found “upset and crying” at another time because “several NVMI students…