Rosedale Elementary vice principal and equity leader says she has been suspended Parents worry that backlash on social media prompted administrative leave

by Natalie Hanson
posted April 27

Parents are calling for change after a Rosedale Elementary assistant vice principal, who acted as equity leader for the school, said she has been placed on administrative leave.

photo by Leslie Layton
Rosedale Assistant Vice Principal Joana Campos Castañeda speaking with concerned parents earlier this week.

Joana Campos Castañeda, known at Rosedale as Ms. Campos, alleges that she has been suspended for insubordination after voicing concerns about the school’s approach to inclusion, while serving part-time as equity team lead this year.

Chico Unified School District (CUSD) administrators have declined to comment on any disciplinary action or investigation, and Castañeda is still listed as Vice Principal Joana Campos on Rosedale’s website.

The news comes as schools around the district face backlash from some parents in relation to discussions about important historical events and ethnic history, including Black History Month and Cesar Chavez Day. The phenomenon — called “culture war” by some news outlets — is seen as a push from conservative leaders across the country. Some in CUSD fear teachers and staff have been pushed out as parental pressure during the pandemic increased.

Parents at the two way immersion school are calling for answers from the principal about why Castañeda was placed on leave on April 1.

Concerned parent Pablo K. Cornejo said he was disappointed to learn from Castañeda that she was told by district administrators that she was too focused on equity “and as a result of that, would not be returning to Rosedale as assistant vice principal.” He was also alarmed that Castañeda’s suspension took place after “multiple examples of reactionary pushback by some parents on social media.”

photo by Leslie Layton
Castañeda explains that equity means finding ways to support individuals who are in some way at a disadvantage.

In a letter to Rosedale’s Principal Jo Ann Bettencourt, obtained by ChicoSol News, Cornejo asked why Castañeda was barred from Rosedale’s campus, and asked what the school’s response will be to a person who has commented on the school’s Instagram posts about Black History Month and Cesar Chavez Day.

Cornejo alleged that a social media commenter attacked “efforts to integrate a more diverse and equitable education,” which Castañeda promoted as the school’s equity lead.

“Pushback against these efforts are problematic, xenophobic, and insulting to many in our community,” Cornejo said. “There appears to be a deliberate and targeted attempt to create controversy around activities that are largely celebrated by the larger Rosedale community.”

After this letter was sent to the principal, Castañeda agreed to speak to ChicoSol about what happened to her role as assistant vice principal and equity team lead at Rosedale.

ChicoSol repeatedly asked for comment from Bettencourt, who did not respond. Bettencourt responded to Cornejo via an email that was provided by Cornejo to members of the Rosedale community. Bettencourt said in the email that she is working with the district office “to come up with a plan to ensure this does not happen in the future.”

“Too focused on equity”?
Castañeda said she was hired to be a part-time assistant vice principal, while also teaching at the school part time. Last year, the district committed to starting an equity team with equity leaders assigned on every campus. This decision was part of implementing the annual Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) required by the state. Administrators selected Castañeda as the equity team lead for Rosedale, although she said she was not given a description of her role.

Castañeda has experience managing dual immersion programs and helped launch the Dual Immersion Program in Orland. As she undertook the equity team role, she began to notice issues at the school that troubled her. She said several parents began to push back against organized events celebrating state and federally-recognized celebrations like Black History Month, and later, Cesar Chavez Day.

Castañeda helped write public posts for Rosedale’s Instagram page, such as about how the school was talking to students about Black History Month. “Parents said things like, ‘I hope you’re not teaching these students that this country was founded on slavery,’” she said.

She said she thought at first, “It was a really important conversation that happened on our Instagram page. For it to be happening on an immersion campus, I think it’s beautiful actually to have that discourse out in the open, because we learn about it that way.”

However, she said one parent’s continued commenting caused CUSD Director of Educational Services Ted Sullivan to come to her office, and said he told her that the posts she wrote “invited this kind of discourse, which was inappropriate.”

“He said as an educator, I must remain neutral on these topics,” Castañeda said.

“I disagreed with him. He did not like it.”

She said pushback from the school increased after she reported issues of representation among students. CUSD’s Two Way Immersion Program groups native Spanish speakers with native English speakers in the same classroom. This program offers Chico students a chance to learn to read, write and communicate fluently in Spanish and English by starting at the elementary level. Two way immersion works on the premise that half of all students in classrooms speak Spanish at home and half speak English.

Today, Rosedale has many more students whose first language is English, Castañeda said.

“If you have more English speakers in a classroom, it changes the power dynamic, it changes the ability to reach goals in the target language, because teachers need to translate too much. We need to create a place where Spanish speakers can come in and feel at home right away.”

Castañeda said she looked at district-wide data measuring success rates in reading, writing and math for English learner students, and found that “it’s abysmal” at middle schools and both high schools, and particularly at Chico High. (English learner students speak a language other than English at home.)

After having voiced her concerns about these numbers to administrators, Castañeda alleged that Principal Bettencourt met with her and told her, “It’s not working out, we don’t have the same visions for the school, you’re too focused on equity.”

Castañeda said she realized that without clear parameters for this new role she was a “guinea pig.”

“I did it my way – and they didn’t like it. They weren’t ready for it,” she said.

Castañeda said she was told she could continue as a teacher, but that she was uncomfortable with not having a performance review and stalled on signing a document acknowledging Bettencourt’s decision. When she asked Bettencourt several days later to discuss the decision again, she said she was told her work organizing events around equity “caused a lot of extra work for the principal because she has to answer too many questions … and it’s too political.”

“The more I sat with it, the more I was determined it couldn’t end there,” Castañeda said. She said as the daughter of Salvadoran immigrants, having worked hard through her Master’s and credential programs, she needed to speak on behalf of the Rosedale family community “that really has grown to accept me and love me and need me in many ways.”

Castañeda said she voiced concerns about the things she witnessed at the final CUSD Equity Alliance meeting on March 21, with most equity team leaders from other schools and in front of some administrators.

“The response was just absolute silence,” she said, adding she was told to stick with the agenda for the meeting, that she was “making people uncomfortable.”

Later at Rosedale, on March 30, Bettencourt sent a mass email to the entire school, obtained by ChicoSol:

“I know there are Cesar Chavez activities going on tomorrow,” Bettencourt wrote. “We need to ensure that all topics are kept neutral. A few years back, there was an issue with presenters implying that farmers are not good people … students went home and told their parents (who were farmers) that “all farmers are bad” or something along those lines (this was not at Rosedale, but rather a high school).”

Bettencourt also wrote that educators must be “keeping presentations neutral and free of politics” with the expectation that “if discussions turn one-sided and/or political that you as the classroom teacher will step in and shut it down.”

Castañeda said the next day, the same parent who had complained on social media posts asked to meet with her and Bettencourt. The principal allegedly told Castañeda to attend but did not grant her request for a witness at the meeting, so she refused to meet without one – and said she was told to leave campus on grounds of insubordination.

Cornejo sent his letter of complaint to Bettencourt last week as news of Castañeda’s suspension spread to parents. He alleged there are “minimal efforts” from Rosedale’s administrative staff to stand up to parents, and that he is concerned administrators are making decisions “because some parents are uncomfortable.”

“I was shocked to find out that she is on leave and think the community deserves to know what is going on,” Cornejo wrote. “Anyone that has met Ms. Campos (Castañeda) knows that she has been an inspiring leader that has had a positive impact on our school. Her efforts to create a more equitable and inclusive environment have been deeply appreciated by my family and many others in our Rosedale community.”

Castañeda said Friday that she is on her third week of leave, with “silence from the district” after one meeting with Sullivan and the district’s assistant superintendent of Human Resources, Jim Hanlon. She said she was told that because she was an administrator she was not allowed to have a witness in meetings involving a parent and the principal.

Castañeda said she explained that she did not feel safe being in a meeting alone with the principal and parent, as she thought, “This meeting was an ambush, with a parent who was not interested in anything I have to say.”

Sullivan did not respond to a request for comment and Hanlon noted that he can’t comment on personnel issues. When pressed, Hanlon said, “I can confirm that the employee has not been released.”

ChicoSol contacted a parent who commented on Instagram posts about her opposition to Cesar Chavez Day and Black History Month celebrations who has the user name “ginabax20.” (Gina Bax is identified as one of the co-chairs of the Chico Parents for In-Person Learning group in this KRCR story. That group unsuccessfully initiated an attempt last year to recall all members of the school board except for Matt Tennis.)

(Instagram post on Black History Month followed by comments from viewers)

Bax told ChicoSol via a Facebook message, “Everything is great at Rosedale.”

“Everything got taken care (of) and I’m very pleased our school, CUSD leadership team and (school) board member Matt Tennis helped parents to overcome the challenges we were facing,” she said via messaging.

Social media ‘culture wars’ pressure teachers
The news about Castañeda comes as teachers face pressure district-wide, often from parents who have become more vocal at school board meetings with accusations that educators are instructing students about “critical race theory” or are “too political.” These have often been led by Chico Parents for In-Person Learning. And a new group, Butte County New California State, has been organizing meetings on mask and vaccine mandates and “critical race theory.”

“The [teachers] that call me, they’re exhausted” — CUTA President Kevin Moretti

Chico Unified Teachers Association President Kevin Moretti said he has seen far more resignations and retirements in the last two years than before, and in some cases it’s because of these kinds of issues.

“The ones that call me, they’re exhausted,” Moretti said. “We have a lot of people retiring and resigning, and earlier than they would have otherwise.”

Moretti called it “disheartening” to see the attacks some teachers face on social media, to hear of parents “coming to their classrooms” opposing masking standards and education on issues of race and ethnicity and history.

“They have no idea what they’re talking about. Teaching the Civil War is not teaching critical race theory,” Moretti said.

CUSD school board President Kathleen Kaiser has spoken before about the city’s political climate.

“There’s a tremendous amount of misinformation that’s out there on social media, and parents are reacting to what I would call trigger language and stuff that isn’t true,” Kaiser said. “We’re not doing critical race theory (education). It’s just a buzzword that gets them going.”

photo by Leslie Layton
Dr. Kathleen Kaiser at a CUSD Board of Trustees meeting.

Kaiser said there have been lots of arguments between parent groups over which holidays should be celebrated, and how.

“We recognize all of those holidays, but a school site may do it in different ways depending on teachers and the population and what their history has been,” Kaiser said.

“There was a lot of resistance to Martin Luther King, Jr., day … and for Cesar Chavez, we’re in a very heavy agriculture region and we may get people who have very different views of that.

“People tend to not use facts. They use belief systems or perceptions of what they heard or that somebody else told them. And I don’t know if they want the facts.”

Hanlon agreed with Moretti that resignations during the last two years have increased.

Accusations that critical race theory is taught “have come up much more than in the past,” he said. He said the district tries to intervene when criticism reaches the administrative level “because we don’t teach critical race theory in CUSD.”

Hanlon thinks there is confusion once the topic of equity is broached.

“We’re very careful to not politicize the curriculum,” he said. “We make sure staff are not taking a side on any political issue in the curriculum. We have to be neutral and we deal with that on a case by case basis.”

Administrators prefer to meet with a parent in person, and Hanlon said they will always “support the teacher” and “make sure they aren’t being badgered.”

He said when parents stay online, “and make inaccurate accusations or have inaccurate information, we will respond and try to educate them.”

However, he added: “We don’t go out into the social media world and try to correct all the things out there. It’s beyond our mission, and it can be very difficult if not impossible to respond to all that stuff.”

Parents concerned about CUSD response to Rosedale
Krista Stone, Rosedale parent and former member of the school site council, said she has worked closely with Castañeda and didn’t know the assistant vice principal had been placed on leave.

She admires Castañeda for her focus on events like the school’s Cesar Chavez Day parade that was criticized on Instagram by the user “ginabax20.”

“When I worked with her, it felt like she wanted to boost the morale of the school for teachers, for staff and for kids as well,” Stone said of Castañeda. “She was just always so sweet and kind and caring, and very present when I have been with her.”

While Stone said she and her husband remain “grateful for the care and consideration the school provides,” she also said, “I’m very sad about this news and kind of in shock … it’s a huge loss for us at Rosedale, I think.”

Cornejo agrees, but is also worried about the long-term implications of a decision to suspend Castañeda.

video by Leslie Layton

“These are either state or federally-recognized holidays that are being celebrated to create a more positive school culture and are overwhelmingly supported by the majority of parents,” Cornejo said. “It seems like a very vocal person is almost driving this … and we find that to be extremely problematic.”

Cornejo said many parents have become concerned and are organizing this month to call for the district to explain Castañeda’s absence from campus and demonstrate a commitment to equity.

Christopher Carrero said he is one of those parents. He and his wife have admired Castañeda’s work since her days teaching at an immersion school in Orland and were glad to see her hired at the school their son attends.

“I was glad to see a woman of color in leadership, in a role that kids can look up to. Representation is very important for me.

“We never thought this would happen, that she would be in a position where she was being pushed out for doing her job,” Carrero added. “She was just building the blocks, posting things on Instagram and videos of kids celebrating different holidays or posting stuff on the board at school. That’s like, the basics of an equity leader. It worries me, because I know people of color are the minority in Chico.”

Castañeda said there are several parents’ meetings planned with her this week as families learn the news of her suspension. She said rather than return to the campus as a teacher, she is ready to stand with them and demand change from the district.

“Parents are ready to work together to make sure this district treats people (of color) equitably. If we let this go, this sets a precedent.

“We’ve lived a life in the U.S., and we’ve gone through this system and we are educated and motivated because of the possibility of creating a better system for our kids,” she said. “So we are going to do it with a lot more force and intentionality than the average white, privileged person who hasn’t done the work to become an anti-racist.

“There are many beautiful white people who have done the work and are allies,” she added, “and are ready to be uncomfortable with our country’s history.”

The group of concerned parents hope that while the school board is working on next year’s LCAP, which created the equity team last year, the district will also hear their concerns about what happened with Castañeda, Carrero said.

“What I would hope is that they start treating this issue seriously,” Carrero said.

“I want the district to be more transparent, actually take action in the next LCAP meeting, for some of those concerns we expressed to be addressed. And if they’re not solved, to let us know if they’re working on it.”

Natalie Hanson is a Marin-based journalist who has reported extensively in Chico.
This story was clarified to explain that the “abysmal” test scores discussed in the section “Too focused on equity”? weren’t for Latino students but for English learner students overall. (And some Latino students in the district speak English as a first language at home.)

31 thoughts on “Rosedale Elementary vice principal and equity leader says she has been suspended Parents worry that backlash on social media prompted administrative leave

  1. I think Mr. Cornejo and Ms. Campos have a problem with “white people” (whomever that is) and they are expressing racist beliefs. It’s very racist to determine somebody’s race and then assume their beliefs based on your beliefs.

    1. Juanita Summer as always, comes up with the most offensive reply. I keep thinking she will finally run out of hatred to spew but her supply seems limitless. I wonder what happened to her to end up with such unchristian, hateful, self righteous views…

      This situation has been fueled by the same small group of wrongheaded folks who fought to keep being “homeless” criminalized and voted to turn the Chico City Council into a right wing majority. I have faith that the city will swing the other way soon enough and I dream that those people will feel inclined to move on up to Shasta County where these shenanigans are tolerated and supported. Perhaps they will all move to Texas or Florida…
      We can only continue to vote and vocalize and demonstrate and pray.

      1. Calling people racist is a serious offense and out of line. I’ve seen your comments before and always picture you as an angry old lady who screams at neighborhood children, “Get off my lawn!”

    2. If I were a person of “color” I would have a problem with “white people”. I am not and am shocked Chico Unified has not stood up for their teacher and equity! Shame on them! We should have more teachers like Ms. Campos and learn to appreciate each other and where we come from. Time to grow up people!

    3. Forgive me if you weren’t really asking what was meant by “white people.” Just in case you were…racial and ethnic categories are often used in demographic questionaires (e.g., school enrollment questionaires, patient intake form questionaires, etc.). It’s certainly not necessary to “check a box” when it comes to an individual’s racial or ethnic identity in every area of life, but in some instances the information matters (e.g., some health conditions are more prevelent in certain groups with similar DNA). White refers to people having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe. I hope that helps.

    4. As an educator I see it as my life goal to help the ignorant.
      1. Whoever that is. Not whomever. There are many wonderful introductory English classes at Butte college.
      2. Racism has a power dynamic, perhaps you mean prejudiced. Words have meaning, I would look them up if you don’t know them.
      3. Implicit bias has been studied extensively. With science. Butte college also has some lovely classes on the scientific method if you would like to improve yourself.

      You’re welcome.

  2. Anyone that knows Rosedale school and what they do for this community knows that accusations of inequality/racism are unreasonable and false. A person that is hired as an administrator and a manager should not be on social media making false accusations stirring up trouble and upsetting parents for no reason. that is highly unprofessional and absolutely unnecessary. I don’t think suspension is the right answer here most places would terminate an employee for this.

    1. It’s really important not to lump inequality and racism together with a backslash (/) in a quick comment on an article that had a lot of content to consider. Investigate Rosedale’s last reported data on the California School Dashboard:

      English Learners were the lowest performing in English Language Arts, Hispanic and Socioeconomically Disadvantaged were middle of the road, and White were leading in achievement scores.

      So that’s the baseline information to start with. Next step is to see if there are elements in the educational program that need to be improved so that key pillars of a Dual Language Education program can be realized (all students have high academic achievement).

    2. So because Rosedale has a good reputation, they can’t engage in acts based on racism? Do you realize how stupid that sounds? And how was she making false accusations on social media? I just know you must have not read the article because a parent even included how much they liked the work she was doing on social media. It was innocent and if you’d read the entire article, you’d remember that her new job as equity leader came without a job description. So how can you incorrectly do a job for which you were given no outline or description? Get outta here or learn how to read, Joy.

      1. I agree. She should have been given expectations and Perimeters of the position she was filling. Without that you could not say she did the wrong thing.

    3. You are so sure these accusations are false. This is called white solidarity, it is a subset of white fragility. I think you could benefit from reading that book. Society would definitely benefit

  3. I am a living descendant of WA Shippee does this school board believe he should not be in their history books?

    You can not tell my story without him!

  4. 1. Federal law was enacted to ensure that public schools provide a quality education for all kids including the disadvantaged.
    2. The California State Board of Education adopted curriculum frameworks for English language arts/English language development, mathematics, science, visual and performing arts, career technical education, health, world language, physical education, and history/social sciences.
    3. History-Social Science curriculum includes historical accounts, historical explanations, historical arguments, sources of information, conflicts and responses, analysis, chronology/timelines, geographic factors and effects, and more.
    4. Current education research shows that the frameworks provide a strong foundation for curriculum and instruction. There is flexibility in how the content is delivered.
    5. Assessments of student achievement are utilized to help determine student performance and the effectiveness of a student’s educational program.
    6. Many factors beyond intellectual ability can affect student performance.
    7. The California School Dashboard (CSD) shows performance of educational institutions.
    8. There are disparities in performance among student groups across various metrics on the CSD for Chico USD.
    9. Disparities among groups require the educational institution to examine current procedures and policies that could affect how different student groups experience an educational program.
    10. Dual Language Education programs are well researched. Best practices go beyond simple exposure to two languages.
    11. Dual Language Education programs promote Bilingualism and Biliteracy, High Academic Achievement in both languages for all students, and SocioCultural Competence. Best practices include integrating all students’ cultural values into the classroom.

    There are a lot of factors when considering equity in education. If there is limited knowledge of education law, policies and procedures, education standards, how student groups in one’s community are performing, best practices in education, and best practices in a unique Dual Language Education program, then I can see how it would be difficult to comment on this article with clarity and avoid personal opinion.

    A lot to consider in this article as well.

  5. My son goes to Rosedale and the vice principal has advocated for him and made a large, positive difference in his schooling. My wife and I both love her.

    1. You know nothing about education. Khan academy is not education. I say that is someone with a Masters in Education.

      Don’t insult and devalue teachers.

  6. Another great story from ChicoSol and great journalism from Natalie Hanson! Wonderful article Natalie and so pleased to see your attention and talents still include reporting on important news in Chico.

  7. Due to the the discussion ensuing in several on-line spaces regarding this story I believe it is important for the public to know that the Assistant Principal and parents who support her did not identify any of the parents who have been critical on social media and did not feel it was useful or necessary to do so.

    It is crucial not to become side tracked on the issue that this story sheds light on. The question isn’t “whose fault is this?”. The real questions are, “Does CUSD fully support equity work or does it not?” and “How can we unify to support equity work at Rosedale (and all our schools)?”

    Por razones del discurso que se ha entablado en diferentes espacios en el internet sobre esta historia pienso que es importante que el publico sepa que la subdirectora y los padres que la apoyan nunca mencionaron los nombres de las personas que criticaban el trabajo de equidad en medios sociales porque no era ni util ni necesario hacerlo.

    Es crucial no distraerse del tema que esta historia queria revelar. La pregunta no es “De quien fue la culpa?” Las preguntas son, “El Distrito Unificado Escolar de Chico apoya verdaderamente el trabajo de equidad o no?” y, “Que podemos hacer para unificarnos para apoyar el trabajo de equidad en Rosedale (y en todas nuestras escuelas)?”

  8. I am saddened to learn that a school that is fundamentally designed to integrate language and culture has been pressed by a vocal minority (which has become a norm since the advent of social media) to essentially punish a teacher for representing the laws governing this issue. If I were to complain that disadvantaged people (and that does not exclude any race or color, creed, etc.) were being given special treatment, the school district and officials within the realm of this discourse would be outraged and would pile-up the various laws to make a point of mandated support. Because this argument/complaint came in the form of a poorly spoken and not-well-educated, shallow and biased opinion, the governance clearly reacted against an individual who, from all reports had to invent the process of equitable treatment, instead of educating the complainant and standing firmly behind an educated, well-meaning teacher. Is that now the purpose of our educational process, to just provide the information but not correct the behaviors that have been deemed by society, academia, and conscience to nullify the vocal, unvetted, uneducated, narrow minded, troglodytes? I hope not. Oh, and for edification, holding the opinion as a Veteran that we require constant review, update, and meaningful discourse to improve on inequity, social values, law, governance, and unalienable rights, folding to the ridiculous summation of a vocal minority will turn this great nation into a pile up silly putty instead of the firmament it was built upon. Reinstate Ms. Campos, support teachers who are vital to our community and growth.

  9. People did not originally move to the colonies because America was so great. They came because they had no chance at owning property in their home countries, because there was famine in their country, because they were indentured workers from prisons sent to America, not from their free will. People came & were brought to America for a multitude of reasons. And all of these reasons are valid ones & deserve to be told as part of America’s history.

    1. Perfectly said. Our history is not always pretty but it is our history and we deserve to know the good and the bad. Hopefully the knowledge will help us evolve to be more inclusive and accepting.

  10. Thank you, ChicoSol and Natalie Hanson for this incredibly important article. I am shocked that – to my knowledge – no other local media has picked this up. But I expect the families who are organizing their protest will blow it wide open and force the more mainstream media to cover it.

    Here’s the letter I just sent to the CUSD School Board:
    According to an article in ChicoSol, a local online news site, Rosedale vice principal Joana Campos Castañeda has been placed on administrative leave by CUSD for what appears to me to be doing the job she was hired to do in a professional and responsible manner.

    Apparently this action was instigated by a small group of small-minded Chicoans who wield the power of fear to throttle education and intelligent discourse in our schools regarding issues involving any ethnicity besides white supremacist dominance. I am shocked that has this occurred in Chico CA and that CSUD Administrators have buckled under pressure by that small minority of hysterics.

    CUSD should apologize to Ms.Castañeda and reinstate her immediately.

    I included the link to the ChicoSol article:

  11. The principal literally admitted they didn’t care enough to do the work to be anti-racist. Do you think it’s easy?

    You want the seal-congratulatory accolades of working at a dual-immersion school but you don’t want to actually do the work.

    Typical admin. Get gone.

  12. This is bonkers! I just found out about this today. I do have family at the school and we’ve had nothing but positive experiences. The whole vibe from this really does feel like a very vocal minority is getting their way, which is disappointing. I don’t agree with her dismissal and I plan on contacting the school board to voice my opinion. The whole thing is silly. An educator showing children what the actions of someone who has a state holiday named after them shouldn’t cause an uproar. Why can’t these parents who disagree with this just put their children in a different school? There are other options out there. Instead of using your energy to get a person fired, use that energy to get your child into a place that is a better fit for you.

  13. There are so many things I want to share. First of all, I commend Joana for standing up for herself. Too often, minorities are basically told to stay in our lane and not question anything. Joana is sharp, a role model, and has always been helpful and knowledgeable about my children’s needs.

    What makes this difficult is that Mrs. Bettencourt is the principal who doesn’t want her. We got Bettencourt dumped on Rosedale after the Parkview staff said she was terrible. Her mood swings and insecurities undoubtedly made her insecure around Joana. The teachers I spoke to at Rosedale, Parkview, and Chico High, to a person, said that Chico Unified’s leadership from the superintendent down is terrible. You’re fighting some kooky people. And as the teachers said, if they speak up at all, they are next on the firing line of retaliation.

    Joana is right about how the test scores are abysmal. We need fighters like Joana or nothing will ever change.

  14. Aren’t there codes of ethics for school board members? In her reply to ChicoSol, Gina Bax gives credit to Matt Tennis for helping to get Ms. Campos terminated. I could smell his involvement. Isn’t it time to cancel him? Recall Matt Tennis!

  15. What was written in Sol’s article is not a true representation of Rosedale school.

    We are a diverse school filled with veteran teachers, new teachers and everything in between. We are men and women of many different cultures and backgrounds. While we do have our problems (as many large groups working together do) we are not racist, as many letters some of us have received indicate.

    We have worked hard over the years to create a multicultural environment that welcomes all cultures and backgrounds. We have brought with us from our respective 3 schools (before Rosedale became the one Immersion school) many traditions started long ago such as Multicultural Night, the Jogathon, Gingerbread houses, Mother’s Day breakfast, Open House Biography Statues, and even the Cesar Chavez March that a Kindergarten teacher started long ago at Parkview. Over the years we have started our own traditions as Rosedale Elementary, such as the Day of the Dead carnival and the STEM night.

    While many of the mentioned have not been reinstated because of COVID, we are working our way back toward their return.

    Miss Campos certainly helped facilitate the return of many of our traditions, as well as worked with our community to bring to fruition the new garden.

    We certainly respect, and defend, Miss Campos’ right to ask for an investigation into any situation where she may have felt wronged.

    We understand and respect how there are many people that would like her back.

    However,her pursuit of personal justice has become a public attack on our principal, JoAnn Bettencourt, and on Rosedale school. An attack that has already assumed guilt without the ability to hear both sides.

    This assumption of guilt without knowing the full story has caused some people to feel they have the right to treat our staff and our school with disrespect and threats.

    Some parents have come in and yelled at our principal and at our office staff.

    False information was published in a paper in regards to our school.

    Strangers have sent hate mail because of what they believe to be true from the article.

    We can no longer sit by and allow our school to be misrepresented. We have chosen to share what we know because we have experienced and have witnessed the following:

    As Miss Campos has shared with many of our staff members, she was told in February that she was not returning as Vice Principal to Rosedale School but could return in a different capacity.

    She had accepted this reality and shared that she was looking for employment elsewhere.

    While Miss Campos did a great job in many aspects of her position, many of us were aware that she had difficulties in other areas of her responsibilities as Assistant Principal.

    Several of us had conversations with her in regards to her actions that affected our classrooms. When issues continued, our union representative spoke to her on our behalf. One teacher even filed a complaint with the district office in connection to these issues. (In order to respect Miss Campos’ privacy, we do not wish to disclose the details of the issues.)

    We are not privy to the official reasons for the decision made, but we know there was dissatisfaction in her duties.

    She was heard, more than once yelling at the principal in the office by different staff members.

    She made it clear that if she had her own school someday she would run it differently.

    She interjected herself and disrupted several public and private meetings to speak about her beliefs and complaints. Many parents, Rosedale staff, and staff members from other schools have spoken about and have complained about the disruptions.

    What she spoke about (whether real areas of concern or not) were not the disruption. The disruption was the way in which she was not civil, was disruptive, was inappropriate and unprofessional.

    Her supervisors were heard asking her to cease this behavior and to speak to the topic at hand. She continued the disruptive behavior in many meetings.

    When Miss Campos posted a bulletin board on social media that celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month in September, a parent complained. The parent did not agree with some of the people represented because they represented political views that were different from her own. She asked that neutral people be used in their place. Miss Campos refused her request. At first it seems that this parent was trying to be controversial. However, if we are going to work towards equity and make an effort to create an environment that is equitable for all… does this not include people that oppose our own views?

    We are not sharing this information because we want to gossip about Miss Campos. We could easily disclose many embarrassing details, but we are not. We feel that we need to share this information to defend our school and to defend our principal from false representation published and shared with the public.

    In light of what we have seen and have experienced ourselves, we can understand why Miss Campos was asked not to return as Assistant Principal next year. She is a nice person with a lot of wonderful qualities and we do believe that she had good intentions for our school. However, she did not demonstrate the important qualities that are needed of an assistant principal. Many of us do wish things had turned out differently.

    As uncomfortable as it feels to share all of this information to the public, we feel it is important to show that there is a much different side to the story. For future articles, we hope that this and other publications investigate thoroughly and publish only facts from both perspectives, and not one person’s account.


    13 Rosedale Employees

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