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EAST LOS ANGELES : Groups Seek to Oust Eastman Principal

October 25, 1992|MARY ANNE PEREZ

Parents and teachers at Eastman Avenue School have joined in an effort to oust Principal Dorothy Padilla for creating what they call a divisive atmosphere and for leaving the campus without leadership during extended absences.

A group of parents has been demonstrating in front of the school for three weeks and has collected 856 signatures from other parents asking the Los Angeles Unified School District to remove Padilla. In a separate move, 45 of the staff's 49 teachers signed a petition also calling for the district to find a replacement for the principal, who has been at the school for three years.

Padilla has been out sick since Oct. 7, said Asst. Supt. Evangelina Stockwell. Padilla has submitted a doctor's note saying she will be absent until Nov. 2, but the note does not specify the nature of her illness, Stockwell said.

Padilla could not be reached for comment.

Teachers say they have trouble communicating with Padilla and have to make appointments to see her. They say she has entered their classrooms and had supplies removed without notification, and plans events for students and parents without notifying teachers.

"There are divisions on the campus. Even teachers are afraid because we don't know who to trust," said one teacher who asked not to be identified. "What kind of an atmosphere is this? . . . We want to work together and have pride and get together for the first time in three years."

Stockwell said she hopes to meet with parents and teachers, as well as Padilla upon her return to school, to solve the problems.

"I hope to hear the concerns the community and teachers have and move to some way of re-mediating this. We can bring in an outside group of professional mediators and meet with the principal and talk to all parties and see that they're willing to talk and work this out," she said.

The Eastman Avenue parents and teachers hope to address the board of education at its Nov. 2 meeting and submit their petitions.

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