YORBA LINDA : Assemblyman Backs Girl in School Battle

Assemblyman John R. Lewis (R-Orange) Friday urged school officials to let a 14-year-old girl caught in a jurisdictional battle remain at El Dorado High School, where she is a freshman.

In a letter to Fullerton Joint Union High School District Board President Robert Hathaway, Lewis pleaded with school officials to reconsider their earlier decision to force Danielle Dudics of Yorba Linda to transfer out of El Dorado--part of Placentia Unified School District--and into Troy High School, part of the Fullerton district.

"I have been informed that the school board has denied Ms. Dudics' appeal for an interdistrict transfer," Lewis wrote. "I am formally requesting that you reconsider that decision."

Danielle's father, Greg Dudics, said he was encouraged by the letter and hoped it will move Fullerton officials to act.

Lewis' letter is the latest development in a long-running, six-month battle between the Dudics family and the Fullerton district. Despite rules to the contrary, Greg Dudics has asked that his daughter be allowed to stay at El Dorado because her brother suffers from severe depression and Dudics believes she would be better sheltered from the pressures at home by remaining among her classmates and friends.

A doctor has seconded that opinion, and Lewis referred to it Friday.

"If Danielle were forced to attend Troy High School, it would separate her from her brother, who attends El Dorado High School. This would also be against the advice of her personal physician," Lewis wrote.

Although Fullerton officials will not comment on the matter, they reportedly have not relented.

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