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Trustee’s Visit Draws Union Complaint

The Placentia-Linda teachers’ union filed a complaint against district Trustee Roseann Thorn, alleging she visited school classrooms unannounced and intimidated teachers.

The complaint, which the union filed Feb. 6 with the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, states that Thorn violated board policies and the district’s contract with teachers on Feb. 4 when she made unannounced classroom visits to review reading materials at Travis Ranch Middle School in Yorba Linda, where her children are enrolled.

“We’re not looking for punitive measures or punishment,” said Randy Dennis, president of the Assn. of Placentia-Linda Educators. “The complaint asked that the board acknowledge that the incident happened--which she did, with her own spin on it--at the board meeting. All we’re asking for is that Ms. Thorn have the same rules apply to her as everyone else.”

Thorn called the complaint “dirty politics” by the union and district administration at Tuesday night’s board meeting.

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“The big picture here is I wanted to inform myself,” said Thorn, who has served as Travis’ PTA vice president and is a volunteer tutor coordinator. She said she wanted to review Travis’ reading materials in preparation for the district’s upcoming adoption of a Language Arts program.

Trustees voted down a motion to take immediate action on the complaint by a 2-3 vote at their Tuesday meeting. Board President Karin Freeman and trustees Judy Miner and Craig Olson dissented.

Olson asked that a discussion on appointing a two-board member committee to investigate the complaint be put on the agenda for the board’s Feb. 25 meeting.

Dennis said the union is prepared to go to the final step of the district’s grievance process, arbitration, to receive board acknowledgment of the incident and the assurance it will not happen again.

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