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Delaine Eastin: Ignores Letter About Lomitas Elementary School

Original Letter Sent to Delaine Eastin About Lomitas Elementary School

Here it is, the original letter sent to Delaine Eastin about Lomitas Elementary School. She ignored it, but so did Lois Tinson, President, California Teachers Association and Wayne Johnson, Vice President (and now, current President), California Teachers Association.

April 1, 1998
Delaine Eastin
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
CA Department of Education
721 Capitol Mall
PO Box 944272
Sacramento, CA 94244-2720

Dear Superintendent Eastin:

It has just come to my attention, while browsing the Internet (, that Lomitas Elementary School of the Victor Elementary School District in San Bernardino County is currently being considered as a nominee for the California Distinguished School Program. Having taught at Lomitas for six years as a classroom teacher, this is, in my opinion, a highly detestable situation with the potential to greatly embarrass the California School Recognition Program. On May 27, 1996 I filed a complaint, on behalf of "the children of Lomitas Elementary School," with the United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and identified Denis Edge as principal of that school. The complaint alleged discrimination towards the children on the basis of race, sex, and disability. This quickly turned into a investigation, by OCR, on the practices of the entire district for which Victor Elementary School District eventually agreed to be voluntarily monitored for compliance with Federal Law. The case was just closed on January 16, 1998 (see attached). I urge you to contact OCR regarding this case (refer to Docket Number 09-96-1268-I). Even now, I continue to have significant reservations as to the outcome and intend to contact OCR regarding the specifics of my concerns. While the California Distinguished School Program has the potential to justly give recognition to educators who exhibit exemplary practices in their efforts to educate children, it is impossible to imagine that it was designed to give those that are willing to spend enormous time commitments, throughout the school year, to those that are merely seeking a trophy for their mantle.

After I left the Victor Elementary School District, I accepted a position with another district. To say the very least, I was stunned to observe, first-hand, the vast differences between the two. These differences are nothing less than surreal (in the most literal sense). As a specialist, I now teach at seven schools, including some that have already received the California Distinguished School designation and two which have just received National Blue Ribbon School Awards from the United States Department of Education. Not a day goes by when I don't think about how fortunate my students are that they do not have to be subjected to what I observed at Lomitas Elementary School. Clearly, you are not personally responsible for the current situation. You do, however, have the authority to investigate this situation and take appropriate action to ensure that only those schools which are truly deserving the designation of "California Distinguished School" receive it. As you must realize, the possibility that Lomitas Elementary School could receive such an award might be extremely embarrassing to the State Department of Education.


[name redacted]

cc: W. Padia, US Dept. of Education, Office for Civil Rights
L. Tinson, President, California Teachers Association
W. Johnson, Vice President, California Teachers Association