Watch CBS News

Santa Rosa parents take first steps to recall school board president over safety concerns

Santa Rosa parents wanting schools to be safer attempt recall of school board president
Santa Rosa parents wanting schools to be safer attempt recall of school board president 02:30

With safety an issue at some Santa Rosa City Schools, a group of parents is stepping up to take action.

Safe Campus Alliance has collected enough signatures to start the recall process for the president of the school board.

Over the last year, there have been violent fights, stabbings and kids bringing weapons to school. Just last March, 16-year-old Jayden Pienta was stabbed to death during a fight with another student at Montgomery High. 

Stephanie Taylor has a sophomore at the school and heard the pleas to make the school safer. 

"I see our community and students hurting," Taylor with the Safe Campus Alliance said. "And people that I really admire and our administrators, teachers and staff at the schools really pleading for help."

So Safe Campus Alliance took the first step to start the recall of school board president Omar Medina. 

"Really feeling like in particular, Omar Medina has been stalling and not offering solutions to safety issues on the campuses," Taylor said.

Medina has been one of the most vocal opponents of school resource officers, saying they negatively impact students of color. It's a program the board suspended in 2020. 

He declined to speak to KPIX on camera or offer a statement, saying he was busy running the board meeting. But some parents CBS News Bay Area spoke with share his concerns.

"I think weaponizing police officers against any community and especially communities of color, especially in school, which is for me where I want my children to be the safest, is not going to solve the problem," parent Jenica Leonard said.

Safety at schools is an issue the teacher's union has also been working on. Kathryn Howell is the president of the Santa Rosa Teacher's Association. She said schools need more than just SROs.

"They did great.," Howell said. "They were great to have around. The kids knew them and liked them. Made connections with them, but five people isn't the difference between safety and not safety."

Safe Campus Alliance agrees more resources are needed overall, but they feel bringing back the SRO program is a good place to start. 

"I see it being a resource that we can offer immediately because the city, particularly the police department, is willing to work and modify the program to make it something that can be successful and really open to hearing the thoughts and ideas of everyone," Taylor said.

Safe Campus Alliance filed the paperwork to start the recall. It needs to now collect roughly 2,700 signatures to get the recall possibly on the November ballot.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.