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Parents At Richmond School Call For Principal's Ouster, Keep 100+ Kids Out Of Class In 'Sickout'

RICHMOND (KPIX 5) – Dozens of parents at an East Bay elementary school have called for the principal to be removed and have held their children back from classes this week in what they described as a "sickout."

Parents of Valley View Elementary School in Richmond told KPIX 5 on Wednesday more than 100 students haven't attended class to bring more attention to their dispute against Principal Petria Ross.

Upset parents and young students also brought signs to the West Contra Costa Unified School District meeting Wednesday night, to demand Ross' removal.

"We're ready to make more noise because we're not being listened to, we're not taken seriously," said parent Cheryl Fantom Jehan.

"I am begging you to save Valley View.  Board please remove and replace our on-site admin," said a parent who identified herself as Teresa.

Valley View Elementary Sickout
Valley View Elementary parents and students carry signs to a West Contra Costa School Board meeting on December 15, 2021. (CBS)

WCCUSD communications director Ryan Phillips told KPIX 5, "We respect the right of parents to make their voices heard, and district leadership have been in frequent contact with Valley View parents and staff."

Parents said school officials haven't done enough to address their concerns of ethics violations, and students feeling unsafe on campus.

"They're afraid to go to school because of other issues on campus that we're finding out through the kids," said parent Fantom Jehan.

Nearly 600 people have signed a petition, claiming the principal hasn't communicated with parents for months, aside from a few school email announcements.

"Because of all this lack of communication that has gone on since the beginning of the year, this is where we've come to.  We didn't want it to come to this, but here we are," Jehan said.

Ross declined KPIX 5's request for an interview.

District officials were not allowed to respond to statements made by parents Wednesday night during the public comment period.

"WCCUSD Superintendent Dr. Chris Hurst has also visited the school on multiple occasions this school year to meet with staff," said Phillips.

The spokesperson said that the superintendent and district officials will meet with parents on Thursday.

"Dr. Hurst and district leadership are meeting with Valley View parents and staff during a community forum to hear from the community and respond to their concerns," added Phillips.

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