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PTA ban lifted - WC Times article

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  • Cathy Travlos
    For those of you not watching last night s board meeting, the article in today s West County Times is a good summary. Cathy Posted on Thu, Sep. 09, 2004
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 9, 2004
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      For those of you not watching last night's board meeting, the article in
      today's West County Times is a good summary.
      Cathy

      Posted on Thu, Sep. 09, 2004

      District backs off PTA campus ban

      By Rebecca Rosen Lum

      CONTRA COSTA TIMES

      RICHMOND - The state PTA agreed Wednesday to assume the cost of insuring
      local chapters, heading off a move by the West Contra Costa Unified School
      District to ban the groups from meeting on school campuses.

      District lawyer Alan Hersch's decision last week to bar groups that did not
      agree to sign a new insurance agreement was met with incredulity by
      trustees, parents and officials in neighboring districts. Several irate
      parents who came to LaVonya Dejean Middle School on Wednesday night to
      blast the district did so despite the 11th-hour solution.

      "An apology isn't enough," said teacher and PTA activist Linda Takimoto.
      "This is a national organization whose mission is the health, safety and
      education of our children. To ban them tells me you don't know who you're
      here to serve."

      Before the meeting, board president Charles Ramsey said district officials,
      parents and even City Council members had spoken heatedly about the
      standoff all day.

      "This is the biggest issue that's hit the district in a long time," he said.

      "It's a procedural squabble," said trustee Glen Price. "It could have been
      handled more collaboratively."

      The timing couldn't have been worse, parents say. Word of Hersch's order
      reached one school, Castro Elementary, just four hours before a
      back-to-school ice cream social, leaving children and parents in the lurch
      when they arrived.

      Parent groups are eager to adopt their budgets, elect officers, establish
      committees and sign up volunteers while "there is fresh hope and optimism,"
      Price said.

      There's been no hint that any parents plan to sue over injuries, although
      some schools, including Ellerhorst Elementary, are undergoing renovations.
      Hersch had voiced fears that if parents are hurt they might sue the district.

      "Mr. Hersch has been working diligently with the insurance agent of the
      state PTA to come to a resolution, and we've been able to achieve that,
      with regret and sadness over any disruption that was created for the PTAs
      since we couldn't do this sooner," said district spokesman Paul Ehara.

      In recent days, Hersch told the Bayside Council, the umbrella group for
      parent groups in West Contra Costa, that its members could not use schools
      for meetings or events until they agreed to "hold harmless" the district, a
      legal term that means they won't make any claims against the district in
      case of injury or property damage.

      Hersch also wanted parent groups to name the district as an additional
      insured party on their policies.

      California PTA and its insurance company, Armstrong/Robitaille, refused.
      The company said California's Education Code spells out the terms for
      parent-teacher associations' use of school facilities and requires both
      districts and parent groups to insure themselves.

      The decision left parent groups fretting, with book fairs, meetings,
      fund-raisers and social events hanging in the balance.

      Hersch blamed the PTA for the ban, saying the group forced his hand by
      refusing to sign the insurance addendum, which has been part of the
      district's policies since 1995.
      Times staff writer Jackie Burrell contributed to this article.
    • Kevin Rivard
      Why did Measure J fail? Not enough people trusted the district? Why did Measure B pass? Blackmail from the district that threatened loss of sports, libraries,
      Message 2 of 4 , Sep 9, 2004
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        Why did Measure J fail? Not enough people trusted the district?

        Why did Measure B pass? Blackmail from the district that threatened loss of
        sports, libraries, music and so on.

        Why did we almost have no PTA's this year? Blackmail from the district
        against a long and trusted organization that has nothing but children as
        their focus.

        This is the new way for this district leadership to get what they want.
        Blackmail or making life so uncomfortable for students, parents and
        community that those groups will do anything this district wants because the
        Board of Education lacks the backbone to stop these type of tactics.

        Between Measure B, the Fairmede/Hilltop and Tara Hills Continuation School
        problems, the stealing of TIIG/GATE and Title 1 site funds and now the PTA
        debacle how many more of you are starting to finally see the pattern of, IT
        IS OUR WAY OR THE HIGHWAY attitude coming from this administration and
        blackmail is their game.

        You had better let your Board Members know change is needed at 1108 Bissell
        or next time you as a parent attempt to step on a campus you might receive
        the same type of letter as the PTA, "We are sorry to inform you that unless
        you have a $1,00000,000 insurance policy and agree to sign this form holding
        the district harmless, should you break a finger nail on campus, we cannot
        allow you to enter this campus.

        Ridiculous, you say, last week I would have said the same about the PTA mess
        as well.

        Kevin


        >From: Cathy Travlos <cbt@...>
        >Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
        >To: (Recipient list suppressed)
        >Subject: [wccusdtalk] PTA ban lifted - WC Times article
        >Date: Thu, 09 Sep 2004 07:34:12 -0700
        >
        >For those of you not watching last night's board meeting, the article in
        >today's West County Times is a good summary.
        >Cathy
        >
        >Posted on Thu, Sep. 09, 2004
        >
        >District backs off PTA campus ban
        >
        >By Rebecca Rosen Lum
        >
        >CONTRA COSTA TIMES
        >
        >RICHMOND - The state PTA agreed Wednesday to assume the cost of insuring
        >local chapters, heading off a move by the West Contra Costa Unified School
        >District to ban the groups from meeting on school campuses.
        >
        >District lawyer Alan Hersch's decision last week to bar groups that did not
        >agree to sign a new insurance agreement was met with incredulity by
        >trustees, parents and officials in neighboring districts. Several irate
        >parents who came to LaVonya Dejean Middle School on Wednesday night to
        >blast the district did so despite the 11th-hour solution.
        >
        >"An apology isn't enough," said teacher and PTA activist Linda Takimoto.
        >"This is a national organization whose mission is the health, safety and
        >education of our children. To ban them tells me you don't know who you're
        >here to serve."
        >
        >Before the meeting, board president Charles Ramsey said district officials,
        >parents and even City Council members had spoken heatedly about the
        >standoff all day.
        >
        >"This is the biggest issue that's hit the district in a long time," he
        >said.
        >
        >"It's a procedural squabble," said trustee Glen Price. "It could have been
        >handled more collaboratively."
        >
        >The timing couldn't have been worse, parents say. Word of Hersch's order
        >reached one school, Castro Elementary, just four hours before a
        >back-to-school ice cream social, leaving children and parents in the lurch
        >when they arrived.
        >
        >Parent groups are eager to adopt their budgets, elect officers, establish
        >committees and sign up volunteers while "there is fresh hope and optimism,"
        >Price said.
        >
        >There's been no hint that any parents plan to sue over injuries, although
        >some schools, including Ellerhorst Elementary, are undergoing renovations.
        >Hersch had voiced fears that if parents are hurt they might sue the
        >district.
        >
        >"Mr. Hersch has been working diligently with the insurance agent of the
        >state PTA to come to a resolution, and we've been able to achieve that,
        >with regret and sadness over any disruption that was created for the PTAs
        >since we couldn't do this sooner," said district spokesman Paul Ehara.
        >
        >In recent days, Hersch told the Bayside Council, the umbrella group for
        >parent groups in West Contra Costa, that its members could not use schools
        >for meetings or events until they agreed to "hold harmless" the district, a
        >legal term that means they won't make any claims against the district in
        >case of injury or property damage.
        >
        >Hersch also wanted parent groups to name the district as an additional
        >insured party on their policies.
        >
        >California PTA and its insurance company, Armstrong/Robitaille, refused.
        >The company said California's Education Code spells out the terms for
        >parent-teacher associations' use of school facilities and requires both
        >districts and parent groups to insure themselves.
        >
        >The decision left parent groups fretting, with book fairs, meetings,
        >fund-raisers and social events hanging in the balance.
        >
        >Hersch blamed the PTA for the ban, saying the group forced his hand by
        >refusing to sign the insurance addendum, which has been part of the
        >district's policies since 1995.
        >Times staff writer Jackie Burrell contributed to this article.
        >
        >

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      • c_cowens
        This is actually a good article, like the last one, even though the lead is wrong. All PTAs have always been insured through the State PTA. The school PTAs
        Message 3 of 4 , Sep 9, 2004
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          This is actually a good article, like the last one, even though the
          lead is wrong. All PTAs have always been insured through the State
          PTA. The school PTAs have always and will continue to pay their own
          part of the insurance premiums through the State PTA. Carrying
          liability insurance has never been issue in this.

          All that changed was that the State PTA attorney made a positive
          gesture towards the District. The District then made a positive
          gesture by stating the ban would be lifted while negotiations
          continue. The details of this ban-lifting have not been communicated
          to the Bayside Council of PTAs, although it's hard to believe that
          events that already have permits wouldn't just be reinstated.

          Charles Cowens
          President
          Bayside Council of PTAs

          --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Cathy Travlos <cbt@t...> wrote:
          > For those of you not watching last night's board meeting, the
          article in
          > today's West County Times is a good summary.
          > Cathy
          >
          > Posted on Thu, Sep. 09, 2004
          >
          > District backs off PTA campus ban
          >
          > By Rebecca Rosen Lum
          >
          > CONTRA COSTA TIMES
          >
          > RICHMOND - The state PTA agreed Wednesday to assume the cost of
          insuring
          > local chapters, heading off a move by the West Contra Costa Unified
          School
          > District to ban the groups from meeting on school campuses.
          >
          > District lawyer Alan Hersch's decision last week to bar groups that
          did not
          > agree to sign a new insurance agreement was met with incredulity by
          > trustees, parents and officials in neighboring districts. Several irate
          > parents who came to LaVonya Dejean Middle School on Wednesday night to
          > blast the district did so despite the 11th-hour solution.
          >
          > "An apology isn't enough," said teacher and PTA activist Linda
          Takimoto.
          > "This is a national organization whose mission is the health, safety
          and
          > education of our children. To ban them tells me you don't know who
          you're
          > here to serve."
          >
          > Before the meeting, board president Charles Ramsey said district
          officials,
          > parents and even City Council members had spoken heatedly about the
          > standoff all day.
          >
          > "This is the biggest issue that's hit the district in a long time,"
          he said.
          >
          > "It's a procedural squabble," said trustee Glen Price. "It could
          have been
          > handled more collaboratively."
          >
          > The timing couldn't have been worse, parents say. Word of Hersch's
          order
          > reached one school, Castro Elementary, just four hours before a
          > back-to-school ice cream social, leaving children and parents in the
          lurch
          > when they arrived.
          >
          > Parent groups are eager to adopt their budgets, elect officers,
          establish
          > committees and sign up volunteers while "there is fresh hope and
          optimism,"
          > Price said.
          >
          > There's been no hint that any parents plan to sue over injuries,
          although
          > some schools, including Ellerhorst Elementary, are undergoing
          renovations.
          > Hersch had voiced fears that if parents are hurt they might sue the
          district.
          >
          > "Mr. Hersch has been working diligently with the insurance agent of the
          > state PTA to come to a resolution, and we've been able to achieve that,
          > with regret and sadness over any disruption that was created for the
          PTAs
          > since we couldn't do this sooner," said district spokesman Paul Ehara.
          >
          > In recent days, Hersch told the Bayside Council, the umbrella group for
          > parent groups in West Contra Costa, that its members could not use
          schools
          > for meetings or events until they agreed to "hold harmless" the
          district, a
          > legal term that means they won't make any claims against the
          district in
          > case of injury or property damage.
          >
          > Hersch also wanted parent groups to name the district as an additional
          > insured party on their policies.
          >
          > California PTA and its insurance company, Armstrong/Robitaille,
          refused.
          > The company said California's Education Code spells out the terms for
          > parent-teacher associations' use of school facilities and requires both
          > districts and parent groups to insure themselves.
          >
          > The decision left parent groups fretting, with book fairs, meetings,
          > fund-raisers and social events hanging in the balance.
          >
          > Hersch blamed the PTA for the ban, saying the group forced his hand by
          > refusing to sign the insurance addendum, which has been part of the
          > district's policies since 1995.
          > Times staff writer Jackie Burrell contributed to this article.
        • mswilliamson@lbl.gov
          Terrific news! Marsha Williamson [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          Message 4 of 4 , Sep 10, 2004
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            Terrific news!
            Marsha Williamson

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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