School board to rep­ri­mand su­per­in­ten­dent over shooter drill

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - News - BY ASH­LEIGH PANOO [email protected]­ Ash­leigh Panoo: 559-441-6010, @Ash­leighPanoo

The su­per­in­ten­dent of a Fresno County school dis­trict will be for­mally rep­ri­manded for his part in an ac­tive shooter drill at an ele­men­tary school.

The Raisin City Schools board voted 4-1 Mon­day to rep­ri­mand Juan San­doval in­stead of sus­pend­ing or ter­mi­nat­ing him af­ter he ap­proved the drill that ter­ri­fied unprepared teach­ers and stu­dents in June.

The drill in­volved an em­ployee wear­ing a mask, hold­ing a fake ri­fle and bang­ing on class­room doors.

Calls and mes­sages left to San­doval and board mem­bers were not re­turned.

Third-grade teacher Danny Na­son said he thought rep­ri­mand­ing San­doval was the ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion.

“I’m happy be­cause it’s get­ting close to school and I want to fo­cus on teach­ing,” Na­son said. “I think it was re­solved cor­rectly. I don’t think he should have been fired.”

Na­son said it got emo­tional and tense at times dur­ing the meet­ing, where there was both sup­port and con­dem­na­tion of San­doval.

Sev­eral teach­ers, in­clud­ing Na­son, said they were not told of the drill be­fore­hand and be­lieved it could be real. Na­son said he nearly hit the em­ployee with a fire ex­tin­guisher when he opened the door to his class­room dur­ing the drill.

Some stu­dents were cry­ing after­ward and ask­ing to go home, said Na­son, who added he also wit­nessed em­ploy­ees jok­ing about the drill.

In the fu­ture, Na­son said, San­doval will have to get ap­proval from the board be­fore he runs any drills.

The Cal­i­for­nia Teacher’s As­so­ci­a­tion re­leased a state­ment from teacher Kim Cooper, pres­i­dent of the Raisin City Teach­ers As­so­ci­a­tion.

“The in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the mis­guided ac­tive shooter drill has led to changes that will re­sult in greater over­sight in the day to day de­ci­sions,” it read in part.

Cooper told The Bee that she is also sat­is­fied with the out­come.

“I am glad that Mr. San­doval will use bet­ter judg­ment in the fu­ture and I am glad that my stu­dents will feel safe in their school en­vi­ron­ment,” she said. “We will put this in­ci­dent be­hind us and fo­cus on the well­be­ing of our stu­dents.”

Juan San­doval

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