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Voicing concerns at Bullard High School

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Parents, teachers, and students in Northwest Fresno say Fresno Unified School District didn't keep up it's end of the bargain.

It was standing room only at Bullard High School on Tuesday night as 500 people packed the Cafeteria to voice their concerns at a town hall meeting. Bullard Area Trustee Michelle Asadoorian introduced the program and former student Ty Davis served as master of ceremonies. Local attorney and Bullared parent Charles Manock titled his speech "Broken Promises." He told Action News, "All you've gotta do is look at other campuses that are getting what they were promised, are getting measure Q dollars, ours is delayed."

He said it wasn't so long ago, that district officials asked for help passing Measure Q. In return, Manock says Bullard was supposed to get a lot of things. "We were promised a Bullard regional plan, a gate program, two magnet programs a sports program as well as uniforms and discipline issue." He says he's not the only one who's frustrated.

Students detailed their account of fights, a lack of desks due to overcrowding, not enough textbooks and teachers disciplining rather than educating. District officials say safety is always a priority, and as for the number of students, Bullard is at normal levels, and meeting state requirements and qualifications.

Ruth Quinto, Deputy Superintendent for Fresno Unified said, "Bullard actually has the fewest amount of students for the size of campus than any other has except for Hoover it's the only other school that has more acres per student than Bullard." Quinto also says, before Measure Q was even a thought, more than $10 million was spent on Bullard. "It included not only a renovation of the performing arts center but also a renovation of the north gym, which was just celebrated last week."

Parents say the more immediate problems need to be addressed.

Thomas Rose said, "I don't like the overcrowding, I don't like brining in the bad element."

Hundreds signed a petition that will go to the district on Wednesday. It's a list of what they say is their immediate demands and concerns. They say things need to change and that Tuesday night's meeting was the first of many on the subject.

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