Community Arts Preschool Petition for Change

Community Arts Preschool Petition for Change

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!
Katie Foster started this petition to Walnut Creek City Manager Dan Buckshi

Dear Mr. Buckshi,

We write you as parents of children from the Walnut Creek Community Arts Preschool program regarding staff’s handling of allegations of a teacher’s sexual misconduct with preschool children. While we understand we must trust the Walnut Creek Police Department's ongoing investigation, we have separate concerns about how Maile Ogasawara, Community Arts Preschool Program Manager, and Kevin Safine, Arts and Recreation Director, have handled and communicated about this matter.

Our understanding is that in the recent past, the City of Walnut Creek was met with a similar situation involving allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor in a city-sponsored program and there were questions about whether staff reacted appropriately. We should hope that significant review of that event would have prepared Mr. Safine to more effectively advise Ms. Ogasawara for this matter. Unfortunately, it appears to many of the parents of preschool community that they both dismissed parent concerns intentionally and resisted providing timely, transparent communication. Their handling of this time-sensitive matter has left us concerned about their lack of prioritization of the health and safety of our children.

We find the amount of time that lapsed (nearly a month) between the report of the teacher’s alleged sexual misconduct with a child and Ms. Ogasawara and Mr. Safine’s communication with the families at Civic Park and Communities Arts Preschool families to be unacceptable. The length of time between reporting the alleged event and informing families not only assumed the position that this was an isolated event involving one child (there are now multiple children reportedly potentially involved), but also compromised the investigation. We understand that staff may have only been able to share limited information immediately following the report of the teacher’s alleged sexual misconduct, but children may not be able to recall details over a month after the teacher's firing. Public agencies have a duty to keep the public informed, especial when it comes to the health and safety of children.

The best interests of the children should be at the forefront of the Community Arts Preschool decision makers' thinking. Through their actions in handling this matter, Mr. Safine and Ms. Ogasawara have demonstrated that our children’s best interests are not their top priority. We find this unacceptable and hereby request modifications to City staffing that result in a firm commitment to the prioritization of the health and safety of our children.

Sincerely,


Parents of the Walnut Creek Community Arts Preschool Program

Cc. Councilmember Cindy Silva

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!