SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO (CBSLA.com) — Parents, students and teachers were filled with outrage Thursday evening at a special closed-session meeting of the school board in San Juan Capistrano.
Hundreds of students and parents are still trying to find out why Mike Halt, a beloved principal of San Clemente High School, was fired weeks before graduation.
KCAL9’s Stacey Butler reported from the closed-session meeting.
“I’m sorry, I’m tired of hearing it’s politics,” said one frustrated parent.
Parents, teachers and students spoke out.
“Everyone I know likes him — students, staff, parents, the community. This is not a man you dismiss without an explanation,” parent Barbara Bell said.
“Was Mike being evaluated with an eye toward termination?” another parent asked. “If there was even a shadow of a doubt you didn’t have the complete picture, when you were asked to weigh please consider talking with Mike yourself.”
Board trustees of the San Juan Capistrano school district discussed Halt’s employment Thursday but not with the people who wanted to discuss it. The board is forbidden by state law from publicly discussing the firing. The decision has caused a backlash against the board.
“If the board does not respond appropriately, it can damage your names and prevent your success in upcoming elections,” said one student.
“It’s OK to admit you made a mistake,” said one parent.
For the second time in two weeks, outraged parents, teachers and students addressed the board for two hours before they held their meeting.
This time they asked for a private investigator who would report directly to the board.
“Do the right thing for these children,” demanded a parent.