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School principal bars activist from Lathrop campus for 14 days

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POSTED September 13, 2012 12:16 a.m.

LATHROP — A community activist that two years ago ran for a seat on the Lathrop City Council has been barred from setting foot on the Lathrop Elementary School campus for the next two weeks.

Rosalinda Valencia – the outspoken activist that organized an unauthorized meeting of parents at the school on Monday to discuss the highly-publicized indecent act allegedly witnessed by a young Give Every Child a Chance student by an adult male in the girls’ restroom – was issued a Withdrawal of Consent letter dated Sept. 10 that expressly prohibits her from being on the campus or its facilities for the next 14 days.

According to the letter, Valencia was instructed to stop handing out flyers to parents advertising such a meeting since the use of the gymnasium – the location where the flyer says the meeting will take place – was not authorized. She also apparently was asked not to list the direct phone lines to staff members, which were included as well.

The notice – penned by Lathrop Elementary Principal David Silveira – was copied to Manteca Unified Senior Director of Elementary Education Cheryl Meeker as well as Director of Child Welfare and Attendance Rupinder Bhatti.

“Your actions continue to disrupt the learning environment of the students and disrupt the operations of the school,” Silveira wrote. “As chief administrative officer of the school, I have informed you that all concerned parents should address their concerns with the front office.

“Such inappropriate and disruptive behavior is not acceptable and will not be tolerated by the Manteca Unified School District.”

Valencia said that she refused to accept an envelope from Silveira when she was at the school on Tuesday. She finally took it from Assistant Superintendent Don Halseth at the Tuesday night informational meeting – marking the start of the 14-day suspension of her privileges to the site. If she returns within that period she’ll be guilty of a misdemeanor, and the school will contact the Lathrop Police Department.

But the notice isn’t exactly going to be just a two-week hiatus from shaking up the establishment.

Silveira writes further that any other inappropriate or disruptive behavior on the campus will lead to the district obtaining a restraining order from the Manteca Court – with the district requesting that she cover their legal fees incurred during the process.

During the meeting that Valencia circulated handbills for she was openly critical of Silveira and antagonistic towards Lathrop Elementary teacher and Lathrop City Councilwoman Martha Salcedo – who had come over from her classroom to chat with parents but left before any meeting began so as to not create any open meeting law violations.

Vice Mayor Christopher Mateo and Councilman Sonny Dhaliwal were already present.

While Silveira doesn’t specifically name which teacher, he does mention a situation where “Valencia approached one of our staff members in our parking lot while she was trying to leave campus, where she was verbally disrespected her and others.”

Valencia herself had taken out paperwork with the city clerk to make a run for the council, but did not submit it in time to qualify for the ballot. She talked Monday of running for the Manteca Unified Board of Trustees to represent Lathrop-French Camp when Manuel Mederios’ term ends in two years.

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