Parents Outraged at School Chief's Firing

The school board recently terminated Sharon McClain

Parents are asking for the Del Mar school board to resign after the district fired its second superintendent in two years.

“The board has abused its power,” mother Jill Steiner said. “This board has to go. We are here to ask for their resignations.”

The school board recently terminated Sharon McClain. Parents voiced their outrage at a rally before the school board meeting Wednesday evening.

“They are not listening to parents and constituents and they are wasting our children’s money,” Steiner said.

They claim McClain was fired for no reason and say it could cost the school district hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“We are not aware of any wrongdoing on Doctor McClain’s part. She’s been a very hardworking superintendent and a great leader who has steered us through difficult financial times,” Steiner said.

The board didn’t reveal the reason behind their decision Wednesday. Instead, they introduced interim superintendent Jim Peabody.

“We believe we will have good direction under Mr. Peabody. He has 40 years of experience to bring to our district. We are going to look forward for the sake of our children,” board member Comischell Rodriguez said.

The former superintendent of Julian Union High School District is in the spotlight after only being on the job since Monday.

“It caused me some pause, but am I frightened? No. These are people who care about their kids, who are expressing their opinion and that’s fine with me,” Peabody said. “I’m working as hard as I can to be of value to the district and to be of value to the parents and to the children of the Del Mar Union school district.”

Former superintendent Tom Bishop was ousted in 2008 after board members clashed with him over management issues.

“The board has abused its power terminating two superintendents within two years and it’s not the will of this community,” Steiner said. “We expect that it could be very costly to our district and these are funds that are designated for our children’s education. Not for firing superintendents.”

The board would not comment about whether it would consider rescinding the termination.

“I think the community has a right to say what is on their mind,” Rodriguez said.

McClain said she is happy parents in the district continue to support her and that voters can choose new school board trustees in this November's election.

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