Parents Want To Secede From Mount Diablo Unified School District

PLEASANT HILL (KPIX) — Some parents want to pull their kids out of Mount Diablo Unified School District.

If they have their way, they’ll remove Walnut Acres, Bancroft and Valle Verde Elementary and Foothill Middle and Northgate High schools and form a new District, called Northgate Unified.

The final decision is up to the Board of Education, the state, and ultimately to the voters.

Parents both for and against the split faced off at a meeting in Pleasant Hill on Tuesday.

Those who wanted to break away and form their own district and allow the five Mount Diablo schools to secede sat on one side.

“I feel the students in this community could be served by a smaller District,” said Melissa Sunburry.

On the other side of the room were parents who say it’s segregation.

“It’s building a wall right between Northgate High and Ignacio Valley High — the most diverse and least diverse high schools in our district,” says Cherise Khaund.

North Gate High School teacher Meg Honey agrees.

“We see this as a move totally contrary to the values of us as educators,” says Honey.

The parents dressed in orange t-shirts live in the affluent Northgate high school attendance area of Walnut Creek.

They say with 32,000 students in the Mount Diablo Unified School District, it’s too big and they want out.

“Since the 1970s our community has wanted out of Mt. Diablo,” says Linda Loca. “It’s about leadership, and it’s about what’s best for kids, it has nothing to do with segregation.”

Tim Callahan is for creating a new district.

“I’m fighting for my neighbors and people who might move in the area,” he says.

Often, the school secession fight has gotten personal.

“It has been divisive, parents disagreeing, we have seen young people discounted,” says Superintendent Nellie Meyer.

A vote was expected Tuesday night. Even if it’s a split decision, their recommendations will go on to the state, and they will then decide. If they approve it, it goes on to the voters.

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