Update—Principal Backs Off Common Core Retaliation

Los Angeles, CA–A high school principal is backtracking from her statements last week that incoming seniors would be punished for opting out of Common Core testing. 
A Pacific Justice Institute attorney, Michael Peffer, sent a legal demand letter last week to Principal CJ Foss of Calabasas High School, which is near Malibu in Los Angeles County.  In an e-mail to parents, Principal Foss had claimed that incoming seniors would not be able to participate in senior activities or receive parking and off-campus passes if their parents had opted them out of statewide testing this spring.  California law specifically gives parents the right to decline statewide testing for their students, and a high percentage of parents did so this year at Calabasas, due to the highly controversial implementation of new testing aligned to the Common Core State Standards. 

When FoxNews asked Principal Foss about her e-mail and the PJI letter, she abruptly changed course.  In the interview, she cited a failure to communicate to parents the importance of the test as a reason she had decided not to follow through on her threats.  The principal and district have not yet responded directly to PJI’s legal demand letter.
Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, commented, “We are pleased that Principal Foss appears to be abandoning her ill-conceived attempt to retaliate against students for exercising their educational rights.  At the same time, her public statements indicate that she does not fully appreciate the school’s legal obligations to respect parents’ decisions about testing.  We will continue to work toward full resolution  to ensure this type of retaliation does not happen again to our clients or anyone else.”     

Pacific Justice Institute is a non-profit legal organization dedicated to defending religious, parental, and other constitutional rights. 

P.O. Box 276600 Sacramento, CA 95827-6600 
Phone: (916) 857-6900, Fax: (916) 857-6902