Justice for WVUSD Loses Its Momentum

This July, a group known as Justice for WVUSD penned a 32-page booklet and formal letter addressing instances of discrimination toward students in the district, catching the attention of the entire district community.

Following the release of the statements, the group stalled activity for a few months, eventually leaving the public eye. Recently, however, they resurfaced with statements describing their interactions with the district during their months of silence, and the other actions they have taken to promote their cause.

In their statements, the members of Justice for WVUSD said they were able to meet with Diane Perez, assistant superintendent of Human Resources for Walnut Valley Unified School District, as well as other district officials, to discuss the original reforms the group had pushed for.

However, the organization stated that the district only investigated the teachers in the reported incidents, instead of reevaluating policies as they had hoped, and expressed their dissatisfaction with the way the district handled the situation in an Instagram post. 

“Other than the meeting, our personal accounts have been blocked by WVUSD’s Instagram account, @walnutvalleyusd. Overall, we found the communication we have had so far with WVUSD disappointing and disrespectful,” the group said in a statement.

Attempts to reach the district for a response to Justice for WVUSD’s statement have gone unanswered.

After the Walnut Valley Unified School District failed to respond to their requests, the Diamond Bar High School alumni who created the group issued an appeal to the California Department of Education. When asked for more details on the appeal, the group declined to comment. They also attempted to organize a webinar in late July to provide more information on the situation, but ended up canceling it due to reasons that were not disclosed. 

The statement on their social media released in late August also mentioned a Uniform Complaint Procedures Form to the district that they expected to receive a response to by September. When prompted, they declined to reveal anything about the status of the response and only stated they were planning one final item for 2020.

“We are all currently transitioning out of a continuous role at Justice for WVUSD and will instead be moving into a yearly event role,” class of 2020 alumnus Matthew Lioe said on behalf of Justice for WVUSD in an email. “As we are all college students, it is not possible for us to continuously create educational content and do research at this time.”

Although this will hinder the group from taking any further action at the moment, they are planning to collaborate with the local community organization Mama Bears For Change, which promotes activism on a broad range of issues, to continue to raise awareness about inequity in schools.

“We have partnered with Mama Bears For Change to facilitate change at both the local and state level to ensure student safety, while promoting staff and administration accountability and transparency,” they said in a social media post.

In their most recent statement, the group said they encourage students of the WVUSD district to speak out against community issues.

“Students deserve to feel empowered and represented in their communities and entitled to a voice. Do not be afraid to make waves–this is how we can finally make a change.”