Parents protest discrimination by Hacienda La Puente Unified

Parents of students who attend Lassalette School in La Puente say they have been discriminated against. Their children for years have had to change into their physical education uniforms in two small bathrooms, causing them to come home smelling like urine.

“My son comes home with urine on his clothes after changing in the bathroom where there is urine and feces on the floor,” Consuelo Ayala said through tears as she explained the daily ordeal her son faces. “It’s sad that the years go by and nothing is resolved.”

Since Lassalette was transformed more than a decade ago into a K-8 school, parents have been asking the district to provide two portable rooms to serve as changing rooms for the 225 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students. Right now, they change in bathrooms or empty classrooms.

The request has been denied on numerous occasions as Hacienda La Puente Unified School District officials said there was little funding available for the portables, one of which can cost about $170,000.

But La Puente parents have recently learned from school board member Rudy Chavarria that Wedgeworth Elementary School, a small specialty elementary school in Hacienda Heights, could be getting two new portables valued at between $250,000 and $1 million.

And now they are taking their complaints back to the school board – highlighting a long-standing criticism that the district favors its schools in Hacienda Heights, to the detriment of schools in La Puente.

Read more in Juliette Funes’ story DIVIDE.

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