The Fresno Unified School District is under attack, accused of failing to keep promises to revamp Bullard neighborhood schools. Dozens of teachers and parents are now petitioning for change of what they call 'dismal' conditions.
Bullard High School once stood as one of Fresno's finest schools, but according to some concerned parents, that title no longer fits. One mom, who chose not to be identified, says the campus has been flooded with drugs and violence.
"That's appalling, and it's not like once a week or once a month. At least every three days I'm hearing my kids tell me that there's been a fight."
These conditions are being blamed on broken promises by the Fresno Unified School District.
Concerned parent Kathy Nahoul says, "I'm fed up. I'm very fed up."
Two years ago, the district agreed to launch a gate program within all Bullard neighborhood schools. But that hasn't happened yet. Instead, gate students are being transferred out, and new students are coming in. Parents say test scores are falling, while classrooms sizes are climbing.
Nahoul says, "I just want them to open their ears and hear that things are not well and we need change."
"I have to say I am mad at the school district because I can't believe that is has to get that severe for them to do something and they still don't see an issue. You're setting my child up for failure."
Some teachers are also joining the fight. Mark Weatherby has taught math at Bullard High for 21 years.
"It's only a matter of time before something serious goes on. Walking outside the classroom, you just see there's tension. With teachers, the moral is very low at this school."
Fresno Unified fired back at these accusations with a statement that reads in part: "We are extremely proud of the work of the students and staff in the Bullard community. Thanks to the commitment of the board of education the Bullard region is leading the way as a district pilot for regional work.
Fresno Unified also defended it's position saying Bullard High is undergoing renovations. A newly remodeled gym was recently re-opened, and a new aquatic center was recently completed.
The petitioning group will be holding a town hall meeting to discuss these issues on Tuesday, January 22nd. It will start at 7:00 p.m. inside the Bullard gymnasium.