Woman claims daughter denied education - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Woman claims daughter denied education

by Nick Delgado

Guam - DOE has launched an internal investigation into allegations of bad behavior against a principal. "I told the superintendent I don't trust that system there I don't trust that school, I'm afraid," said Doris Guerrero.

Last Thursday she says she called Untalan Middle School principal Eleuterio Mesa wanting answers as to why her 8th grade daughter - a special needs student - has been spending time in the office because of the lack of a one-to-one school aide. Guerrero says Mesa told her they were able to find an aide, but the following day it was the same story: her daughter left to wait in the school office.

It was enough for Guerrero to pay a personal visit to the principal with a document outlining her conversation from the previous day and prepared to record her discussion with mesa on her cell phone. The cops were called.

"He pointed his finger at me and said 'Where you going with this?' and I said maybe I'll take it further and he started accusing me of badmouthing him and he said his secretary told him that I said he didn't have any brains and he was unprofessional, and he was at my face and he lost it," she asserted.

"Basically badmouthing me in front of teachers and staff that I don't know what I'm doing now I believe that's unprofessional of her," said Mesa. Guerrero added, "Of course I reacted to that and I said 'wait a minute I'm here for my daughter', and then it just got out of hand and he yelled for his staff to call the police, belligerent parent."

The cops arrived to the Barrigada campus on Friday, as did deputy superintendent Arlene Unpingco, who informed officers she would handle the situation. According to mesa he believes he was being set up. "My whole intent is to help the child now what's going on is this some sort of insurrection, some sort of conspiracy to get me by signing a document and secretly recording me? C'mon," said Mesa. "As far as I'm concerned, we are not communicating and we are not trying to help each other somebody is trying to set me up for failure."

And while tempers calm, what about the issue involving a lack of one-to-one school aides?  Unfortunately assistant superintendent of special education Chris Anderson says it's a significant problem district-wide, noting, "We're actively aggressively trying to recruit one to one aides and that's a challenge on our part, but we are doing that to trying to address that. So there really isn't a surplus of aides available to try and move to schools."

DOE superintendent Dr. Nerissa Underwood confirms that there is an internal investigation into the incident at the Barrigada campus, but whatever the outcome of that investigation Guerrero says she may plan on bringing it to court.

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