A case of restraint?
Glenwood Springs Middle School obtained a restraining order last week against a parent who withdrew her student from the school.In its restraining order, the district alleges that Willow Lepanto verbally harassed a student and staff members at the school. Lepanto said the staff and the Roaring Fork School District aren’t qualified to look after her daughter. She also said she thinks the district is out to get her for bringing complaints against the school. “I think it’s a witch hunt,” she said. “I have been very vocal about the things they are not doing correctly at the school, like gossiping about students and their parents.”Lepanto has also questioned the credentials of staff members. On March 8, Lepanto’s daughter was hurt at school, and the nurse called to notify Lepanto. When the nurse couldn’t explain the extent of her daughter’s injury, Lepanto went to the school. “I did tell the nurse that I thought she was inadequate to measure my daughter’s pain,” she said. Lepanto was “panicking” because her daughter broke her leg at Glenwood Springs Elementary School during recess, she said.The restraining order alleges that Lepanto “verbally assaulted the school nurse,” requesting her credentials and threatening to get her fired. When assistant principal Brad Ray stepped in, Lepanto swore at him, according to the restraining order. The restraining order also alleges that Lepanto went to the school on April 20 and demanded that a friend of her daughter’s return her daughter’s clothes. Lepanto “confronted the student in the hallway where she spoke in a loud voice, using profanity and offensive language and her aggressive demeanor was intimidating and appeared to be intended to provoke a violent or disorderly response from the student,” the restraining order noted.Lepanto said that her daughter’s friend had taken a pair of jazz pants and that Lepanto told her, “This (expletive) has been going on long enough.”Roaring Fork School district superintendent Fred Wall said he couldn’t comment on the restraining order, he said. “All I can say is that the issue was … not a safety issue, it’s a disruption issue.”The district sought the restraining order mostly because of disruption to students, but also to staff, he said. In Wall’s eight previous years in the superintendent’s office the district hadn’t gotten a restraining order against a parent, he said.Lepanto also alleged that the school’s resource officer used his camera phone to profile her daughter. She said the officer took pictures of her daughter and she thought they’d be used to pick her up off the street later. Glenwood Springs Police Department school resource officers do carry camera cell phones, but only because that’s the model the department issued, said Lt. Bill Kimminau. “The officers have been told not to use (the camera function),” he said. “I can guarantee he wasn’t taking pictures of her.”Under the order, Lepanto can pick up and drop off her daughter, but can’t go in the school without a principal as an escort. But Lepanto said her daughter wouldn’t go to GSMS any longer.”I think it’s a constitutional right for a parent to be able to be where their child is at,” she said. Contact Ryan Graff: 945-8515, ext. firstname.lastname@example.org
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