Parents march for change at deaf school in Fremont

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Parents at the California School for the Deaf in Fremont are concerned because their children are starting the school year with a temporary superintendent.

Parents at the California School for the Deaf in Fremont are concerned because their children are starting the school year with a temporary superintendent.

About a dozen parents marched through the campus at noon to call attention to their continuing concerns.


They say they've been raising concerns about Superintendent Sean Virnig for months. A coalition of parents and staff say Virnig's leadership has been lacking and important programs have suffered in his five year tenure.

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"With Virnig, he simply didn't listen to us. He had no vision, he had no plan. We would tell him, we want your five year plan, and he couldn't even provide us with a five year plan," said parent Elvis Zornoza.

On Friday, State Superintendent of Schools Tom Torlakson met with a gym full of parents and staff.

On Saturday, he decided to send Virnig to Sacramento temporarily and has assigned an interim superintendent for the start of the school year.

Many parents say they want a permanent fix and fast.

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"They then decided to put Dr. Virnig on a remedial plan and we disagree with that because we want him to be out. We want a new superintendent who will listen," said parent Zornoza.

"If the staff isn't happy, you know they don't have a good leader, that's a concern for me as a parent," explained Victoria Olea, also a parent.

Parents say they Virnig was a nice guy and they appreciate that he's the first deaf person to head the school in its history. He's even a celebrated alumnus.

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But this group of outspoken parents says his leadership wasn't working.

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