Dear Editor:

(This letter was send to the superintendent and board members of the Fontana Unified School District.)

My name is Myesha Lopez and I have worked here in the FUSD for more than eight years now. I am a prep cook at Summit High School, where l love on our students and take pride in the work I do to aid in their educational and nutritional needs.

Due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been forced to be a stay at home mom to my two daughters.

As a public school district, FUSD is a community resource that is charged with not only the educational needs of our students but also the social needs of the community.

Many and nearly all FUSD employees have had to make due with the distance learning platform that has deprived us of the security that public education provides, like childcare and access to education.

Since the effects of COVID, I have asked to be placed on unpaid leave until we return to normal school. My daughters are high risk special needs children who have been turned away from daycare programs.

My only other support was my father, who was murdered this June. I am without any other support, like many of the FUSD employees.

FUSD has an unpaid leave policy that allows its employees to take an unpaid one-year leave. I requested this time and I was denied, citing that “FUSD is a business.” But it is not! It is a publicly funded community resource that is turning its back on the very community it serves.

If my lack of child care is not a reason to be granted this unpaid leave, then what value do public schools have in society? My denial is FUSD saying to the world that the services that it and all other publicly funded schools provide are inconsequential to society and that FUSD is not needed.

I plead with you all to make an expeditious change that would allow me and all other FUSD to retain our employment as we are forced to accept distance learning.

This week I was scheduled to be fired if I am unable to return to work because the work I do as a school employee has been placed in my lap to do as a parent. This is unfair and I plead with you all to consider the fact that your employees are also the parents of your students.

Myesha Lopez

Ontario

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