By Yesenia Leon
Bonita Vista High Principal Bettina Batista held “Coffee with the Principal,” an event focused on gathering parents to discuss their concerns and issues in the Baron Bistro on Nov. 10 from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.
“There was a lot of support between parents who had a concern or suggestions or just commiserating with them. It really was a nice group. Some parents didn’t say anything, they just wanted to be there and see if they learned something,” parent Davina Keddo said.
There was a wide variety of topics that were addressed, such as recent standardized test scores, the inability to fit all students in the gym during pep rallies and the recent presidential election. Attendees also discussed the new track that is said to be ready in one year along with trying to find ways for students to manage what they are posting on their social media accounts.
“We wanted to make sure that everyone’s viewpoints [with the election] were safe to discuss if they did not use vulgar language,” parent Benjamin Powell said. “We stressed that everyone should think and take some time before they respond to events in the media, most importantly that everyone, teachers and students, should understand that posting on social media does not go away and will stay with them forever.”
Another parent was particularly worried about how bullying could turn into hate crimes, especially after the Trump election. Some parents planned to discuss with Batista about how to proactively prevent this problem from occurring.
“We discussed being tolerant to each other and standing up for your classmates. If you see someone acting badly, say something and do not ignore the bad behavior. It was very nice to speak with the principal in an environment [open to] parents. We all found out that we all had similar concerns and issues,” Powell said.
Ultimately, parents gained a stronger relationship with Batista but were aware that it would take their own participation at school to fix these issues. Avenues such as “Coffee with the Principal” allow for Batista to become aware of situations and concerns that she may not be conscious of. Due to her unavailability, Batista was not available to comment.
“I feel happy that someone cares enough to listen to us because Batista had no idea what we were going to talk about,” Keddo said. “It’s a very important part of the relationship for parents to see a principal up close. I know it’s so hard to find the time but I really appreciate that she did it.”