McGregor Supporters Continue to Seek Answers from District

Supporters of fired cross country coach Mike McGregor demonstrated in front of Paloma Valley High Sc...

Supporters of fired cross country coach Mike McGregor demonstrated in front of Paloma Valley High School again Monday.
Parents and students continued to protest the firing of Paloma Valley High School cross country coach Mike McGregor Monday, demonstrating in front of the school and demanding answers from district administrators.

For the sixth consecutive school day, protestors held up signs in support of McGregor, who was fired as girls cross country coach following an incident in a meet at Temescal Canyon High on Sept. 12. The majority of drivers honked their support as they passed by the line of demonstrators while dropping off students at school.

Parents say McGregor was fired without notice about two weeks ago, just days after he was involved in a disagreement with Temescal Canyon officials over the layout and administration of a cross country course for a league meet. McGregor has admitted using an obscenity during his complaint about the course conditions. A spokesperson for the protestors said administrators have told them there is more to the story but will not discuss details.

"(Paloma Valley principal) Brian Morris keeps telling us there's no way there will be any change to this decision," said Shirl Larios, a parent of one of the runners. "He keeps encouraging us to stop the protests. On the other hand, we've had a great response from teachers who tell us to keep it going."

McGregor could not be reached for comment on Monday. Larios said he told parents he is scheduled to meet with Morris to discuss the situation on Tuesday.

All calls to school and district officials are referred to Lesie Ventuleth, chief human resources officer for the Perris Union High School District. Ventuleth said Monday she could not comment on whether such a meeting was scheduled.

Ventuleth would not comment directly on parents' claims that Morris has asked them to stop the protests. She did say, however, that district officials have no complaint with a peaceful demonstration on a public street outside school property.

"From what I understand, they're not disrupting the instructional program and the students are getting to class on time," Ventuleth said. "That is not an issue for us."

Larios said she and other parents still plan to appear at the PUHSD board meeting on Oct. 16 to protest the decision. She acknowledged that administrators have told the parents they may speak during the public comments portion of the meeting, but she challenges what she says has been administration's refusal to put the issue on the agenda.

An email Larios sent to administrators Oct. 1 included the following:

"I spoke last week with Superintendent (Jonathan) Greenberg and President (Eric) Kroneicke, asking to be placed on the agen