Superintendent Pedro Martinez evaluated, WCSD parent arrested

Reported by: Ashley Cullins
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Updated: 6/12/2013 9:34 am
RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- A Washoe County School District board meeting took center stage Tuesday night as the first year superintendent Pedro Martinez was set to recieve his public review.

Prior to that agenda item, Larry Dailey, a parent was arrested for trespassing and obstruction.

Dailey, a University of Nevada journalism professor, tells News 4 he was there to speak out against Pedro Martinez about his disabled teenage daughter's education.

"I think that it's time that people stand up for the disabled in this community and stand up for the first amendment," Dailey said.

Dailey said he knew there was a trespass order against him and he wasn't allowed in the building but said the order was unfair and he's being harrassed.

WCSD Chief of Police Mike Mieras said student safety is their first priority, staff safety is second and they have to draw the line sometimes.

"We advised him numerous times that he could not enter the buding up until the point that he tried to force his way in," Mieras said. "Unfortunately he was arrested for trespassing and one count of obstructing a police officer."

Inside the building the board of trustees was evaluating Martinez after his first school year on the job.

"Pedro is active and specific so we get things done," said University of Nevada President Marc Johnson.

Educators and members of unions civic groups and religious organizations all spoke out in support of Martinez's work as WCSD superintendent.

School board president Barbara Clark said she isn't surprised by the response.

"When we hired Pedro we knew he had the heart and the desire to take our school district from good to great," Clark said. "He has followed through on that."

So what grade would Clark give Martinez?

"A minus because there's always room for growth," Clark said.

Martinez agreed there's still work to be done. 

"We're committed to working with our families and working with our community to make things better, and what I heard today is that we're going in the right direction but we still have a lot of work to do and I take that to heart," Martinez said.

Martinez said he's touched by the support he's recieving from the community.

"They really recognized that I care for every child and for me nothing else matters if I don't portray that," Martinez said.

Because each student matters, Martinez said the concerns of one parent who spoke negatively will be taken seriously. 

"We have been denied the opportunity to voice those concerns to you," said Linda Dailey.

Dailey's husband Larry is the man arrested for trespassing outside the meeting. 

"We're working with that family. Unfortunately we don't agree on everything," Martinez said. "I know who that student is and I will do whatever it takes to make sure that she is successful."

Martinez said it's unfortunate that this happened and a working relationship with parents is vital to students' success. 

"We may not always agree, but I will always make sure that we don't compromise any of our children," Martinez said. 

The Department of Education is investigating Dailey's complaints against the school district. 

News 4 will bring you more on this story as it develops.
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