Candlelight vigil ignites controversy

Protesters of the GUSD board's proposals to increase class size and cut staff held a vigil outside the home of GUSD board president Greg Krikorian on Wednesday, May 26.

By Shari EMAMI

About 100 Glendale community members, neighbors and teachers gathered outside the home of school board president Greg Krikorian on Wednesday evening, May 26, to silently protest the school board’s recently proposed 50% increase in class size and teacher layoffs in response to budget cuts. The Glendale Teachers Association held the vigil, handing out candles to attendees.

The hour-long vigil was an attempt by the GTA to further display its displeasure with the board’s proposals of cutting staff and increasing class size. “Everyone forgot what’s really important. The school board is not looking
out for the children. Thirty kids to a teacher are just way too much,” said Glendale teacher Gyzela Pieprzyca. “They are not thinking about the kids. It should be about the children.”

The vigil caused chaos outside the Krikorian home with police cars and cameramen surrounding the property. Though the board president didn’t leave his home during the vigil, he later said that he was unhappy that his family and privacy were invaded. “I am all for freedom of speech, but let’s communicate in its proper setting,” he said. “[The board is] disappointed the Union chose this forum to personalize their disagreement with the District.  As educators they know this action would cause unnecessary anxiety and stress for my family.”

Whether the Union’s actions outside the board president’s home will have any impact, time is key. Said Krikorian, “All we can do is wait.”