Boundary changes have Chula Vista parents angry

Posted at 6:42 AM, Mar 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-15 11:15:30-04
CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- Hundreds of parents in the South Bay are signing a petition to try to get school boundary changes reversed in the Sweetwater Union High School District. 
The district recently released new boundaries aimed at balancing the middle and high school populations.  On Monday night, parents packed the school board meeting to urge members to reconsider.  
Lirian Penn said her daughter started playing trombone in fifth grade. She goes to Eastlake Middle School and was looking forward to joining the band at Eastlake High.
"It was a no brainer that she would go to Eastlake High. That's the route she was taking," Penn said.
The new route has her going to Bonita Vista High School. 
"Now, she has to sever her relationships with the folks that already there who are planning to go Eastlake High," Penn said. 
Her 12-year-old daughter Verona was devastated.
"She literally curled up in a bed and I had to comfort her," Penn said.
"I was very disappointed that I wasn't going to be able to attend Eastlake High School because I really wanted to follow in my brother's footsteps," Verona said. 
Her brother will have graduated by the time she starts high school, but siblings that are scheduled to attend the same school together will not be separated. The changes affect incoming 7th and 9th graders. 
"What we really want to make sure of is that we're building (schools) to a capacity that they can handle," district spokesman Manny Rubio said. 
Rubio said Eastlake High has roughly 3,000 students, nearly double that of high schools on the west side of the district. He said the ultimate solution is building more schools, but that will take years.  
Parents also say the district failed to notify them of the changes. Many said they did not know about the rezoning until their children told them. Rubio said the district started talking about this in public meetings back in September. 
Meanwhile, Verona is nervous about starting over.  
"I'm really shy so that will be really difficult for me," Verona said.
The changes will be implemented in July.