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Parents seeking restraining order against teacher

Posted at 6:41 PM, Mar 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-21 21:41:26-04

CLAIREMONT, Calif. (KGTV) - Parents at a local school say they want a restraining order against their children's teacher. 

Two moms filed a harassment claim in civil court against Marcos Salazar. Salazar taught first grade at Longfellow Spanish Immersion Magnet School in Clairemont for many years. This school year, he was moved to the middle school. A judge will hear the case April 3rd.

Meanwhile, other parents have filed complaints against Salazar. 

Wendy Paula's daughter had Salazar last year for first grade. 

"She would tell me that he was yelling a lot, he wasn't paying attention to them and then, what got me over the edge was he, like she told me he physically grabbed her arm and that she wasn't the only kid. I was more scared that she must have thought it was OK," said Paula. 

She had her daughter transferred to another class. The now eight-year-old says she used to dread going to school when Salazar was her teacher.  She said he pulled her arm and would often "flick" kids in their heads.

"He like flicked on our head like this, like really hard and we didn't like it," said Livia Paula. 

Her mom said the aggressive behavior is unacceptable. 

"It's not OK for anyone, any adult to grab a child, in any way. So I mean, pulling her arm and she would tell me for not listening," said Paula. 

Several parents voiced their concerns at a recent school board meeting. The school district and the principal did not return calls to 10News Tuesday, but the principal recently sent parents a newsletter that mentions the issue.  

It says in part, "While my staff does not wish to minimize the gravity of parent concerns, we do not agree with this personnel matter being played out in the court of public opinion. My staff is hurt and saddened for their colleague and for the negativity cast upon Longfellow by the media," wrote Principal Diana Sanchez. 

Sanchez issued a statement to the media two weeks ago when the moms made their first court appearance: 

"The concerns raised by parents are serious. We have been meeting with families regularly to listen and to address parent concerns, and to problem solve. At Longfellow, we have a strong, supportive, parent and teacher community. We will continue to address parent concerns according to district policy. As well, we have established a co-teaching model where a second teacher is in the classroom to make sure students can continue to learn in a safe, nurturing and welcoming environment." 

Salazar has been out the last several days, but it's unclear if he's sick or on some type of leave. Parents think he should be suspended while the district investigates.

"This is not a witch hunt. We're really trying to protect our kids and enough have come forward that it needs to be taken seriously," said Paula. 

Paula said it took her daughter awhile to feel comfortable at school. 

"She was traumatized. I had to walk her physically into the classroom every single day. She did not want to stay in the classroom, they had to move her desk outside of the room just so she could get work done," said Paula.