A former employee at La Quinta Middle School is telling NBC Palm Springs she was fired after filing a report about abuse and discrimination that was happening at the school.
Ramona Alvarez, a former Nutrition Services Assistant at La Quinta Middle School, is not only claiming that her supervisor discriminated against and yelled at students, but is also alleging that this behavior bled over to the employees.
She also adds that once she filed the report and was fired, she never received her last paycheck or a reason for being fired. Two things that she is still waiting on.
“How can you deny lunch to a student you don’t even know if that student had breakfast.”
Ramona Alvarez claims this is just one of many incidents of abuse she witnessed at this school.
“I’m sorry, it’s so hard to explain because I feel like it happened today.”
She alleges that discrimination, from her supervisor to a student who’d just arrived from a Latin American country, was part of it.
“He was asking what was made of the tamale and she said in Spanish, ‘I am not obligated to speak to you in Spanish because I don’t get paid for that.’ The child looked at me and he just moved his shoulders.”
Then, it got to a point where she couldn’t take things any longer.
“That really hurt me. That’s when I said enough is enough. I declared the war and I said, I’m not going to give up, I’m not going to give up, I’m not a quitter.”
However, a month after filing a formal report at the school, she got called in.
“You’re terminated and I need your badge. That broke my heart.”
When NBC Palm Springs asked her what motivated her to take a stand against the injustice that she was facing, she answered that somebody needed to stop “these people.”
Ramona expressed that the District needed to “wake up” because incidents like these were allegedly happening everywhere, every day. Now, all she seeks is that a fair investigation takes place (as one has already been concluded).
“Justice, I want justice. It’s time to defend your kids, it’s time to defend the community, it’s time to put a stop…it’s time to let them hear our voice.”
Ramona says she does not want her job back. She just wants to make sure that these alleged acts of abuse and discrimination toward students and employees do not happen again. She also tells NBC Palm Springs that she hopes her testimony encourages others to speak out and not be afraid to “stand up for what is right.”