Two Lodi Middle School administrators have announced their resignation, effective June 30.
Principal Patricia Lingerfelt and Vice Principal Lurdes Rosales will leave their positions following a controversial interaction between Rosales and a P.E. teacher in December.
Rosales placed Jon Lapachet under citizen's arrest about 27 hours after she claimed that he bumped into her in the school gym and blew a whistle loudly in her ear. Rosales said at the time that she chose to arrest Lapachet as a result of ongoing friction between some teachers and administrators at the school.
The San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office declined to move forward with charges regarding the case. An investigation by Lodi Unified School District is ongoing.
At the time, Lingerfelt supported Rosales' decision, comparing her to civil rights activist Rosa Parks for standing up for her beliefs.
Lapachet was reached by phone on Monday, but declined to comment.
Lingerfelt was not at work Monday. She has worked in Lodi Unified since 2007. Rosales was in her office, but did not offer comment. She has worked at Lodi Middle School since 2008.
Parents at the school were saddened by the news, but not surprised.
"You just can't fight an uphill battle all day. It's really exhausting," said Misti Traylor, vice president of the school's PTA. "I don't blame them for walking away, because nothing is getting done. I do feel bad that it's just that we're losing sight of what's actually gone on."
Traylor is not optimistic about the job that incoming administrators must undertake.
"Anybody that steps into this job is going to have the same problems. You just can't make these teachers happy," she said.
School board president Ron Heberle advises people to take the information at face value, but offered no further comment as resignations are a personnel matter. The board of trustees will address the resignation at tonight's board meeting.
The teacher's union is looking forward to a fresh start at the site with a history of problems between staff and administration.
"The Lodi Education Association regrets that the situation had deteriorated so badly as to result in the unfortunate events of December, 2011, that transpired between a LMS staff member and the site administration," said Jeff Johnston, president of the teacher's union, in a prepared statement.
"We are grateful that the Lodi Middle School community of students, parents, and staff will have an opportunity for a fresh start in the 2012-13 school year," he continued. "LEA and the certificated staff at LMS will renew our efforts to make LMS a quality education destination. It will be a fresh start to rebuild trust, forge new relationships and restore broken ones."
Contact reporter Sara Jane Pohlman at firstname.lastname@example.org.