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  • Writer's pictureErin O'Brien

Big Changes for PVPUSD; PVPUSD Superintendent Is Headed to Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified

Submit a Public Comment for the 4/17/23 Special Board Meeting Regarding The Departure of PVPUSD Superintendent and the new hiring process to find his replacement.

As you may have heard, the Superintendent of PVPUSD, Dr. Alex Cherniss, was offered a sweet deal at Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District and will move on to freer pastures. The School Board he will now be working with recently introduced a plan for elected trustees to vet books before they go to students. And last April (2022), The Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified school board passed a resolution mandating the district "will not include critical race theory as a framework in any course offerings."

It's no wonder Superintendent Cherniss would take this new position. The pay is certainly better. He will be making an annual salary of $334,000 compared to the $296,000 he made in PV and will be closer to home. But it's not about money for Cherniss.

When COVID hit, and the data showed that children and healthy adults were not at risk of severe illness or death, Dr. Cherniss fought to open our Schools. He worked with parents to install plexiglass on all desks, provide N-95s for Teachers, and followed every recommended public health policy to make Teachers and Staff feel safe. He even wrote several letters to then-President Donald Trump asking for assistance opening our Schools. And, when Los Angeles County Public Health CZAR, Barbara Ferrer made the most absurd close-contact masking demands, Cherniss went public with his views on the News to voice his discontent and demand Barb back off.

If it were up to Cherniss, our kids would have returned to the classroom in August 2020. But sadly, Cherniss was met with mass resistance and personal attacks from a couple of Board Members and an organized fringe Parent Group in the community who wanted mass confirmatory and didn't like the idea of just some of the kids returning to school and their kids staying at home. A few Teachers from the Union (PVFA) argued with Cherniss that despite his herculean efforts to make schools safe, they still didn't feel safe until everyone was vaccinated.

Then the vaccine came along, and 95% of the Teachers got vaccinated, and Cherniss advocated for Parents to have a choice regarding masks. Still, Former Board Member Rick Phillips was neurotic about COVID sometimes sporting three masks tightly wrapped around his face with an additional one dangling from his neck, ready as a backup for perhaps the next strain. Cherniss focused on running the Schools and worked tirelessly, jumping through strict Los Angeles County Mandates and did whatever it took to prevent schools from closing again.


Currently, a small group of political activists, including a few Parents on the PTA, are pushing for perilous social changes in PVPUSD. Some of these people are Teachers employed by PVPUSD heavily protected by the Palos Verdes Faculty Association (PVFA).

Recently, the head of the Association weaponized a parent's public comment regarding a book, Too Bright To See. The book is about a controversial subject; gender changes for children. The parent expressed concern over the gender stereotypes, and the head of the faculty association, Tim Coleman, spun the story to depict the parent as transphobic which had a Tsunami effect. The rumors rippled through the community, which caused a dangerous reactionary impact on people who didn't bother to check their facts, spreading lies that Save PV Schools is a hate group.

At the last Board Meeting on April 12, 2023, Palos Verdes Faculty Representative Tim Coleman read the report of the Faculty and said he received a number of messages from his colleagues. He said, "All were writing to ask a simple question, is it appropriate to give raises and extensions of contracts to the Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent of HR (Human Resources) when our District Employees' relationships are, from our vantage point, at an all-time low?"

One of the many reasons the District Employees' Relationships are at an all-time low is that Coleman uses his position to push a political agenda. For example, after the heartbreaking Uvalde Massacre on May 24, 2022, when nineteen children and two adults were murdered at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde County, Coleman used his platform to speak on behalf of the Faculty and urge The Board to join him in a ceremonious plea for an assault weapons ban. He has spoken on other matters outside the Jurisdiction of the Board and made his Political Beliefs loud and clear.

It takes two to tango!

And many Teachers don't feel Palos Verdes Faculty Associations' Collective Voice represents their individual beliefs. So, the all-time low morale among Teachers is most likely the fault of the Union Leader, who appears to be causing division between parents, teachers and the Board rather than unity. Furthermore, most likely, the recent outrage orchestrated by Mr. Coleman over book choices for children and the ongoing complaints of the School Board's decision to give Cherniss a raise made it easier for Alex to say "Goodbye."

While it is a loss for us that Cherniss is leaving, it's hopefully for the best. His departure will provide the District with an opportunity for a new beginning and fresh start. If Teachers and Parents are unhappy, then our kids suffer the most.

We need a politically neutral Superintendent who can be a bridge to unite a polarized community. The ideal candidate would recognize the many issues facing our Country, schools, and families and the impending doom that could come from a loss of student enrollment and potential bankruptcy.

School Governance aims to remove all political, social, and religious conflicts from governing so the Schools can function as an inclusive place for all people from all political spectrums, religious faiths, and social beliefs.

The ideal candidate MIGHT be someone who is not currently employed by the District so we can have fresh eyes but we also need someone who's deeply invested in keeping Palos Verdes a great place to raise a family.

Several insiders who work in various positions for the District have reported what appears to be some shady business practices and, we want to avoid more coverups. A new Superintendent should investigate everything!

  • The District has relationships with many outside firms that seek to influence the School Culture and push political ideologies about Gender, Race, and Wealth onto our kids. These relationships and programs can lead to catastrophic outcomes for students and Staff.

  • Public Education is a GOLD MINE! Public school districts are vulnerable prey for careerists and exploitative businesses.

  • The Palos Verdes Faculty Representative and Union Leaders have stirred up controversies to distract from the issues and even flat-out lied to the Public and the Faculty.

  • Enrollment Loss: The District is losing students who live in Palos Verdes. To cover up the loss of Enrollment, the District is pulling in more kids from outside PV to fill their spots.

  • A few Teachers in PVPUSD are pushing Marxist Communist Ideologies, flying the LGBTQI+++ flags and Black Lives Matter Flags in their classrooms, and promoting sexual exploration void of morality to children as young as ten and eleven years old.


5 Characteristics of a Successful School Superintendent

  • Excellent Communicator and Relationship Builder.

  • Think Critically.

  • Make Sound and Swift Decisions.

  • Leadership.

  • Ability to Solve Problems.

If the Board chooses an insider who is friendly with Staff, they will continue to sweep everything under the rug, but the dust will never settle, and our kids and our community will suffer from the fumes.

In these dark and uncertain times, with the degradation of the US Economy, the possibility of World War 3, concerns about Russia using nuclear weapons, a rising increase in school shootings, and the threat of Artificial Intelligence reprogramming itself, we don't want some radical leftist political activist leader coming in to talk to us about how we should validate feelings over facts under the mask of equity and inclusion.

You have the opportunity to influence the Governance of our local School Board.

On Monday April 17, PVPUSD School Board will convene a special meeting to discuss the process for hiring a new Superintendent. The Board welcomes community feedback and asked that the Community email the Board Members.

If you are a District Employee and have insider information about anything, you can speak up and ask for what you need.

No one person or group speaks for everyone in the group. We know that most of our Teachers are outstanding and deserve love, respect, raises and appreciation. It's not fair that a few radicals are creating division and endangering our children by pushing institutionalized sex education and other harmful ideologies.

We should have a better system that protects the individual Teachers, individual students and celebrates true diversity. A good leader can recognize the existing polarity of views and be the bridge our community so desperately needs.


Ami Gandhi, President eMail: Linda Reid, Vice President eMail: Twitter: @lprlinda Linda Kurt, Clerk eMail:

Sara Deen, Member eMail: Julie Hamill, Member eMail:













What's the overwhelming message from Tim Coleman: We want raises (understandable). The Board should hold hands with the Teachers, put blind faith in their choices (TRUST THE EXPERTS) and ESSENTIALLY fight against Parents who want equal say in the Curriculum. Coleman uses the term "Book Bans" seemingly to equate the actions of Parents as some Nazi Germany Agenda.

What Books do Parent's Want BANNED?

Books written by Authors who promote Gender Changes, dissociation from one's biology and potential destruction of the Reproductive System.

Books regarding sexuality should be taught only in sex education class not as a fun exploration during early childhood literature.


Gender Queer is a graphic porn novel promoting promiscuity and sex changes to children. At the local Barnes and Noble you can find it ten feet away from the Children's section on the same table as Harry Potter.

Is this the type of book PVFA wants our kids to read so everyone feels included?



Samantha Weiss applauded the District in enforcing the insane close contact masking mandates on kids so her Colleague's 80 year old father could come in from out of town and feel safe. DURING, the campaign season Samantha Weiss drove with a sign for Sara Deen plastered in the back of her car and parked in the Ridgecrest parking lot clearly campaigning to get Deen elected. This is illegal!

What is education code section 7054? 1267. POLITICAL ACTIVITIES Education Code Section 7054 prohibits the use of school district funds, services, supplies or equipment to advocate for or against a ballot measure or candidate. However, public resources may be employed to provide information in a fair and impartial presentation to the public about the possible effects of any ballot measure on the Los Angeles Unified School District. The Education Code imposes a criminal penalty for violation of Education Code Section 7054. Although it is impossible to anticipate all specific applications of these principles, the following guidelines apply: A. Prohibited Activities 1. District employees shall not, without prior approval of the District’s legal counsel, expend public funds: a. to sponsor any activity relating to a ballot measure or candidate; b. to disseminate any written information relating to a ballot measure or candidate. School Grounds may not be used to promote, endorse or represent any political candidate.

Vista Grande Teachers, Gina Treddenick and Caitlin Waddell-Chow, decided to "take a risk" and introduced the concepts of various sexual attractions, sexual activities and gender changes to children in the Fifth Grade, knowing it would upset some parents.



Parents need to be involved in all decisions related to their children's health, education and overall wellbeing. Teachers should TRUST parents and when a student is struggling the first call a Teacher should make is to the parent or legal guardian. California Law is clear: Involving parents in the education process is fundamental to a healthy system of public education.

The PVPUSD Mission Statement

The Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District will continue to develop the whole child to thrive in a globally competitive age and enhance student achievement by providing a dynamic learning community in a rigorous academic environment.

The WHOLE CHILD NEEDS parents, teachers and the community to come together in a supportive and loving way recognizing our unique beliefs and not attempt to undermine a parent's legal right to act as the moral authority in all matters related to sex, gender and spiritual beliefs.

What are the purposes of the California Healthy Youth Act? To provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to:

  • Protect their sexual and reproductive health from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections and from unintended pregnancy;

  • Develop healthy attitudes concerning adolescent growth and development, body image, gender, sexual orientation, relationships, marriage, and family;

  • Have healthy, positive, and safe relationships and behaviors;

  • Promote understanding of sexuality as a normal part of human development; and

  • To ensure pupils receive integrated, comprehensive, accurate, and unbiased sexual health and HIV prevention instruction and provide educators with clear tools and guidance to accomplish that end.

Parents or guardians must be notified by the school or district at the beginning of the school year (or at the time of enrollment) about planned instruction in comprehensive sexual health and HIV prevention education and research on student health behaviors and risks. The notice must advise parents/guardians that the written and audiovisual educational materials used in the comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention education course are available for inspection. The school district must also inform parents/guardians about whether the instruction will be provided by district personnel or outside consultants or guest speakers. Further, all instruction and materials from outside consultants or guest speakers must meet all tenets of the law. If instruction will be provided by outside consultants or guest speakers, the notice must include the name and organizational affiliation of the outside consultant or guest speaker and the date of the instruction. The notice must also inform parents/guardians of their right to request copies of Education Code §§ 51933, 51934, and 51938. If arrangements are made after the initial notification is sent out at the beginning of the year, districts must notify parents at least 14 days prior to the instruction via mail or another commonly used method. (EC § 51938(b).) In this notification, schools must advise parents/guardians that they have the right to excuse their child from comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention education and that in order to excuse their child they must state their request in writing to the school district. (EC § 51938(b)(4).) Schools may not require active consent (“opt-in”) for participation in comprehensive sexual health and HIV prevention education. Parents/guardians must request in writing that their child not participate in the instruction (passive consent, or “opt-out”). If the parent/guardian does not request in writing that the child be withheld, the child will attend the instruction. (EC § 51938(a).)

Instruction and materials shall encourage a student “to communicate with his or her parents, guardians, and other trusted adults about human sexuality and provide the knowledge and skills necessary to do so.” (EC § 51933(e).) This is an opportunity for parents/guardians to identify and inform their students about whom a trusted adult may be.

What does the law say about parental/guardian consent for surveys?

In order to facilitate the collection of data needed by researchers to evaluate the effectiveness of comprehensive sexual health education and other unintended pregnancy prevention efforts, the law permits schools to administer anonymous, voluntary, confidential, age-appropriate surveys or questionnaires in which students are asked about their sexual activities and attitudes in order to measure their health behaviors and risks. Parents/guardian must be notified of any planned surveys or questionnaires, be given the opportunity to review these surveys or questionnaires and, in grades 7-12, be given the opportunity to request in writing that their child not participate. Schools may not adopt an active consent or “opt-in” policy for these surveys or questionnaires for students in grades 7 to 12. (EC § 51938(c).) Prior to grade 7, parents must give active consent in order for their child to participate.

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