Parents at L.A.’s Only School for the Deaf Call for New Leadership Amid Growing Frustration

Parents, students and alumni of the Marlton School in Baldwin Hills rally to demand new leadership amid frustration over high turnover, cuts to extracurricular programs and sports — and the absence of high-level staff fluent in American Sign Language in this undated photo. (Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Parents, students and alumni of the Marlton School in Baldwin Hills rally to demand new leadership amid frustration over high turnover, cuts to extracurricular programs and sports — and the absence of high-level staff fluent in American Sign Language in this undated photo. (Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Ever since her son was 6 months old, Juliet Hidalgo has been bringing him to the Marlton School, a low-slung building in Baldwin Hills that for generations has been a second home for deaf and hard-of-hearing students in Los Angeles.

Marlton staff taught Hidalgo’s brother and sister, both of whom are deaf. The school was where her deaf son learned to make the signs for “milk” and “food.” Hidalgo had planned to enroll her daughter, taking advantage of a popular program that allows hearing children to learn American Sign Language alongside their deaf siblings.

But after more than a decade of involvement, she and other family members are considering withdrawing their children. They are not alone.

Anger over the school’s administration has sparked a revolt led by parents, alumni and advocacy groups who believe the school is in crisis. They point to high turnover, cuts to extracurricular programs and sports — and the absence of high-level staff fluent in ASL.

Read the full story on LATimes.com