A verbal and physical confrontation interrupted Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, when a principal of a local preschool was bodily ejected from board chamber by sheriff’s deputies.
Maria Cristina Gutierrez, prinicpal of Companeros del Barrio preschool on Valenica Street, was on hand at Tuesday’s meeting with roughly a dozen of her staff and her young students to express displeasure with Muni budget cuts.
Preparing to exit the meeting after about an hour — public comment never comes up that fast, we could have informed you — Gutierrez said she was attempting to approach the board members to hand Supervisor David Campos a note.
Somehow, sheriff’s deputies became involved, and Gutierrez was dragged bodily out of chamber, screaming for help.
The whole shebang unfolded on video; archives should be up later today.
Gutierrez suffered some light bruises, the result of firm handling; sheriff’s deputies suffered a cavalcade of shouts and accusations from one of Gutierrez’s staff members and looks of frightened confusion from the wee tykes in tow.
“This is the principal of a school,” said one staff member at the school who identified himself as “Equipto, a local artist.” “She was trying to leave and they dragged her out. It was unjust.”
Later in the meeting, Campos called for a full investigation into the incident, and asked if sheriff deputies have adequate “cultural competency training.”
Tuesday’s altercation was similar, somewhat, to a July incident in which Fog City Journal’s Luke Thomas was, for one reason or another, dragged bodily out of chamber (judge for yourself what happened here).
Though to be fair to sheriffs, Thomas and Gutierrez, this is the only one that involved both women and children.
We don’t fault the sheriffs entirely, however — they’re sworn to do a job that’s neither easy nor immediately rewarding.
“Look, I know it’s tough in this city — I have kids, I know exactly what they’re going through,” one deputy said. “But it seems every time there’s a problem, we’re on the front line. We’re the bad guys.”