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PICO RIVERA – It’s been nearly three weeks since Meller Elementary School parents first asked for a town hall-style meeting with authorities and school officials to discuss an altercation last month between a teacher and about a dozen fifth-graders who accused her of attacking them during a morning physical education class. On Wednesday, the parents will finally get their wish – but it’s a bittersweet victory, they say, given that authorities have already announced they won’t be filing any criminal charges against the unnamed teacher. But they gathered together Sunday to discuss their concerns in anticipation of Wednesday’s meeting, with the hope of getting some resolution once they meet face-to-face with authorities. “We finally got the meeting to ask why – and all I know is it’s going to be a very emotional meeting, because we’re just looking out for the best interests of our children,” said parent Larry Puentes, whose 10-year-old daughter Jazleen was injured in the Feb. 15 incident. The circumstances of the incident are still unclear. The fifth-graders involved claimed the teacher began hitting and kicking them for no reason as they ran laps for their P.E. class; district officials say the teacher has maintained she was only trying to protect her younger students as the older students started running into them. The teacher was immediately placed on paid administrative leave and an investigation was launched by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Special Victims Bureau. After two weeks, the sheriff’s detectives presented the case to the District Attorney’s Office, which declined to pursue charges, said sheriff’s Capt. Michael Rothans. As such, Wednesday’s meeting will include Rothans, sheriff’s detectives and deputies, the deputy district attorney who declined to file charges, and officials from the school and El Rancho Unified School District. “The intent is to explain how the incident was reported, the timeline we were working on, how we responded and the investigation by the Special Victims Bureau,” Rothans said. “The deputy district attorney will also be there to give her reasons and I’m sure the school district will also speak on its behalf and be there to answer questions,” he added. Puentes said parents received phone calls Thursday night about the decision not to file charges. “They said there was insufficient evidence, that there were inconsistencies in the testimony of the kids and their stories,” Puentes said. “Then they said all their evidence didn’t tie in to fit their criteria on whether they should file charges.” Superintendent Norbert Genis says he’s received phone calls from parents wondering what would happen to the teacher – but he also got phone calls in support of her. “It’s a minority opinion, and they didn’t want to leave their names, but we’ve heard from parents who had their child in her class who said they were glad she protected them,” Genissaid. As for whether the teacher would be allowed to continue working at Meller, Genis would only say that the district is aware of the rights of its employees. “Contractually and legally, it’s not up to us in total to determine where and how she works,” Genis said. “She has a contract, she has protection within that contract as well as within the state education code. “Yes, she was accused, but she was also cleared of any wrongdoing,” he added. Nevertheless, says Puentes, “if the teacher in question did not inflict the scratches and bruises on our children, then who did?” “I feel the detectives and the district attorney are not really relying on the stories the children have given them,” Puentes said. “And that’s not good at all.” email@example.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!