Tue. Mar 5th, 2024

SAUSD School Police abruptly shut down the Northeast Santa Ana Little League (NESALL) today – traumatizing the innocent children who were playing baseball at the field located next to Sierra Preparatory Academy.

NESALL has been teaching kids baseball since 1954. While they stage baseball games at Portola and Cabrillo Parks their headquarters are at a field located next to Sierra Prepatory Academy, at 2021 N. Grand Ave.

The trouble began on Friday, March 16 at 5 p.m. when the SAUSD alleged that a male NESALL coach along with several NESALL parents were together yelling obscenities at a Sierra Engage 360 member in front of her students, telling her to leave the District baseball field immediately.

According to the SAUSD, the NESALL coach and parents were also complaining that the gates were locked, and stated with profane language that the Sierra faculty member and students had no right to use the field.  The NESALL group then allegedly produced bolt cutters, approached the locked gate, and were threatening to cut the lock off the gate.  Their threat to cut the lock was prevented by Sierra’s night custodian who came and unlocked the gate.

The SAUSD alleged that the coach’s and parents’ harassment caused the Sierra faculty member and her students to fear for their safety, and the District warned that they take any such safety or security threat extremely seriously.

While the alleged behavior was indeed seemingly over the top the SAUSD did not give NESALL a chance to resolve the situation. Instead they informed NESALL’s President, via email, that based on NESALL’s harassment of District faculty and students, as well as its threat to District property, the District would immediately be suspending NESALL’s field and auxiliary building usage privileges until a thorough investigation could be completed.

The SAUSD further warned NESALL that any attempted use of District property during the suspension would be considered trespassing and would result in an extended suspension of field privileges.

NESALL’s President, who works in law enforcement, offered to provide the names of the offending parties to the SAUSD. He also offered to any future field conflicts by moving games and practices to 5:30 p.m.

Of course NESALL wants to be a good neighbor to Sierra. It seems to me that this entire situation could have been handled differently.

All that said the parents at NESALL are at least trying to make things better by getting their kids involved in sports. NESALL doesn’t just teach baseball. They teach sportsmanship and teamwork and the value of hard work and practice.

My three son’s all played baseball at NESALL. I know firsthand how important NESALL is to our community. And as a former NESALL board member I also know that the adults can at times misbehave. Rest assured that NESALL’s Board does not tolerate such behavior and they would have resolved the current mess if the SAUSD had given them more time.

Instead kids today were forced off the field by armed police officers. That is how the SAUSD chose to handle this.

Even if this mess gets resolved I am pretty sure the SAUSD will now start trying to charge NESALL an outrageous rent even though NESALL is a nonprofit and what they do benefits all of our community.

In related news the Methodist Church next door to NESALL and Sierra has decided not to host Santa Ana’s Boy Scouts any more.

What is the world coming to when fine organizations like NESALL and the Boy Scouts are unwanted and unsupported by the SAUSD and the local Methodist Church? I am completely aghast.

It is time for us to email the SAUSD’s School Board members and let them know how important NESALL is to our community and to our kids:

  • Valerie Amezcua, President, Home: (714) 714-0265, Mobile: (714) 640-4098, Email: vamezcua1992@gmail.com
  • Rigo Rodriguez, Ph.D., Vice President, Phone: (714) 640-7533, Email: Rigo.Rodriguez@sausd.us
  • Alfonso Alvarez, Ed.D., Clerk, Phone: (714) 656-8083, Email:  Alfonso.Alvarez@sausd.us
  • Cecilia “Ceci” Iglesias, Mobile: (714) 640-9362, Email: Cecilia.Iglesias@sausd.us
  • John Palacio, Member, Phone: (714) 542-0589, Email: wearesausd2017@yahoo.com

Here is a statement by NESALL’s President

Today marked a dark hour in the life of our league and in the lives of our children. Based upon a complaint against a group of parents alleging the use of profanity towards a 360 after school program employee on Friday, March 16, 2018, the SAUSD suspended our access to the facilities and the district fields at Sierra Academy. Based upon this notification, and prior historical information concerning the fields, we immediately moved/rescheduled games and practices off of the fields on the campus of the Sierra Academy to our fields (Curran, Sarinana, and Ash) and fields reserved by NESALL at city facilities. Parents and players came Wednesday evening for games and life went on on the property adjacent to the Sierra Academy. To my knowledge, no NESALL player or parent accessed the fields on the Sierra campus which is clearly delineated by a 10′ high fence with locked gates between the facilities. At approximately 5:00 that all came to an end when the SAUSD Police evicted our family from our fields.

We are working through local government/elected officials to intervene on behalf of the League and the innocent children being deprived of their liberty to play baseball at the place they have grown to call home. We are also seeking legal assistance to resolve this matter. At this time we have not cancelled games in the hope that logic and common sense will rule the day and we will be able to resume play Thursday evening (weather permitting). An announcement concerning Thursday games will be posted no later than 3:30 pm.

This is a fluid situation and we ask that you be patient and ready to play/move on short notice. If you are scheduled to play, expect to play until you have been advised by your coach or by league email that your game has been postponed, rescheduled, or cancelled. We are making arrangements to play all scheduled games as scheduled to include the potential relocation of games to other facilities if necessary and the ability to do so exists.

I want to remind our family members that more is lost than gained through the use of profanity and aggression. Civil conversations produce better results than those made in anger. Our codes of conduct are still in place and govern our players and parents in this situation.

If you have ideas on ways to support the league at this hour of need or have information that may help this situation, please email the league at nesallpresident@gmail.com and nesallvp@gmail.com.

Thank you for your continued support as we work through this situation.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

18 thoughts on “The SAUSD School Police shut down Little League baseball in Northeast Santa Ana today”
  1. It is very unfortunate that the SAUSD would take this as a threat. My son has been bullied at school, hit, and due to that he was discouraged to go to school. As a parent I called the school, called the district to speak to the head of the special ed department to reach a voice mail and get a phone call in return a week later. This is how the district cares about our children with special needs? Yet, something like this happens and within days they take action. The action that hurts the innocent children, must i remind the District and the School that we also have a challenger team and kids with learning disabilities that look forward to practice and games, because maybe to those kids baseball is a motive to do better in school, to finish homework, to build a bigger and better self esteem. I am not justifying the way parents/coaches approached to school staff. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but there is always 2 sides to the story and all there is right now are bits and pieces to what has been said. Where is the janitor that unlocked the gate? Let’s start from there, where is the director of the after school program engage 360 (which by the way I have been on a waiting list and never get a call back when i leave a message to try and speak to someone). Let’s hear them speak and give us the full details of what happened, not assumption of what was said but the truth and reality of what happened.

  2. Are you kidding me?? “has the SAUSD forgotten where we are? Only 12.4% of our residents have a Bachelor’s Degree or Higher. 45% of our residents did not finish High School. 21% of our residents live in poverty. Per capita income averages only $17K a year. (Source – US Census). Yes some of our parents are rough around the edges. What the heck does the SAUSD expect? This is Santa Ana, not Irvine.”
    Bad behavior is bad behavior. You can’t bully school employees. Engaged 360 is an after school program for children K-8. Why would anyone’s think that’s acceptable? education and income are irrelevant, common sense should tell you you don’t behave like this in front of children! As a parent of SAUSD children the right thing to do is close the field and investigate and hold people accountable.

    1. No one is saying the behavior is acceptable. But what do you expect? I bet the miscreants all attended SAUSD schools as well…

      1. This is so ignorant and offensive. I live in Santa Ana and I am college educated. I’ve also participated in youth sports in both Santa Ana and Irivine, and guess what, I witnessed my first sports brawl in Irvine. Where you live is not a excuse to curse and threaten and after school program. The write should be ashamed of himself for make such remarks.

      2. I am very confused by your article, what is the point of your writing? Is it to shed some light to the unfortunate even that has added yet another disadvantage to our children? Or is it to speak so badly and put down the community which you state to belong to.

        One thing you are correct about – Santa Ana is not Irvine. I believe all of us are capable of understanding that, perhaps you should have at least that much faith in your fellow city members.

        The fact that you only mention negative stats on the city and it’s members I feel has a clear intention to your writing. Please take a moment to analyze that. Do not publícate an article under the false pretense of trying to help the children when your intention is that of an attack.

        If you feel that you are above the members of this city, feel free to move away. Last time I checked no one was forcing anyone to stay here. Perhaps your income bracket is higher than the stat you do kindly provided, that would make it easy for you to relocate.

        1. Don’t kill the messenger. Our city has challenges as does any city with so much poverty and so many other social issues that lead to this sort of behavior.

          Note that I did not blame immigrants in my post because they are not usually the problem. In my time on the NESALL board the problem was folks born and raised here for the most part.

          If we cannot take an honest look at ourselves and talk about our shortcomings then we won’t advance.

          I am by the way the son of a Mexican janitor. Yes I am now in a high income bracket and I have a graduate degree. That is the sort of progress folks need to make in order to move ahead. My kids are all either in school or already graduated. I hope they will surpass my achievements in time.

          1. Your comments continue to baffle me. There has been no mention as to anyone’s ethnicity or immigrant status. I am not sure why you felt compelled to include that in your reply. Yes we must look at our shortcomings to advance. However, shortcomings of character and value. You only point out income, education and now immigrant status. Perhaps that is your biggest shortcoming. Income, education and immigrant status can all be overcome – character flaws are much deeper rooted. Good luck to you.

          2. Sure they can. However there remain quite a few folks in town who have not overcome them. You cannot overlook the influence of gangs in our community. I met a little boy just a few years ago at NESALL whose father was knifed to death. He was being raised by his mom and several uncles were mentoring him. He was one of the lucky ones. Many such kids in town lack male figures in their lives – or end up being influenced by shady characters.

  3. This article is very offensive and straight ignorant. I’ve been involved in youth sports for the last 7 years now in both Santa Ana and yes Irvine too, and guess what, there was just as many parents cussing, being offensive, rude, and over competitive in both cities. In fact I witnessed my first every sports brawl in the great city of Irvine. Where you live is not an excuse to be a jerk and threaten staff from an after school program! This writer should be ashamed of himself and the parents the play in his league should be offend because he basically thinks your stupid, poor, ignorant because you live in Santa Ana. Take responsibility for your actions and apologize to the school so that the kids can get back to playing baseball.

      1. then why are suggesting or finding excuses for their behavior because they are from Santa Ana? that can happen in any city regardless of $$$. The after school program is also trying to provide enrichment for at risk youth just like a baseball league does with sports. It is not exclusive to just baseball. Live by the Golden Rule and be a good neighbor. Suspend the Parent involved but don’t blame the or bash and entire city it makes you sound like a racist entitled bigot. WE are not all poorly educated ill mannered people here in Santa Ana.

        1. You are clearly missing the point. I never said everyone in town is ill-mannered but you cannot debate the point that our population is significantly poorer and less educated than the populations in surrounding cities such as Irvine. You cannot measure our population in the same manner. Consider that the SAUSD has been failing our residents for decades! These are the results. Note that most of the SAUSD teachers and administrators DO NOT LIVE HERE. They live in towns like Irvine and Fountain Valley.

          I agree that our people should be better behaved. What I am saying is I am not surprised that many of them are not.

          1. You’re not surprised that some adults are misbehaved? And that’s because they grew up or live in Santa Ana?

            Your argument is that there’s gang influence in Santa Ana which apparently can’t be overlooked, so that’s an excuse as to why adults can behave poorly here? If you don’t have money or education you don’t have the ability or sense to act right? Are you kidding me? How can you not see that this is offensive?

            How do you explain all the misbehaving adults in Irvine? Or all over the world for that matter?


            You can be as biased as you want (and obviously are), for or against the program/SAUSD, but leave education and income out of it.

          2. So what’s are your saying? It’s the typical “Mexican” in Santa Ana? Your argument makes no sense. This issues is not about people of Santa Ana. It’s about parents behaving badly period! Not where they are from as reason for their behavior. This can happen anywhere. And to argue that the school district is to blame? You are corrolating this situation to the short comings in education?.really? If this happened in Irivine I expect the the school will do the same thing and call the police for parents making threats to school staff. This has nothing to do with their short comings in education. Again, every sports organization has a parent code of conduct for a reason. This is an isolated incident, suspend the parent involved. Do not blame the School board for protecting their staff and kids from idiot parents making threats. Also it is clearly stated in the president’s statement that their has been a history of this behavior involving your league… Deal with the parents!

          3. We will have to agree to disagree. But yes the parents in question should be held responsible. Instead the SAUSD is punishing all the kids. That is not right.

  4. For those who are against what sausd did I am here to tell you I was a student there at the time of the incident and what happened in reality is that Sierra’s Engage 360 program was part taking in the Angel’s RBI program we were practicing for our next game when the parents came over to the gate and asked us to open the gate for them please that it was there time to practice our coach is a worker for the engage 360 program she told them that she did not have the key and that none of us did so there was no way for us to open it sorry we’ll sfter that the stated to throw hateful comments at her and telling our team that keep in mind are 11 to 13 year old boys and girls that we had to get off the field and that we had no right to use our schools field our coach told us to ignore the comments thrown at us we did as we were told and kept practicing telling them that our engage 360 site manager was looking for our night coustodian to open the gate they later said they were gonna cut off the lock and welll they brought cutter to cut the lock off that when the issues began after our coustodian opens the gate we were walking off the field and they again threw hateful comments at our coach that when it became serious and we were in need to call SAUSD School Police when the arrived they were told to leave the school field they later stayed outside on the school parking lot our coach had to be taken outside by our vice principal. So all I am asking is if you are gonna right a article about the issues get both sides of the story right. The kids of the little League are at no blame for this but there parents and coaches actions caused them to have to be told to get off the field as in fear for the sausd students and coaches safety.

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