The father of five decided to run after spending two days at LAUSD headquarters fighting with district lawyers for the services two of his children need because they suffer from disorders in the autistic spectrum. While campus-based educators agreed Petersen’s children needed the support, he said, district higher-ups didn’t agree.
“During those two days, I said, ‘Something has to change; parents need a say,’ and I decided I was going to step up and run,” Petersen said.
Petersen also believes the cure to many of LAUSD’s woes is more local control. But rather than break up the district, he said, LAUSD needs to set clear expectations and let educators decide how they’re best achieved.
“You have to let teachers do their thing. They’re professionals; that’s why we hired them,” said Petersen, who heads up logistics for a company that manufactures surveillance cameras.