Parents and residents of Ville Platte demanding a new principal for Sacred Heart

Upset parents and members of the Ville Platte community have been protesting in front of Sacred Heart School for nearly two weeks. All of them were demanding a new principal.

On Thursday, Bishop Michael Jarrell responded to their demands, but many of them say his response was not what they were hoping for. “I got to say I’m a little disappointed. I was hoping for a more positive response,” said a protestor Charles Buller.

Buller met with Bishop Jarrell last week and says Sacred Heart is close to his heart. He appreciates Bishop Jarrel’s response, but feels something should have been done sooner. “We wish this had been done two years ago, but it’s never too late. We are very strong in favor of moving our school in a new direction.”

Bishop Jarrell and Sacred Heart’s Pastor, Father Jason Vidrine, are putting together a Blue Ribbon committee. The committee will look into school issues. Brent Coreil says his family has been attending this school for four generations and says its time for action. He wants Principal Diane Fontenot gone and feels the turnover at the church is part of the reason nothing was done years ago. “We’ve had three pastors in the past five years to go through Sacred Heart. Everyone that comes will say we’ll address it, we’ll address it, but then they leave so it is not a problem for them anymore.”

He says problems are getting worse and the booster club was dissolved last week. Coreil says after many years at Sacred Heart, he is now attending another church.

Parent, Jeffrey Sylvester, says many other parents have already pulled their children out of the school. “Right now I’d love for the Diocese to put a hiring and firing freeze on Ms. Paula so that she can not do anything until this committee that they’re putting together comes up with their decision.” He also says for now they are done protesting in front of Sacred Heart School, but will be looking into other avenues of getting this matter addressed.

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