Family, school parents calling out school district following Antioch teen’s death

A special school board meeting was held in Antioch Tuesday night to address school safety following the death of 16-year-old student Jonathan Parker. The teen was killed after a basketball game in the school parking lot of Deer Valley High School last month.

Parker’s family said they’ve received little information from police nor the school district so they came to the meeting demanding answers. 

“None of you called, none of you showed up to the hospital, none of you showed up at the home, none of you asked anything,” said Parker’s Aunt Margarita Gurule.

Parker’s family is frustrated with the lack of response from the Antioch Unified School District. 

“That night there was no security at the basketball game,” said Gurule.

Parker, a sophomore at Deer Valley High School, was shot and killed in the school parking lot following a Friday night basketball game against rival Antioch High back on January 31. Police said a fight broke out among a group of teens. Family members called Parker a homebody and said it was his first high school basketball game.

“I want justice for my nephew,” said Parker’s Aunt Aurora Solorio. “I want Deer Valley High School to make it safe for every child. No child should have to endure what my nephew did.”

In response to last month's shooting, the school board called a special meeting. The board presented its comprehensive safety plan and how schools are building a positive school climate but the presentation failed to address Parker’s death.

“I’m really concerned that we are not addressing Deer Valley High School,” said School Board Trustee Crystal Sawyer-White. “Where’s the principal of that school?”

“Quite frankly, I’m appalled that we had to fight to have this meeting,” said School Board Trustee Ellie Householder.

At one point, board members turned against each other. One even asked for the resignation of the board president for failing to act. Others said it’s time for the community to unite.

“I believe that we need to work together as a community and we need your support,” said School Board Vice President Mary Rocha.

Parents of students in the school district are now asking for security guards on campus to prevent another tragedy.

The superintendent said she has spoken with the Antioch police chief about possibly having police presence at future sporting events. Police so far have made no arrests and have not revealed a motive.