Dwyer case may go to court

Attorney says he and parents are considering legal action against district's plan to erect solar panels on school's front lawn.

February 02, 2011|By Michael Miller,
  • Dwyer Middle School students protest the proposed solar panels planned for the school's front lawn.
Dwyer Middle School students protest the proposed solar… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

The dispute over the planned solar panels at Dwyer Middle School may soon head to court, an attorney said during a student rally Jan. 27.

Ryan Easter of the Irvine-based firm Palmieri, Tyler, Wiener, Wilhelm & Waldron said he had been in talks with a group of parents regarding the Huntington Beach City School District's plan to erect solar panels on the school's front lawn.

"We're in the process of exploring our options," Easter said. "Right now, we are hoping that the school board will, if they didn't recognize it before, will recognize that there is essentially universal opposition in the community to placing the solar panels at this location."

In recent weeks, parents have petitioned the district and crowded school board meetings to urge administrators to move the panels elsewhere on the Dwyer campus. Among their concerns are that the school, built in the 1930s, is designated by the city as a historic landmark, and that most people in the Dwyer community were unaware of the project before the district signed a contract for the panels in April.


"We do believe that there is no doubt that this is an illegal project," parent Annelle Wiederkehr said.

While Easter stood on the sidelines Thursday, the rally got a hand from Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred, who stopped by to praise the demonstrators and voice support for their cause.

Allred, who represented Nicole Brown Simpson's family in the O.J. Simpson trial and represented claimants in lawsuits against Arnold Schwarzenegger and rock drummer Tommy Lee, among others, visited the rally at Lake Park after a student invited her the day before. Standing on a picnic table bench with hundreds of students in front of her, Allred complimented the students on their organizational skills in planning the rally and encouraged them to run for public office in the future.

She also chided the district and Police Department for not allowing students to rally in front of Dwyer, as they had originally planned.

"This was a teaching moment, an opportunity, that, unfortunately, the police and educators missed," Allred said.

Allred, though, said she attended the demonstration merely to support the students and did not plan to take any legal action regarding Dwyer.

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