All but one speaker at the La Mesa Spring Valley School Board meeting last night criticized the Board for its 3-2 vote to ban the live broadcast of President Obama’s speech to school kids.
These were ordinary parents of kids in the district – ordinary people – they weren’t bussed in or mobilized by moveon.org, SEIU, ACORN. They were mobilized by their own outrage, their own fury, their own sense of betrayal by a Board that is supposed to oversee the education of their children. Some of them were mobilized by their own children! Children who were upset at the Board’s decision.
The following are mere excerpts of what ordinary Americans told this school board.
Tony, the first at the podium, is on the PTA, is a coach, and has 2 kids in that school where the meeting was held – a school that has yet to show Obama’s speech.
We often tell our kids that if they study hard, work hard, that some day they could become President. If this wasn’t a speech to show kids, you don’t understand your role in their education. (applause) The message is that if you didn’t vote for someone, you don’t have to respect them.
Paul, president of the local teacher’s association:
Professional staff are concerned that partisan politics are entering this Board.
Christine, a mother who sits on the PTA:
We need to re-assure the students, parents, and teachers that something like this will never happen again.
Ann, who has over the last 17 years, seen a trend on the Board:
I’m incredibly upset over the right-wing ideology and action. I’m sick of politics coming into the board’s decisions. (applause)
Sophia, a 6th grade student, who missed soccer practice to come to the meeting:
Do you like your news taped? We don’t either. Kids don’t like being treated like babies. I have been deprived of my right to choose. … We have learned to fear our President. (standing ovation)
Mother of Sofia, on the PTA:
This school board sent a very bad message to other school boards. I’m furious over the handling of something so simple. … At the September 7th meeting, all who spoke were in favor of the speech.
A male teacher who has taught for 21 years:
An apology must be issued and shown to the students. This school (Parkway Middle School) has yet to show the speech! … The Board’s actions are a disgrace. I request your resignations. (applause and some in audience stood.)
Karen, who has lived in La Mesa all her life:
On Thursday (Sept 3) I received a message that parents could opt out. I emailed the Board and thanked the Board for not giving into the hysteria. Then Rick Winet left a message on the 4th. I received a second automated message that said the school would not be showing the speech. … Winet said it was socialism.
I call on Mr. Winet to resign! (Half the room stood up, clapping and chanting “resign, resign, resign!!”)
A guy who said he had to defend where he lives after the board’s decision:
Changes need to be made. The email responses from the Board were insulting, extremist. … Winet’s extremist radical view is unacceptable…. Mr. Winet, you have no choice but to resign! (chants) … Winet said the President’s speech is a direct assault on the Constitution. Rick, you shouldn’t be on this school board. You said the speech was socialistic. Aren’t schools socialistic?! (laughter and applause)
A mother lamented:
We could have gotten a robocall about the emergency school board meeting! (applause). … My son asked me if the reason the President’s speech was banned was because he’s Black.
Young 6th grader:
You let the bullies win. …. I hope it wasn’t because he’s Black!