The only reason there is ongoing and increasing divisiveness at school board meetings is because the Chair has allowed disrespectful, hateful behavior to continue from the Latinos Unidos Siempre (LUS) youth.
TWISTING THE TRUTH
Sunday, the Statesman Journal carried an article titled, "Salem-Keizer School Board closes its meetings due to safety issues". Superintendent Christy Perry's conclusion and the summary of the District's investigation into a complaint about safety at the school board meetings state that there was unacceptable behavior by adults who purposely escalated the conflict and who are bad examples for youth to follow.
"We must not tolerate unacceptable behavior from adults," she said. Therefore, school board meetings would not be in person going forward.
This analysis was completely lopsided! And the decision to cut off the community appears to be more related to self preservation than protection.
The school board meeting in August brought about 100 community members out to engage with school board members. While Casity, VP of SK We Stand Together was talking, members of the Latinos Unidos Siempre (LUS) organization were yelling at her, interrupting her speech several times. Later an altercation happened in the parking lot between Mike, a grandpa, and about 20 youth who surrounded and intimidated him. Mike filed a complaint.
An investigation by the school district stated that because Mike photographed the LUS supporters before the meeting, he was the instigator of the conflict. This seems to be a bit of a stretch since the photo was taken 2-3 hours before the conflict occurred. Mike took the picture to document LUS supporters standing around with umbrellas open under the carport in 86 degree weather as if to block parents from getting in to the meeting. LUS stated that they opened the umbrella's to prevent being photographed. However, if you look at the photos, the youth had their back to the camera and did not appear to be in defensive mode.
Mike is known for his gracious, quiet, even temperament. He is a jet engine mechanic and tool maker who coaches and referees in his off time. His life testifies to how much he cares about kids. He narrowly lost his race for school board in 2021 and was a founding member of SK We Stand. Mike has patiently engaged the LUS and supporters on social media and at the school board meetings. He has a compelling way of sharing his concerns that is very effective and likely raises the ire of those with opposite views.
After testifying before the school board at the August meeting, about 20 LUS supporters followed him and cornered him in the parking lot with umbrellas open to intimidate him. They were yelling obscenities at him and taunting him about how his bi-racial family must be so disappointed in him because he was a racist. Mike denies swearing but admits he did yell back at them. He was terrified because he was all alone. One of them came chest to chest with Mike but no physical exchange occurred.
He felt like he couldn't walk home because he feared they would follow him and know where he lived. Although there were several district staff watching, no one intervened. Finally, one of the school staff members came over and said it was time to leave and watched that Mike was not followed. Mike filed a complaint that these youth had created an unsafe environment by their bullying behavior.
SHARING OUR HEART
When we started SK We Stand Together, we knew that someone needed to speak out against the new ideology seeping into our culture, starting at school.
But we felt equally convicted that it must be done with love and respect. We hoped to bring a contrast to the nastiness that was so prevalent in politics which is why we insisted on a logo that reflected holding hands not raising our fists! We also recognized that the changes happening in our community today and across the world, had created a MORAL crisis, not a political one, related to a new world view that openly planned to dismantle our social norms and "reimagine" our world.
It seems that the easiest way for the District to fight back is to discredit and malign the community members who are voicing concerns. We can't fight the changes by ourselves. We need YOU! We need everyone to stand together. And, after everything, we are determined to remain standing!
This is the most important battle of our lifetimes!
The way we think guides everything else that we do and if we don't fight our culture at the root of the problem, the way we teach children to think, then we aren't going to make any difference anywhere else.
We found the emperor!
For 12 months we have watched the disrespectful behavior by LUS at school board meetings. At every meeting they parrot the same talking points about a school to prison pipeline and that students of color are disproportionately targeted by Student Resource Officers and security officers. Even though the evidence refutes their belief. They complain that district policies discriminate against certain students and that parents are hostile toward the LUS members.
Meanwhile, parents and community members have respectfully brought concerns and asked questions. However, they have highlighted the lack of transparency and involvement of parents by the school district in creating and implementing new curriculum and new policies. Of course, this new exposure did not sit well with the administration. Is this why they are not being honest about who is causing disruption at school board meetings?
Superintendent Perry decided, "There has been a steady escalation of disruptive behavior by adults,..the results of that investigation have made it clear that adults from differing ideologies engaged in negative, aggressive, and unacceptable behavior, knowing it would result in conflict, and that the youth who were present did not initiate any conflict."
A bald-faced lie
That is a bald-faced lie by Christy Perry, Superintendent of Salem Keizer School Board, who has misrepresented the facts all year long! Apparently, a different point of view is considered, "aggressive and unacceptable," but actual bullying and disrespectful behavior is overlooked --if you belong to a certain identity group!
A quick review of any school board meeting reveals the truth.
These intimidation tactics are escalating because there is no accountability! It is heartbreaking to hear the youth and some adults parrot the divisive talk about equity and inclusion, over and over, yet fail to demonstrate by their actions that they care about unity.
We truly want every child to belong. But this is done by focusing on our common humanity, not by dividing us based on skin color or sexual preference. And not by constantly filling students minds with stories of trauma.
Students need understanding AND accountability.
And parents have the legal right to know what is being taught at school. Honesty and transparency are not too much to ask.
Who are the Latinos Unidos Siempre?
According to their website their mission "is to work towards the educational, cultural and political development of youth. We empower youth through leadership development and grassroots organizing, while fighting against institutional oppression."
L.U.S. was established in 1996, in Salem, Oregon. A group of 13 students came together that year to fight against immigration raids, a high drop out rate, gang activity, and four anti-immigrant proposals in the State legislature. Members range from 12-25 years old and are the youth component of Mano-A-Mano, the CAUSA immigrant rights coalition, and the Salem-Keizer Coalition for Equality.
Hernandez-Lomeli is the program director of LUS. She is a graduate of Willamette University and has been dedicated to learning about social justice and ways to combat institutional oppression affecting underrepresented community groups. Her role with LUS aims to educate and organize youth to take action. Levi Herrera-Lopez is the Director of Mano-A-Mano
We have to get involved to stop the indoctrination at school.
WE STAND because this nation is set up to engage in order to protect democracy. There is a powerful movement that wants to fundamentally change everything that made this country great. And they are doing it by going after the the hearts and minds of our children.
As parents and community members have become more aware of the political agenda happening at schools and have begun to speak out against it there has been an obvious attempt to discredit them
and silence their voices
WE STAND TOGETHER
We will keep showing up because it matters what happens at school — even if we don't have any children in the public school system — because they are raising up the next generation. We care about what happens to the children. And right now kids are hurting and confused.
LEARN MORE ...
Come to our educational forum at
The Rec, Wednesday morning, September 21, 2022, 7:30 am
The agenda to transform our culture and destroy our social norms is coming from the National School Unions. Find out how to fight back by opting out!
Equity, not Equality
The core idea: Equality is bad because some people are historically “shorted.”
The issue: Equity-centered education often seeks to take resources from “more prosperous” individuals because it’s perceived they must have cheated people to gain success. For example, embedding honors so that more students have access to it. In reality, far fewer students have the opportunity to experience it.
Culturally Relevant Pedagogy
The core idea: Minority groups fail to learn if they learn using materials focused on the majority.
The issue: Removing great works that have benefited all peoples to pander to people based on gender or color has never worked in history, and steals opportunities to learn the very truths that provide an opportunity for prosperity and virtue. Culturally Relevant Pedagogy is the center of the “Disrupt Texts” movement, which advocated for works like “The Odyssey” to be banned from a Massachusetts School.
Decentering or Deconstructing “Whiteness”
The core idea: Based on a direct result of Western Civilization, White people are a cultural group whose perceived advancements have come at the expense of others and students who appear white should sacrifice any leadership to the historically oppressed.
The issue: Painting any group as a moral good or evil based on the color of their skin is responsible for every case of racial violence in human history.
Tackling Systemic Injustice
The core idea: All white, Asian, Jewish, Italian, and Irish individuals immorally benefit from a system that was built and reformed to assist only them, at the expense of Black communities. (Hispanic communities may be a part of the oppressed or oppressors based on the advocate) so it must be destroyed and rebuilt.
The issue: In education, racial equity departments site all disparities as a result of racism without citing the specific laws or actions that have resulted in current racism. At best, generational racism is cited as a core reason for Black poverty (ignoring the generational crimes against the Appalachian, Irish, Chinese, Native American, etc.). Instead of citing policies to rectify, graphs showing "perceived outcome" [PDF] indicate that because individuals think they're a victim of racism, they are.
From the Chalkboard Review Team, Purple 4 Parents, Idaho Freedom Foundation, Heritage Foundation, Manhattan Institute
This past year Sk We Stand was able to develop a website and social media presence. We also held educational forums, sponsored three rally's, and advocated at the school board meetings. This fall we would like to take our message to you, to small businesses, churches, and organizations who want to know more about what is going on with education these days. What is all the fuss about? And what can we do?
We will provide lunch!
if you would like to hear more about the changes happening at schools. Please email [email protected]
Be Influential ...
WRITE A LETTER, SPEAK TO THE SCHOOL BOARD, POST ON SOCIAL MEDIA, HAVE A CONVERSATION, ASK A QUESTION
JOIN A COMMITTEE, DONATE TO A CAMPAIGN
THE SCHOOL BOARD MEETINGS
are the SECOND TUESDAY at 6 pm
You can watch them on CCTV, YouTube, or the school board website.
Superintendent Perry decided to close them to the community. (I thought the School Board was in charge...?!)
There is RECALL going on
for three board members and information can be found at:
SK WE STAND TOGETHER
As a 501c4 advocacy organization, SK We Stand is a grassroots organization striving to educate, equip, encourage, & empower the community to engage.
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PLEASE HELP US GET OUR MESSAGE OUT!
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Thank you so much for standing with us
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