As a proud parent of a recent CHS graduate who begins his college studies this week, I wish to express my deep admiration and appreciation for the efforts of the CUSD administration, teachers, coaches, and support staff at CUSD. Their unwavering commitment to provide our students with a quality public education and athletic opportunities despite the many challenges posed by the global COVID pandemic was truly remarkable. What made it even more remarkable was that they did so while being under constant attack by a small but vocal group known as We the Parents Coronado.

This extremely partisan group has waged their culture war agenda against the CUSD School Board, Superintendent, and educators for the past 18 months. It follows a closely scripted national playbook where similar groups of outraged parents across the country allege that students are victims of social engineering, grooming and indoctrination by leftist and Marxist teachers. The topic of Critical Race Theory has been a favorite boogeyman of these parent groups, despite it being a graduate-level concept not taught in K-12 schools. As of late, many of these nationally aligned parent groups have since turned their focus to intense bullying of LGBTQ+ teachers and students, the banning of books, and the censorship of any U.S. history that may make white students feel guilty or uncomfortable.

Over the past 18 months, We the Parents Coronado have aggressively protested school initiatives designed to address bullying and racism within our schools while also firmly objecting to any classroom time being devoted to Social and Emotional Learning, a proven and effective component of child development that contributes to academic success. They have organized rallies against mask mandates, calling it “child abuse,” while advocating for something called “Medical Freedom” which essentially places their individual rights of liberty over others’ rights to safety. For more than one year this group has also made consistently false and misleading statements on “Tortilla-gate,” effectively using our student-athletes and their families as expendable pawns in their politically motivated attacks on the CUSD Board and individual members of our community.

In the upcoming election there are four open seats on the CUSD Board of Education. We the Parents Coronado is aggressively supporting several candidates, including their Executive Director, Gerri Machin, and Scot Youngblood. While their campaign slogans claim to be about Academic Excellence and Local Control, their real aim is to use our local School Board as a new and improved bully pulpit to continue waging their highly partisan national culture wars.

We need to continue the work of making our great schools even better while also holding CUSD leadership accountable in this important effort. For the sake of our kids, teachers, and schools, let’s elect candidates who will bring civility, sound judgement and a measured approach to the job and who will keep politics and culture wars out of our schools.

VOL. 112, NO. 39 - Sept. 28, 2022

(10) comments

jrainey82

Your absolutely right parents are going to protest when "programs designed to address bullying and racism" include assigning "oppressor" and "oppressed" status to students based on their skin color. You are OK with that apparently. A lot of us aren't. Who exactly determined that racism and bullying are significant issues at CHS that needed to be addressed? But if you don't agree with harmful, divisive, skin color based programs, somehow YOU are the culture warrior. No, the "no place for hate" champions started the culture war, now you're just upset you're losing. And correct me if I'm wrong, but did not the CUSD School Board call our kids "racist, classist and colorist?" What is untrue about that? You apparently applaud that disgusting cowering to your left wing friends like Hueso and Gonzales. We're the ones standing up for these kids. How many sports events have you attended to show support for these kids since "Tortilla gate?" I suspect few. I've attended dozens and bought season tickets to USD basketball to cheer for Wayne Mckinney so he knows not all Coronado adults are happy he was stripped of his achievement like you apparently are. Yeah, we who actually support these kids are using them as pawns, while all these brave CDC members spouting their MSNBC talking points ("CRT is a college course, Chris Rufo, blah, blah, blah) who assume everyone is racist and want to reserve the right to call everyone a racist, including our kids, are the true apolitical virtuous ones. Stuff it and your hyphenated race-baiting candidates.

KevinAshley

I attended every CHS Varsity basketball game for three straight years as a proud parent of a player. My son was a co-Captain of last years 2021-2022 CHS Varsity Basketball team and co-MVP, and also set the CHS single game rebounding record last season. He was also a starter on the 2020-2021 CIF Southern California Championship team until going down with an injury, only to return for the final week of the season and was in the game when when his friend Alex Crawford hit the game winning shot, arguably the greatest shot in CHS school history. As a sophomore, my son was also a key player on the CIF runner-up team of 2019-2020. In addition to being a parent that attended every game, my wife and I were also generous financial boosters of the team all three years and will continue to support CHS Basketball into the future.

While I commend your support for the team, your histrionics help to prove my point, that there is a small but vocal group of extremists who wish to use CUSD as a platform to fight their partisan culture wars, and they will not hesitate to use our kids as fodder.

Your rant above is actually

KevinAshley

....quite helpful to my argument. Thank you.

jrainey82

...and note that everything I mentioned are reactions to, rather than initiation of a policy, proposal, program or egregious act. No parents or parents groups are initiating culture wars. They are constantly being forced to react to the events and circumstances thrust upon them.

jrainey82

Kevin, my apologies for my poor assumption about your support of CHS. I and all of Coronado are grateful for your attendant and financial support of CHS sports. Of course, I wish your son nothing but great things as he embarks on the next adventure in his life. But I hope you may see some poor assumptions in your letter as well. Parents who are concerned about women and daughters competing against biological males are not anti-LGBTQ. They are pro fairness for women and girls. They are pro free speech if they oppose speech pronoun requirements. Those of us who are still upset and demanding an apology from the Board over their letter calling kids "racist" find that word as objectionable as the "n" word. If still being upset about that makes me an "extremist" then...guilty as charged. But I won't let that happen to another Coronado kid. Again, apologies for the poor assumption and gratitude for your support of CHS.

MikeS

I concur that the original board statement was wrongfully reactionary and far overreaching, and I thought so at that time as well. You continue to repeat that the school board called "OUR KIDS 'racist, classist and colorist'. The facts still are that it said "“MEMBERS of the Coronado community“ threw tortillas and they "condemn the racism, classism, and colorism which fueled the actions of the PERPETRATORS" ONLY. It does NOT say all students, or even the basketball team anywhere. Additionally, the letter was retracted & amended to just an apology to Orange Glen, right? I'm not sure why you continue to repeat the same things unless it serves some purpose for you. If you want to continue to criticize those board members for the initial response and overreaching, you should do that with accuracy if you are asking for all parties to be truthful.

Also the answer to your question "Who exactly determined that racism and bullying are significant issues at CHS that needed to be addressed?" is the State of California/Department of Education. If you are really following schools closely, you already know that in all K-12 public schools, they must administer school climate surveys & report data related to discipline, attendance, etc. and then include that data in The posted CUSD CA Healthy Kids survey shows responses that the district "Fosters an appreciation of student diversity and respect for each other - All 38% Elem 32% MS % HS 26% – A7.2; Has moderate/severe problem with harassment/bullying All 34% Elem 23% Middle 71% High 37%" so the district must take affirmative steps to try to change those numbers. Likewise, respondents said “Provides conflict resolution or behavior management instruction 22%” and 33% - Fosters youth development, resilience, or asset promotion and 28% - Provides character education”. HOW a school district addresses a safe school climate is where the local decisions come into play but it is disingenuous for you to post as if the data (as well as the numerous students and families who have publicly come forward to share that they have been called racist names or been bullied, with specific examples) doesn't show any bullying or there is no need.

CDE says “Using a school climate survey to collect school climate perception data from students, school staff, and families is the first step in creating a positive school climate. Survey results can provide schools with information about how each group of individuals perceives conditions for learning. Such information can then be used to design prevention and intervention programs specific to the needs of the school community. “ If you are interested in the well-being of students, why not use your time & energy to focus on effective ways to prevent and reduce bullying and to build and model respect for each other?

btrotier

Be careful, Mike. Lots of folks do not want to hear facts about this incident...including the fact that only one person in Coronado used this to advance his political aspirations and agenda and that would be our dear Mayor who immediately held press conferences in front of the CUSD offices right before announcing his intent to run for Congress against Scott Peters...a race he later quit for fewer of losing.

jrainey82

Mike S, thank you for your thoughtful response. Here's mine. The initial reaction by the Board which we agree was wrongful, reactionary, overreaching, and I would add cowardly, created all that followed, and nothing that they did or said subsequently really mattered. Once that toothpaste was out of the tube, there was no going back, no matter what they had to say in their belated, under pressure retraction. No matter how you parse it, their initial words were in response to the events following the basketball game, and since two kids picked up tortillas off the floor and flung them into the unruly crowd, their response landed on the basketball team the hardest and the players bore the brunt of their message and all that followed. The initial reaction was everything because the Board knew the truth about Serna as instigator the very night they drafted the letter, yet rather than being cautious and courageous and saying to the opportunist race-baiters, "let's get all the facts before we call this a racial incident," they caved to those opportunists. Sometimes you only get one chance to show character and get it right. They failed. That is what I object to so vehemently. Given a choice to ensure Coronado kids were not falsely maligned, they opted for the spineless, virtue signaling response, and validated the political opportunists that had hoped to use the incident to paint Coronado as an elitist, racist enclave. Did it work? You bet it did. Lorena Gonzalez and Ben Hueso couldn't get across the bridge fast enough to get in front of cameras and tell the world our team didn't deserve their earned championship because "racism." I am glad that Brian has weighed in to say that the only person who stood up for our kids was the political opportunist and the only one who did anything wrong by holding a press conference to defend the kids. After pointing out that kids in middle school would be on athletic probation when they arrived at CHS, the tide started to turn against some of the sanctions. Had the mayor not had the courage to initiate the first and only pushback to the runaway narrative, nothing would have changed. It is refreshing to hear an officer of the CDC finally admit he and his group have no problem with what Gonzalez and Hueso did and said about Coronado and its champions, but defense of those kids was wrong and "politically motivated." I don't want any more Board members who can't stand up to the race-baiters. The CDC wants candidates that will respond exactly as this Board did because, frankly, they always want to be able to use race and charges of racism as a means to their ends. Most of us our sick of serious issues like racism being used as political theater - which is what "tortilla-gate" was. No, I have no agenda but to make sure no more Coronado kids pay the price for adults that lack character and don't stand up for them.

newresident

Kevin Ashley, Nicely played

newresident

hmmmm I'm not sure playing the victim card so late in this discussion or a belated apology for your outrageous response to Kevin's initial letter helps jrainey82. do us all a favor & let your key board cool down for a year or two and find another hobby. Have you tried knitting?

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