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