Sparked by a local principal’s private Facebook post, dozens of speakers shared their stories, fears and admonishments with the Los Alamitos Unified School District Board of Directors regarding what many said have been long-standing issues of racism and bigotry within the school district for years at the board’s meeting on Sept. 25.
Speakers included parents, students and teachers, some of whom shared personal experiences of racism, but also others who hadn’t. This latter group included a minority parent who grew up the district and now lives here and hadn’t experienced those issues.
The district has been under fire in the past few weeks, stemming from a Facebook post by McGaugh Elementary Principal Roni Ellis-Burns in which she called former NFL player Colin Kaepernick and “anti-American thug,” for his kneeling during the national anthem as a protest against police brutality among minorities. Some called this a racist term which was news to most in the audience. [Thug originally referred to a religious sect of robbers and assassins in British Colonial India who strangled their victims, usually travelers.] The word since came to be associated with thieves who used strongarm tactics of force and intimidation.]
Some speakers chastised the District for their alleged “condoning” of the comments and racism at the District in general. Others pointed out how if the district disciplined Ellis for a private social media post that would be a double standard since they did nothing when a teacher at Los Al High used the words “f–k Trump” and “f–k Pence” on a private facebook post.
Ted Apodaca of the News-Enterprise had a longer story here.