Open address to Ms. Mendoza, the lady who addressed the PAUSD board on 10/8/13
Original post made by village fool on Oct 13, 2013
Dear Ms. Mendoza,
I am writing to express my admiration, respect, gratitude and shame.
I will start with the shame I was embarrassed to watch (link #1) the lack of empathy, lack of respect and the lack of gratitude all these were totally due when you stood to speak up after the presentation about the "new vision" in special education.
The board and audience all should have applauded you brought the change. None of the new declarations would have been offered without your courageous actions [portion removed.]
I truly hope your child is doing better. I think you know more than others why anyone who has high stakes in PAUSD will not come forward. Retaliation was mentioned so many times.
I hope the day will come when you will stand in front of PAUSD offices and the grateful, respectful, admiring people of Palo Alto, free from fear of retaliation, will stand in line to shake your hand all in broad day light. I know I will be there.
And few related thoughts/questions -
1. I do not know who actually came forward to the Weekly with the information about the OCR settlement. [Portion removed.]
In any case I am very thankful to the family who came forward. I noted that many times before.
2. I called many times, as have many others, for an independent investigation. We are still waiting for this, and still believe it is needed…
I think that the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 (link #2) beautifully defines the logic behind attempting to correct wrongs. It seems to me this logic is especially compelling here, since it is about an education system. The preliminary steps, before any change is possible were defined as: 1. Acknowledge. 2. Apologize. 3. Educate. Unfortunately, it seems that PAUSD is in the pre-Acknowledge step. My address to Ms. Mendoza above was triggered by the board's reaction to her on Tuesday evening, clearly showing their lack of acknowledgement.
3. Who do the board members represent? On 5/24/2013 (link #3) I wrote: " …..The latest info as to the closed board sessions dealing with litigation had me wonder Who are the board member serving? Info about the first OCR case revealed that the parents tried to contact the board members, seeking help. Seems that a closed session could be about a case where board members were contacted by community parents who ended addressing the OCR. I am wondering, simply on what side are the board members? Closed session makes it clear that the board sides with the district officials anyways, always. Should concerned parents try to contact the board members regarding concerns they have, knowing that the board always sides with the district officials? Conflict of interest?"
Link #1 -Web Link Ms. Mendoza': 1:46 hours
Link #2 Web Link
Link #3 Web Link
on Oct 13, 2013 at 8:45 pm
Great post. Agree completely. I wish you had a blog here.
on Oct 14, 2013 at 12:23 pm
I heartily agree with you. Bravo and cheers for your bravery. No kid should go through what my son did. The PE teacher at the time, who admitted to having a brain injury and plate in his head from a motorcycle accident, was never even cited despite multiple complaints from others. In fact, my son suffered a big load of retaliation from this guy and was called a wimp infront of his classmates-- just for having severe asthma,
on Oct 19, 2013 at 10:16 pm
To all of you, Thanks for your kind comments. Today, is a very special date for the student int he first OCR case, and family cannot be together because of the and miles between them. Separating families is wrong. PAUSD needs to address bullying right away before the mental health deteriorates too far. Yes, the board is as naive as Dr. Skelly and Holly Wade. When the child from the first OCR case came the board meeting and addressed the board asking for help for the bullying, none of them acknowledged her. They kept going on with their business. This is the way they work. If they do not talk about it, maybe people will think that the problem does not exist. I was not surprised at all at their attitude, when I address them this month. This needs to stop, but I cannot do it alone. Keep talking about bullying and the social emotional needs of all our students.