Opening Schools Is Now A Racist Construct

Opening Schools Is Now A Racist Construct

Opening Schools Is Now A Racist Construct

We’ve heard a lot of protests from teachers over the past year with regard to opening schools for in-person learning. The latest, comes from a board member of San Diego County School District.

Teachers and unions have run the gamut on forms of protest on the topic of opening schools. From mass-gatherings they are seemingly afraid of in-classroom (but not on the streets), to randomly yelling at and cussing out individuals protesting to open schools, using coffins as props, to car parades. Hell, they even broke out in interpretive dance!

In the midst of all of this, teachers, union members and board members have gone as far away from the classroom as they could. Opening schools to some, interrupted the groove of a mid-winter’s island getaway.

In comes Chardá Bell-Fontenot, Vice President of La Mesa Spring Valley Schools with this charge: 80% of the families who are in favor of opening schools for full-time, in-person learning had “white supremacy ideology”. The video is still on Facebook.

We can’t just say that kids can go back in the classroom, and there’s no vaccinated teachers willing to do that. How are we forcing people — that seems like a very white supremacist ideology to force people to comply with …You are thinking about one type of family when you are speaking right now. Privilege. Check it, you guys!”-Chardá Bell-Fontenot

Check it? First off, let’s look at the demographics for this school district: 50% Hispanic, 28% white, and 9% black. Who is Bell-Fontenot fighting for, here? The teachers and the union (some of whom I am guessing, are white) or the 50% Hispanic population? Opening is oppressive? When challenged as to where she got this data, Bell-Fontenot replied:

I don’t want to be a part of forcing anybody to do anything they don’t want to do. That’s what slavery is, and I’m not going to be a part of it.”-Chardá Bell-Fontenot

So now, school board members could fish for a number, any number, and use it as an argument in the opening schools debacle we face here in this country? Hmmm. Let’s see, what is a good percentage of people who think this is indicative of white supremacy? Let’s go for 80 percent! 50% Hispanic, 28% White and 9% Black equals 78% non-Black population. Close enough. Round up. Chardá can math. I’m hearing that’s a privileged construct these days as well.

According to this, everyone in the meeting did not respond to Bell-Fontenot’s claim that opening schools was a construct of white supremacy. But Minerva Martinez Scott, of Hispanic origin, fired back:

You keep throwing out the racism, but I am Hispanic, and we have four adopted children, and we look like the U.N. So, when you throw out racism, I don’t understand that part. My child has also been affected by not being in school. My kid is in a facility because he had a hard time not being in school. I was able to find resources to get him the help needed. I want all the kids back in school.”-Minerva Martinez Scott

Some of us are going on the one-year mark of online learning for our kids. While some students have thrived, other students have been impacted severely. Bell-Fontenot ignores this. And this. And, check it, this:

I immediately thought about the educational inequities that are likely being exacerbated by COVID-19, particularly for students whose parents or guardians may not be able to afford extra school supplies. For example, under normal circumstances, going to Staples may not be a financial constraint; however, in the context of COVID-19, where nearly 300,000 Americans and counting are filing for unemployment benefits, affordability of supplies may not be as feasible due to parents being out of work; and the logistics of going to stores while safely practicing social distancing poses challenges.”-Michelle Burris, The Century Foundation

But opening schools and forcing teachers to come to work is a construct of forced slavery and white supremacy? Unions are there to protect the teachers from being overworked and underpaid but throughout this time, teachers have held on to their salaries, they retain their benefits and retirement. Teachers have been gainfully employed. School districts and the many other factions of support staff have also worked extra hard at accommodating and adapting to a new way of learning for these students. From furnishing students with computers, to WiFi hotspots, to making sure all equipment is in order for when teachers do arrive back in the classroom. Applications staff have also had to revamp grading platforms and other educational applications. Office staff have fielded phone calls, from homework questions to doubling as tech support for students and families. Health staff and COVID coordinators have worked diligently at contact-tracing and health attestations of the individuals still required to be in-buildings. Custodial staff have gone over schools with a fine-tooth comb, disinfecting. Food service staff have worked at providing meals to disadvantaged families (some students whose ONLY meal is school lunch). Substitute staffing coordinators have scrambled to find individuals willing to come into a building and teach when those who were unwilling went to protest or to the Caribbean. All of these individuals who came into work daily after pandemic lockdowns have started had a choice and they chose to take proper precautions and come to work.

So, opening schools is now racist. I’m not buying what Bell-Fontenot is selling. I’m for equality across the board and all school district employees doing an equal part to help our marginalized kids and taxpayer families. Enough excuses. Open the schools already.

Photo Credit: Justine Warrington/FlickR/CC BY 2.0/Cropped

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  • Chad King says:

    From the headline, I assumed that Chardá Bell-Fontenot was just another union hack. But then I read closely and discovered that she’s my Libertarian soul-mate: “I don’t want to be a part of forcing anybody to do anything they don’t want to do. That’s what slavery is, and I’m not going to be a part of it.” I couldn’t agree more. I don’t want to pay taxes for anything except a strong national defense and a justice system that protects individual liberty and property rights. In fact, I assume that Chardá agrees with me that extorting taxes at the point of a gun is theft and has no place in our society. When she’s right, she’s right!

  • NTSOG says:

    “I don’t want to be a part of forcing anybody to do anything they don’t want to do. That’s what slavery is, and I’m not going to be a part of it.”

    I once taught in a Chicago special school. I was paid a wage to teach there. No one forced me to apply for or even stay in the job. I was never a slave and, as a professional, I was expected, never forced, to perform certain duties to the benefit of the children, their families and School. That’s what professionals do. Me thinks this person protesteth too much and is abrogating her professional responsibilities as “Vice President of La Mesa Spring Valley Schools”. She has executive authority, but is too spineless to use her power for the good of all, so invents excuses for her own weakness. Leadership often requires making unpopular decisions, but this lady appears to think she is in a popularity contest.

  • Cameron says:

    Sung to the tune of “Everything is awesome!”

    Everybody’s raysis!
    Everyone’s a bigot if you look at them right.
    Everybody’s raysis!
    Especially if you’re straight and white!

  • Ann in L.A. says:

    They’re not wrong, just their reasons are. Schools now exist to teach racism and that blacks are inherently inferior and can not actually be expected to learn at the level of white, Asian, or increasingly Hispanic kids. Black kids must be coddled, never graded harshly, never given important tests, never told they have the wrong answer, never be expected to learn any of the grammar of the dominant language in the country, never be expected to be able to do logical work, like math beyond arithmetic, and never challenged to learn to their potential. How can opening schools not be racist, when that’s the focus of so much of what seems to go on in schools these days?

    • NTSOG says:

      And in Boston “A selective program for high-performing fourth, fifth and sixth graders in Boston has suspended enrollment due to the pandemic and concerns about equity in the program”

      Further: “A district analysis of the program found that more than 70 percent of students enrolled in the program were white and Asian, even though nearly 80 percent of all Boston public school students are Hispanic and Black.

      School Committee member Lorna Rivera said at a January meeting that she was disturbed by the findings, noting that nearly 60 percent of fourth graders in the program at the Ohrenberger school in West Roxbury are white even though most third graders enrolled at the school are Black and Hispanic.

      “This is just not acceptable,” Rivera said at a recent school committee meeting. “I’ve never heard these statistics before, and I’m very very disturbed by them.”

      I wonder if children from Asian and Caucasian families work harder? That’s obviously a problem for politically driven bureaucrats fearful of backlash from the Woke. Apparently mediocrity is the new standard.

  • Sam L. says:

    The teacher’s unions need to be broken up into little bitty smidges and fired. Disbanded, and scattered like dust. And red-lined for one, maybe two years (oh, Hell, FIVE years!).

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