There’s a reason that VP Charda Bell-Fontenot didn’t have her video on at a La Mesa School Board Zoom meeting: she charged that parents demanding schools be opened are “forcing a white supremacist ideology.” The meeting garnered at least 39 pages of public comments.
Without any teachers we don’t have the ability to teach the students so that’s where we have to start right now. We can’t just say kids can go back into the classrooms when there’s no vaccinated teachers there willing to do that, that’s the problem. So how are we forcing people . . . that seems like a very white supremacist ideology to force people to comply with, you know, and conform without thinking about all of their intersecting factors and barriers that exist for all families.
You’re thinking about one type of family when you’re speaking right now. Just letting you know. Privilege, check it you guys.
“So 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, I’m not going to be a part of it.
One of the board members shared that a poll showed that 70-80% of parents wanted to open the schools. At which point, Charda demanded, “who are the 70 to 80 percent and where are they? Which school site? Which language group?” Implying that if they were white, their desire to open the schools was irrelevant.
There was one portion of back and forth with another board member, David Feliciano, who told her he was offended by her remarks. The board President, Rebecca McRae asked them to continue their arguments in private. To which Charda responded, “Racism doesn’t need to be private, Becky.”
“The rest of the board was very professional, kept their composure and ushered the meeting back to the subject at hand. Rebecca McRae did a great job as president of keeping things from unraveling further and continuing the meeting until a date was chosen. Charda was definitely out of line with her unprofessional accusations and comments to the other board members.”
Facebook user (Real ClearPolitics)
One of the board members stated that as a Hispanic with 4 children, she is confused by Charda’s claims of racism. She was right to be “confused,” since the CDC recommends opening of schools even if teachers are not vaccinated.
In February, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended a return to in-person instruction outside of cases of very high community transmission rates, and said that teachers do not need to be vaccinated for schools to reopen. Dr. Anthony Fauci also said that vaccinating every teacher before reopening schools is a “nonworkable situation” and he did not recommend that schools make teacher vaccinations a prerequisite for reopening.
The La Mesa school board set the date of April 19 to re-open their schools, but chose only to open them for two hours a day, which made parents extremely unhappy. Charda voted no.
Someone needs to “check their privilege,” but it’s not the other members of the school board. The School District issued a statement regarding her behavior that read in part,
“She behaved in a manner the Board does not condone, nor did her behavior represent our values and our commitments to our students, community, and to each other. We have received many emails and calls of great concern from our families and community members. While we were also disappointed and offended by Trustee Fontenot’s behavior, we were saddened to learn that she has received hateful, racist, and threatening communications as a result.”
La Mesa- Spring Valley School District statement via CBS8
Children matter. There have been child suicides and serious behavioral problems with children being away from school for a year. Depression is rampant. The lockdowns also afflict the poor and minorities even more deeply – which Charda should know, but that chip (2×4) on her shoulder is blocking her from understanding the truth. There is no reason to call her names or threaten her, as it does no good whatsoever, and just reinforces her opinions. The harm that school lockdowns have inflicted up on our children is despicable.
Featured photo: screenshots composite La Mesa School Board plus Charda Bell-Fontenot
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Author: Faye Higbee
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