Wednesday, March 1, 2017

White Supremacy?

On Tue, Feb 21, 2017 at 2:35 PM, Khianna Matteson wrote:

Community Members:
As most of you know, Superintendent HT Sanchez’ employment status is being considered at tonight’s Governing Board Meeting, which begins at 4:30 PM at the Duffy Complex- 5145 East Fifth Street.  I think that most  in the community strongly believe that Sanchez should either be put on a very aggressive performance improvement plan or be terminated. His best option is to resign. He has not served TUSD well. He has worked to divide the TUSD community, which has spilled over to the larger community. He rules through the use of fear or bribery (punishing those who challenge him and advancing those who do his bidding).
My viewpoint is that Sanchez has failed to serve African American, Latino and Native American students. In other words students with black/brown skin have suffered under the Sanchez administration. This is supported by hard data. Achievement levels for the majority of black and brown students is terrible.  At a recent meeting I was told that the suspension rate for African American students is outrageously high- something between 15 and 20 times over the number of white students.  It is obvious to those who follow the District that the desegregation court order has become the scape goat and punching bag for HT Sanchez. Instead of implementing it, he has 6-8 attorneys fighting it, all paid with desegregation dollars. Yet, we all know that without our constitutional rights that have been upheld by courts throughout the country, African Americans would not have made the gains to this time in history. As an African American woman I am horrified by the continued degree of neglect that has been paid to African American students in TUSD and our community. I am in strong support of Sanchez’ removal from his position.
I have been part of the Black Lives Matter movement since its early beginnings in Florida and challenge anyone in Tucson to show me that HT Sanchez has treated the Lives of Black students who attend TUSD as though they do matter.  He has not. Since January 2017 the TUSD Board has changed. Rachael Sedgwick won the seat that was previously filled by Cam Juarez and with her “win” the old block was broken. Juarez, along with Adelita Grijalva and Kristel Foster made up the majority Board and they, along with HT Sanchez are culpable for the dire educational state that TUSD is in.  Their block of votes have eroded accountability in TUSD. HT and his block have constantly fought the desegregation court order. Since Rachael joined the Board in January the “new” Board has addressed several accountability issues, with tonight’s agenda being the most pointed and probably one of the most important. However, Adelita Grijalva and Kristel Foster have done everything in their power to detract from tonight’s agenda by calling in many people under very false pretenses. They have done this through what they consider their allies, including African American ministers and leaders from the Tucson Urban League and the local chapter of the NAACP. I believe Sanchez has colluded with Grijalva and Foster in this last ditch effort to rescue his position.  I find this act despicable because it is so exploitive of our Black community.
The pretext for having the Black community express “outrage” aimed at Rachael Sedgewick is based on a meeting that she had with a man who aggressively attempted to convince her that Mikes Hicks and Mark Stegeman are white supremacists. She would not blindly accept his judgement and he continued his aggressive, near badgering rhetoric.  She attempted to be reasonable and express how helpful both Stegeman and Hicks have been to her as a new Board member. He would reject any counter point she offered, especially when she stated that Grijalva and Foster had not been welcoming or supportive and he again laid into her with the white supremacist accusations. She finally responded in a totally frustrated and facetious way by saying something like, ‘OK- White Supremacists rule.”  She has explained that the statement was totally facetious.
My impression of Rachael is that she wants to do right by African American youth and get TUSD going in a positive direction.
I am insulted in seeing how Sanchez, Grijalva, Foster and DaMond T. Holt (who is on the TUSD payroll) have colluded to exploit OUR voices. He has done this as he has gained employment with TUSD and has rushed into judgement without gathering all of the facts. Please do not play into the hands of this racially exploitive move. If they believed that our lives truly matter, they would not be attempting to USE us.
Right now I am a student who is supporting myself through working two part-time jobs. I asked for time off today to attend the meeting so that I could address the Board but was denied. PLEASE, any of you who know how important public education is for our community, show up at the meeting in support of holding HT Sanchez accountable and do what you can to STOP those within our community who have been lied to about Rachael who have been “set up” to attack.  It is nothing more than a deflector.
Please forward this to others and anyone is free to copy this and distribute it at the Board meeting.

In God’s Grace,
Khianna Matteson

 Black Lives Matter!

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