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School trustees declare "safe haven"

Uploaded: Mar 2, 2017
The Pleasanton school trustees are the latest public agency to wade into the debate about illegal immigrants.
The board unanimously passed a resolution declaring that no immigration enforcement agent could enter a school campus without the written permission of the school superintendent, thus becoming a so-called “safe haven” district. That strengthened the existing federal policy that required permission from federal officials before entering schools or churches.
The district put forth the resolution in response to a request from state schools chief Tom Torlakson to remind parents and students that they have rights and school districts are required, by a Supreme Court decision, to provide education to all students who register. County schools chief Karen Monroe sent out a similar letter Tuesday.
Just why trustees felt it was important to do this when board president Joan Laursen said it “will not change how we do business” points to the political ramifications.
Some of the language sounds just like Democrat talking points that have been spouted off since President Trump won the election.
For instance, the resolution states, "The national presidential election has resulted in many students and families in Pleasanton expressing fear, hopelessness, sadness, and concerns for student safety, heightened because of intolerant rhetoric made over the course of the 2016 presidential race," the resolution reads. "Students and families across the district have experienced increased levels of hate speech based on their ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation since the election."
The resolution notes the growing diversity of the district with 4,952 students speaking a language in addition to English; 8,263 students of color and 1,466 Hispanic students (about 10 percent of the enrollment.
Former trustee Kathleen Ruesegger, who ran unsuccessfully for the school board last fall, had it right when she spoke to the political implications.
Incidentally, Dublin, Fremont and Hayward districts have passed similar resolutions.
Pleasanton district officials jumped into a similar area in January when student services sent out a memo discouraging teachers from having students watch President Trump’s inauguration live. The recommendation, based upon student safety, was to discuss it later using clips that had been reviewed.
Doing that, of course, significantly reduces the interest and the “teachable moment.” In today’s media-saturated world with its 24-hour news cycle, wait two days and who is interested?
Certainly, ensuring student safety is job No. 1, but being safe does not include being sheltered from subjects that students might find distasteful or irritating, particularly in high school. The district is striving to prepare its students for life in college and beyond—equipping them to think critically and deal with subjects or people they disagree with is simply part of life.

Comments

 +   16 people like this
Posted by Partisan politics, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Mar 2, 2017 at 10:19 am

These are great insights from Tim Hunt's editorial.

Stanford University refused to go along with all of this political posturing (thank goodness) brought on by the sour grapes political operatives from the failed Democratic Party. Stanford's officials are smart enough to know this puts all Federal money, including highly sought after research grants, at risk.

Pleasanton Unified is delusional if they believe that they need some sort of written note from a local bureaucrat like a superintendent as a pre-condition for any law enforcement official, be in local, state or federal, to come on school property or written permission or notification from a local bureaucrat to come on school property or to respond to a lawful search warrant signed by a judge. They just show up folks. They do sting operations. No amount of bogus self-important resolutions can bar entry to public property by law enforcement, including Homeland Security Investigations.

Obviously, PUSD has no idea how the government operates. Cutting and pasting #ResistTrump resolutions from a local Hayward/San Leandro-based Democratic Club and barring the viewing of the inauguration is no way to govern. It is very scary that these people claim to be in the field of education. Attempting to justify their actions and indoctrinate students through political posturing is another perfect example why the entire board and local school administration are inept and must be replaced.


 +   13 people like this
Posted by Partisan politics, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Mar 2, 2017 at 1:11 pm

The entire Board and management needs to go because they claimed events of hate speech in Pleasanton occurred, but copied the wording almost word for word from another District. Also I notice the administrator in charge of Special Projects in PUSD just quit. Maybe she protested the false information in the resolution.

I used Yahoo to put in the exact quote that Tim Hunt puts in his article, i.e.

For instance, the resolution states, "The national presidential election has resulted in many students and families in Pleasanton expressing fear, hopelessness, sadness, and concerns for student safety, heightened because of intolerant rhetoric made over the course of the 2016 presidential race," the resolution reads. "Students and families across the district have experienced increased levels of hate speech based on their ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation since the election."

Based upon this, I find the Pleasanton 'educators' were dishonest and performed extreme misconduct and plagiarized another resolution for another district almost word for word, including the claims of hate speech.

I believe the Pleasanton Unified School District Board and Staff lied to the public in their resolution because the statements in their resolution are an almost exact copy word for word of the Albany USD Safe Haven resolution here but replaced the wording of "San Francisco Bay Area" to "Pleasanton." Here is the plagiarized resolution source from Albany:

Web Link

Their wording is as follows:

"Whereas, the national presidential election has resulted in thousands of students and families in the San Francisco Bay Area expressing fear, sadness and concerns for student safety, heightened because of intolerant rhetoric made over the course of the 2016 presidential race;

Whereas, Youth and families across the San Francisco Bay Area have already experienced increased levels of hate speech based on their ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation since the election"

Thus unless there is proof in the form of written complaints in the form of official complaints to PUSD officials or some Civil Rights government agencies or the Pleasanton police, the allegations of increased hate speech in the Pleasanton is certainly yet another one of the serial campaigns of misinformation perpetuated by Odie Douglas and the "Education Services Team" the Board, the interim Superintendent and the Public Information Officer as well as the Pleasanton Unified School District Board of Trustees.

After all, they copied the WHEREAS alleging statements of hate speech from Albany USD and claimed these events occurred in Pleasanton.

The school district officials responsible for this plagiarism need to be removed. And the Board needs to go.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Fabricated grandstanding?, a resident of Vintage Hills,
on Mar 2, 2017 at 4:00 pm

Pleasanton's resolution asserts as facts that hate speech has been happening in its District thus where is the proof. The court decision today says emails of all public officials (even private ones) are public records. I would like the Pleasanton Weekly to get an email record of all of these supposed hate speech complaints.

Personally, I think the PUSD is not telling the truth, but stole or was given someone else's resolution from the Democratic Party that was given to them.

The Palo Alto Unified resolution does not have any wording throughout it regarding
its students and families expressing fear, hopelessness, sadness, and concerns for student safety, heightened because of intolerant rhetoric made over the course of the 2016 presidential race," the resolution reads. Nor does it state anything regarding students and families across the district have experienced increased levels of hate speech based on their ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation since the election.

Web Link

I agree with Tim Hunt and Kathleen Ruesegger that the "pity party" political posturing is ridiculous and also is absent in the PAUSD version (indicating much smarter staff and board members must be employed at PAUSD compared to PUSD) and also agree with the poster above that says PUSD appears to have copied the Albany one word for word.

The PUSD board needs to back up its claims. Then it needs to contact the Office of Civil Rights (or a citizen needs to) of all the supposed hate speech incidents in Pleasanton for a full, independent investigation as to its root cause (and if it even exists or is purely fabricated for political purposes).


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Hostile environment, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Mar 2, 2017 at 4:58 pm

Fabricating false hate speech assertions in the local district when they merely copied and modified pre existing text from a political organization is grounds for dismissal. In addition III from Birdland here Web Link- seems to say the supt has done inappropriate political plays before. Taking political sides has created a hostile environment at PUSD. The cabinet and PIO need to resign followed by the board who let this happen.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Hostile environment, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Mar 2, 2017 at 5:05 pm

Web Link- Is the previous link I tried to post.


 +   14 people like this
Posted by American, a resident of Danville,
on Mar 2, 2017 at 6:04 pm

So, those who are trusted in educating children told them not to watch the inauguration of the President of OUR United States? Unbelievable! This is exactly why we need school vouchers and school choice to allow parents to send their children to a school that actually educates our children when the local public school system fails to do so. Pleasanton is trying to be " politically correct" but when everyone " thinks the same nobody thinks". Education involves teaching students to be able to process information and develop critical thinking skills. Not exposing them to views they may disagree with hinders their development. But the teachers union influence on the school board takes precedent over their education experience. Sad day for students.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill,
on Mar 4, 2017 at 7:49 am

@American :"Education involves teaching students to be able to process information and develop critical thinking skills. Not exposing them to views they may disagree with hinders their development."

Trump supporter touting the importance of processing information and developing "critical thinking skills". Funny.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Mar 5, 2017 at 1:25 pm

You will continue to fail keeping out illegals. VIVA!


 +   13 people like this
Posted by Doug Fir, a resident of Fairlands Elementary School,
on Mar 5, 2017 at 8:30 pm

Here is my take on the "safe haven" school situation: The interim superintendent and the board saw an opportunity to grab a few "politically correct" headlines--and they took it. Furthermore, the District and school board used the rhetoric from the recent presidential election to conflate claims of increased bullying (and to manufacture fear) in local schools in order to create the conditions that they want everyone to believe so that they can pass their pretend resolution, which, incidentally, is grounded in nothing more than partisan liberal politics. Nevertheless I'm sure the Kindergarten playground is fraught with dangerous little Trump supporters donning their red caps and "Make America Great Again" t-shirts hurling insults at every little kid who isn't of Anglo decent. This resolution, at most, is a paper tiger and does nothing to alter how ICE conducts business. Just ask yourself when was the last ICE raid conducted at schools in Pleasanton, Dublin, or Livermore? Does anyone really believe that agents are going to storm Fairlands Elementary and start rounding up kids and deporting them? Call me crazy or cynical, but I don't think that is going to happen. Passing this fake resolution is nothing more than grand standing by some touchy-feely school officials who are posturing for attention. Like others have stated in other comment sections regarding this issue, I agree that the time has come for a savvy charter operator to approach the district with a charter school petition so that our community can have some options about how we want to see our kids educated. Only through vigorous competition will this stubborn board and administration begin to feel the frustration that parents and community members are feeling. Only once their ADA begins to get siphoned off by a charter school, will they get the point. This entire situation is sad. The time has come to Make Pleasanton Great Again. #MPGA


 +   4 people like this
Posted by American, a resident of Danville,
on Mar 6, 2017 at 8:30 am

Doug, I agree with your opinions 100%. It is sad but unfortunately typical for liberals to bully the local public school board to further their partisan politics at the expense of the education of the students.

As to bullying, does the school district keep stats of what happens when a student wears a Trump shirt or hat to school and faces the angry wrath of others students and liberal teachers? Liberals love "free speech" as long as you agree with their views, but God help you if you have conservative views.

Look at what happened at UC Berkeley when the Republican Student Union tried to hold an event, liberals and anarchist used actual violence to shut down freedom of speech and assembly, with the university doing nothing to address the issue. Imagine if this was a public university in the south and the black student union wanted to hold an event but it was violently shut down by protestors. Liberal politicians would have called in the national guard to protect the First Amendment. Funny, I did not hear a word from Governor Brown or the liberal mayor of Berkeley or Oakland or surrounding cities calling for the police to protect students right to freedom of speech and assembly.

There can be no argument that a double standard exists. Pleasanton School Board, you are very quick to tell students not to watch the inauguration of the President of the United States when a Republican won, but when Obama was President you actually watched the inauguration in the classroom during school time. A photograph of President Obama was present for 8 years in the school offices, but there is no photograph of President Trump in the school offices.

The public school system has been hijacked by the liberals at the expense of the First Amendment, and thus the only remedy is to allow school vouchers and school choice so that ALL students, including those with conservative views, can attend a school that puts education above partisan political views.


 +   9 people like this
Posted by Doc, a resident of Las Positas,
on Mar 6, 2017 at 10:30 am

Doc is a registered user.

@Doug & @American

I appreciate the points you made and hope to build on them here. It is sad that double standards exist in the school district at many levels from not allowing kids to watch Trump's Presidential Inauguration to the board passing the safe haven resolution.

The question that was asked about if the district keeps track about bullying that occurs to students who wear shirts, hats, or other attire supporting President Trump got me thinking...and I believe the school (and district) would have those statistics, and they are required under the California Public Records Act (CPRA) to share that information to any interested community member who submits a well-drafted request letter. Such a letter must take great care to protect student privacy, so that the district cannot deny the request by citing that FERPA laws would be violated.

Moreover, my recommendation is to submit one of these letters to each school administrator, to the interim Superintendent, and to each board member requesting information about the numbers of bullying cases at each school (that is based on or because of "political rhetoric") by grade level and by gender. This information, if shared, would be quite telling and revealing.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Mar 7, 2017 at 2:16 pm

SPLC: Web Link


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