Morning Report: Coronado’s Backlash to the Racism Backlash | Voice of San Diego

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Morning Report: Coronado’s Backlash to the Racism Backlash

Coronado Unified School District
Parents, students and community members protest outside of the Coronado Unified School District building during a recent board meeting to demand that officials enact policies that will address racial issues within the district. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

More than 200 people are calling on the Coronado school district to renounce its support for the Black Lives Matter movement and are demanding it halt any new anti-racist policies or curriculum

The online petition, which has garnered support from several members of a local church, opposes any changes that are “designed to reeducate students through a racial justice lens.”

“The Coronado school board works for the citizens of Coronado not the other way around,” wrote Matthew Heidt, deacon of Coronado’s Graham Memorial Presbyterian Church. “The knee jerk reaction to BLM propaganda is wrong, and parents expect that the school will prepare our kids for higher education not for political action.”

The opposition follows protests and a petition requesting that the district do things like “teach the history of minority groups from their perspectives” and “require English classes to read books written by African American and American minority authors.” 

Coronado Superintendent Karl Mueller announced his support for the Black Lives Matter movement in June. “I want Coronado Unified School District to be on the front lines of systemic change,” he said. “There is no place in Coronado Unified School District for hate.”

Elsewhere in the county, however, officials are reacting more receptively to racial justice and inclusion efforts …

Students Push for Ethnic Studies Courses

As the start of the school year approaches, students across the county are urging district leaders to include ethnic studies classes as a graduation requirement.

San Diego Unified is for the first time requiring high school freshmen to take an ethnic studies class. Student-led pushes in Chula Vista and Poway have prompted administrators to consider a version of the requirement. Charter schools, like e3 Civic High, are also moving quickly to adapt their curriculum to reflect underrepresented communities.

“A lot of the times our history courses are geared towards advertising American exceptionalism,” said Metztli Carbajal, a student at Southwest High in Chula Vista. “We are a great country, but every great country has flaws and one of our flaws is we don’t teach to enhance knowledge. And knowledge is power.”

State guidelines don’t require that students take ethnic studies courses to graduate, but a new bill currently under consideration in the Legislature could change that.

Off the State Watchlist

San Diego County was removed from the state’s COVID-19 watchlist Tuesday, meaning schools could potentially resume in-person instruction in 14 days. 

To do so, the county will need to make sure it doesn’t cross six thresholds set by the state. That includes testing capability, the case rate per 100,000 residents, the percentage of positive tests, hospitalizations, and the amount of intensive care units and ventilators available.

The region has only ever crossed the case rate threshold, reports the Union-Tribune. But that number has been below 100 per 100,000 since Saturday.

Today in 101 Ash St. Fallout

The Union-Tribune hosted dueling op-eds on the 101 Ash St. debacle this week. Councilwoman Vivian Moreno argued that the fiasco represents fraud, and said she doesn’t buy the official story that it all grew out of bureaucratic incompetence. Mayor Kevin Faulconer pledged that those responsible would be held accountable. And Michael Zucchet, head of the city union that represents white collar workers who were supposed to occupy the building since 2017 argued that for all its warts, 101 Ash St. “is the Taj Mahal” compared to the rest of the buildings in which city staffers work.

In Other News

  • San Diego Registrar Michael Vu will join us Wednesday on our livestream series Voice of San Diego at Home. Bring your questions for how all-mail voting will work and how long it may take to know who wins in San Diego County. You can find it at 5 p.m. on Facebook, YouTube, Periscope and our website.
  • Faulconer signed an executive order Tuesday to allow places of worship and gyms to operate in city parks. (NBC 7)
  • El Cajon has approved a pilot project to build tiny home communities to house the homeless. (San Diego Reader)
  • Amazon announced Tuesday it was expanding its footprint in six cities, including San Diego, where it could add as many as 200 jobs, though it has not said where in town new offices might open. (NBC 7)
  • Businesses are growing frustrated by the lack of indication of when they could re-open from pandemic-induced closures. (10News)

The Morning Report was written by Megan Wood and Andrew Keatts, and edited by Sara Libby.

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