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tv   Ethics Commission  SFGTV  February 14, 2021 2:00pm-5:01pm PST

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instead of using this space. we want to respect that. we are going to move on to consent calendar. i wanted to share some announcements where we are on the agenda. we've been here for quite a long time and often do not expect how long our conversations will go. i encourage you to pause, stretch, take a break when you can, move away from the computer. we will be listening hearing the lowell discussion after consent calendar and i'm moving up the reopening school item to go after lowell so that people can begin preparing for that. section e, consent calendar. i need a motion and second on the consent calendar. >> so moved. >> second. >> president lopez: is there public comment on consent items?
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this is for the consent calendar. if you wish to make a comment on another item, please lower your hand, we'll get to that. >> thank you, if you here to speak to the consent calendar, please raise your hand at this time. >> president lopez: our e-mails are first name, last name please stop using the q&a section to get to make comments. our e-mails are available on the district website. >> i see three hands, president lopez. i see four. >> president lopez: this is for the consent calendar item. let's do two minutes. >> hello mary anne i promoted
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you as panelist to speak so your video can appear. >> hi. i've been trying to comment and get on the comment for 45 minutes. i want everybody to remember why we're here. it's to support and educate our children. my mother always told me on my job application, we're all of the human race. i think we need to focus on that -- >> i'm sorry -- mary anne, i'm
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sorry to interrupt you, this public comment section is only for items that are consent calendar, meaning like small contracts. >> yes, i'm here. >> it item is only speak to items that are on consent calendar. thank you for your comment. we're going to need to move on unless you want to speak to the consent calendar. hello, betty.
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reverend brown? >> that was an error, i'm waiting for lowell. >> hello, earl? >> good evening commissioners. my name is earleen -- >> go ahead. >> can you hear me? i'm consent item number 19, individual service agreement and for one name in particular there's no everyday that the clearance has qualifications that have been met. i'm little bit concerned about that.
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that's all i have to say. thank you. >> that concludes public comment. >> president lopez: any items withdrawn or corrected by the superintendent? >> no, presidential lopez. >> president lopez: any items removed for first reading by the board? seeing none. any items severed by the board or superintendent for discussion and vote tonight? seeing none. roll call vote. [roll call vote]
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that's seven ayes. >> president lopez: thank you. section f, discussion and vote on consent calendar resolution severed for separate consideration. there are none tonight. section g, proposals for action. item one, resolution number 212-2a1 in response to ongoing discrimination at lowell high school. move and seconded on february 2, 2021. it is now before the board for action. can i call on the author to read
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the resolution into the record. please share the order that you would like to read it in. >> may i make the suggestion that student delegates read the resolution if that's okay with you? >> president lopez: student delegates? >> trying to save my energy, -- [indiscernible] >> however much you want to read it. i'm excited that your names are on it. i wanted to give you that opportunity. >> just let me know when to start. >> go for it, any time. >> whereas founded in 1856, in san francisco lowell high school is the olde public school west of the mississippi. black, latinx, asian and other non-white students from prohibited from enrolling in
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lowell high school and all other san francisco public schools. lowell was the only high school in sfusd to use academic criteria for admission. california education code section 35160.5 states high demand school must enroll students through a random unbiased process that prohibits evaluation of whether people should be enrolled based upon the people's academic or athletic performance. for this reason, if sfusd were to return to using academic performance for lowell admissions, it will be out of compliance with state law. whereas, lowell high school previous admissions process created a school that does not reflect the diversity of sfusd students. perpetrates exclusion. 2% black students, less than 12% latinx students and in a
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district that enrolls 8% black students, 32% latinx students and 0.8 -- -- >> whereas in 1978, the san francisco branch of the national association for the advancement of colored people, sf naacp filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of black families with the u.s. district court, for district of california charging sfusd, board member and superintendent. the california state board of education and its members -- with engaging and racially discriminatory practices and maintaining a segregated school system in san francisco. in violation of the constitution and laws of the united states
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and california. whereas this lawsuit resulted in a settlement between the sf naacp and the sfusd in which both hearts submitted to a consent decree which largely achieved the decree goals for black and latinx students and whereas, despite the settlement of the naacp lawsuit, the segregation and exclusion of plaque and latinx students at the lowell has been allowed to continue for decades. in 1986, there was 6% black students and 7% latinx students at lowell. in a district that enrolls 21% black students and 18% latinx students. the superintendent committed to making lowell reflective of all the city kids, a promise has been broken now for 35 years.
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>> whereas black, latinx and pacific islanders students in sfusd often express concern they do not feel physically, emotionally and culturally safe and valued at lowell. in 2016, black student heres staged a walkout from city hall after the administration fail to respond appropriately when a student posted a sign in the library entitled black history month equals gang. with a picture of president obama. we feel like our individual complaints are not taken seriously by the schools. >> whereas the sfusd responded to a list of student demands
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represented as a subsequent board of education meeting. five years later, many of the actions has not been implemented. 2020 through 2021, b.s.u. leaders continue to testify at board of education meetings that they continue to experience ongoing, constant racial microaggression. whereas over the years, board of education commissioners, superintendents, scholars and the community members have consistently decided lowell examed based system which perpetuated the culture of white supremacy and racial abuse
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towards black and latinx students. whereas in a public statement, in support of this decision to suspend the exam requirement used in admissions to a selective enrollment schools. he stated, this is the elephant in the room that the people claiming the standardized test is fair do not want to discuss. there were claims white and asian on average score higher on tests because they are smarter or work harder. meaning black and latinx kids are not as hard or as hard working. meaning white and asian kids are superior. all these racist ideas from people claiming they are not racist. he explains that standardized tests were created by stanford university psychology and
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eugenist, who believe results of these tests show enormously significant racial differences in general intelligence, differences which cannot be wiped out by any scheme of a culture. >> whereas sfusd is committed to affirming the live of our students and has been changing our culture to align with that commitment to undo the normalization of inferiority and bias. as evidence by the equity studies resolutions, undocumented resolution. the safe and supportive schools resolution and in support of creating k-12 black studies curriculum that honors black lives. whereas, lowell high school has often been referred to as sfusd's elite academic high school. san francisco unified district
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does not believe that any student or school is more or less elite than any other school. our sfusd high schools are academic high schools. whereas, despite the district commitment to equity for each and every student, not all students have access to the academic offering that lowell can provide base on size and funding sources. the fact that lowell as selective enrollment system which excludes student of color, prevents the district from fulfilling goals outlined in vision 2025. >> be it resolved that lowell high school will use regular admissions process that is used by other impressive high schools and sfusd in the 2021-2022 academic school year and beyond. be further resolve that the san francisco board of education will initiate an m.o.u. process
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with the education and civil rights initiative, c.r.i. of the university of kentucky college of education. lexington, kentucky in collaboration with the sf naacp and the national naacp to facilitate the creation of a community coalition to define and oversee an equity audit and resulting action plan to address the exclusion and toxic racist abuse that students color, specifically black students have experienced at lowell high school since the school creation. the sfusd will direct resources and work with communities philanthropic partners. >> phase 1.1, review status and
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fidelity of implementation of 2016 lowell black student union demand and published results. point to conducting equity audit of lowell high school based on previous student demand and current experience of lowell student and staff. plan to outline the actions needed to remediate the needs of the lowell community members. .4, publish results within the audit and recommendations process and present to the board of education meeting by the end of the 2020-2021 academic year. phase 2.1, review district wide policies to make recommendations for improvement including but not limited to the following. district bullying harassment policy to en-- process for ensuring it is implemented with fidelity across all schools. anti-racist curriculum and
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curriculum educating students on title ix rights as well as sexual harassment and lgbtq harass amount -- harassment. point two, establishing ongoing community base pier review process to ensure the work is listed overtime. >> be it resolved that the few will work with the office of office of racial equity in partnership with the sf naacp, the california naacp and
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national naacp to establish a community coalition of the sfusd black student union leaders, sfusd african-american parent advisory council and the sf alliance of black school educators and other alumni, students and community leaders to lead and form this work. this project will be funded with outside funding. be it further resolve that the community coalition will frame this work around questions that may include but not limited to the following. how do we learn about the experience of black students and families at lowell and how do we sense their humor, joy and excellent. where do we see white supremacy culture and showing up interaction, communication, curriculum and policies at lowell high school. what is the hidden and unspoken
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mission of lowell high school and how do we communicate a clear and explicit mission that focuses on anti-racist outcome. what is anti-racist teaching, learning and assessment practices? what adult learning and instructions will support this change. how can we leverage ethnic studies, equity studies and black studies in this work? what racist policies exist and how can we design anti-racist policies, structures and systems. what mindset shapes and equity consciousness development are necessary to facilitate this change for students, staff and the community. in what ways has lowell high
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school perpetrated racism. >> be it resolve that the community coalition will report to the board of education no later than september 1, 2021. >> president lopez: thank you student delegates for reading that in the record. i will now open it up to public comment and i do want to share the structure for today's public comment for this item. we're doing it similar what we've done in the past. which is again, half hour for speakers who are for this resolution and the second half hour for speakers who are against this resolution. if you are for it, please raise your hands now. we will be giving each speaker one minute each to share.
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>> thank you president lopez. hello, mary. >> good evening. student delegate heinz foster, board of education, commissioners and superintendent dr. matthew. i am apec leader. we wanted to come together as a coalition to share our stand in support of lowell resolution. in the summer of 2020, various educators came together and created the educator of the coalition to support the black lives matter movement to combat anti-blackness throughout sfusd and educators and families.
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joint statement led by representatives from our coalition during the board meeting on july 14, 2020, stated that we as educators have a responsibility to our students and family to dismantle anti-blackness by bringing awareness and implementing instruction that supports and cultivates the power within our students. to be vehicles for societal change. now, i'm going to pass this on to linda jordan, president of the sf alliance of black school educators. >> thank you mary. i hope you guys can hear me. since then, we have stayed committed to our purpose and for the joint statement made during the summer of 2020. five members of our coalition, the san francisco alliance black school educators, latin american teachers association. the san francisco association of bilingual educators.
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the african-american parent advisory council are publicly stating our support of the lowell resolution and stand with the black student union at lowell. we continue to support and uplift the voices of our students. they are leaders boldly driving change in our district and society. for all students. we see the power within our students, through student delegate hines-foster and members of the b.s.u. for calling out lowell administrators for not standing up to end anti-black racist practices. we support all 23 demands that has been laid out by the lowell b.s.u. to be net by the 2021-2022 school year including resolution 212-2a up with.
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which requires if the lowell policy to be removed. i will pass it on secretary of the latin american teacher association. >> thank you so much for this. the educators of infinity coalition is commit to strengthening our collaboration with foal black educators, families and other community organizations to promote equity in our educational system for all students. together, the educators of infinity groups will continue to join forces to ensure that high quality education is afforded to all students, all of the 53,855 students that comprise of sfusd. especially students who have ethnic group we represent. attached please find statements and support of the black student
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union at lowell. in solidarity. i whole team. thank you. >> hello everyone. i'm virginia marshall, i want to thank each of the authors of this resolution. first to hines-foster. high school is supposed to be memorable, enjoyable. full of learning opportunities and friends that will last you a
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lifetime. for more than 30 years, african-americans, latinx and other students of color, have been victims of racism and made to feel unwelcome. yesterday, oakland had a swearing ceremony for the african-american male police chief. he chose this high school for the ceremony. he said that the school always made me feel at home. i'm proud to join the naacp, the san francisco educators infinity group. we request you to vote yes to make lowell a regular comprehensive high school. if not now when? if not you, who? thank you. >> cheryl davis? >> hi, thank you for this time. i will really brief. i made couple of notes to myself. i want to make sure i totally
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support the young people. i support this resolution. i appreciate the work but i have concerns about unintended consequences. i want us to really be mindful about that. i also want to make sure that we are focused on bias and racism and that we are not become the opress sore. we do this we do not create additional bias. also concerned about schools beyond lowell. if we are honest, bias happens as early as pre-k. this is one piece of it. part of young people are not ready, the school district does not done its part. i don't want the board to necessarily be off the hook. we focused on this one thing and not the larger issue and the larger problem. i appreciate the work folks are doing here. i'm concerned about the narrative around making the changes around academic pieces.
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i wanted to be very clear, that the district has failed in larger way. this is one piece of it. giving me the language to understand the bias and racism but there's racism everywhere. we ned to address it. thank you. >> reverend brown? >> thank you very much. madam chair. do all the members of the board, first of all, i want to applaud the students for their sterling substantive, significant and right on time resolution. they have eloquently, out of their own minds, out of their own observations, out of their own feelings, said what ought to
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be done. when i think of the job they are done, i'm reminded of those stories of mr. grasshopper and mr. centipede. mr. centipede had a problem. the problem was that because all of those legs, he couldn't get around. dr. grasshopper saw him in the midst of his trying situation. well, if he would just become a butterfly, you won't have any words no cares. you can flop your wings from limb to limb. what happened? mr. centipede said to dr. grasshopper, how do you become a butterfly?
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we're right on target what ought to be done. after serving 35 years in this town. we had all kind of issues the consent decree and now the narrowing of the achievement gap. i submit to you, one thing that we need to tweet and improve on -- you're out of time. >> let me finish this one point.
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my point is this, we need to bring together the asian community, black educators, naacp and human rights commission and be the managers of the hows.
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we are already behind and we got to run faster and catch up. >> thank you.
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hello jackie? >> hi, i name is jesse. i'm a senior at lowell. i'm the student body president. i want to echo something joanna said earlier. we stand resolute in our service to support students. we look forward to amplify voices of all students to continue this fight for equity. i support this resolution. these issues of race, mental health, sexual harassment all stem from a school that breeds elitism and hate and that makes any sort of progress unobtainable.
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>> hi, my name is brandy. our executive order and latinx young democratic club has issued a joint statement in support of the resolution. we believe the time is long overdue for the board of ed mandate sfusd and lowell high school comply with california education code which states that high demand schools must enroll students through random and unbiased process. if sfusd were to return to using academic performance for admission, it will be out of compliance with state law. we see you, we respect you and we stand in full solidarity with
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you. to the loud voices that the work of social justice, we reiterate this and attribute to a unique gladstone. justice delayed is justice denied. thank you. >> yalonda? >> as lowell alumni, i have been experiencing, the racism perpetuated by lowell high school. we stand in complete solidarity with the b.s.u., all 23 resolutions. we believe that the admission standards must be changed and the testing process developed
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centuries ago, deleted from the process. all schools should raise their standards to that of lowell. the 47 students that have been harmed need to be made whole. sfusd should give them reparations. you should pay for their college education. thank you very much. >> hello, peter? >> my name is peter gabriel, my two daughters went to lowell and
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they received an excellent education. no student should feel uncomfortable because of their ethnic background, i support this resolution. however, could the board done down the language in this resolution. let's lower the temperature. finally, could you open up the members of the proposed community coalition to the whole community. if this is a systemic problem, you need input from all ethnic groups. thank you.
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>> i wanted to come on as a parent and apec parent leader to say that i'm in full support of it lowell and b.s.u. and resolution as it read with no changes being made. it is final for us as adults to make sure that harm is repaired and no further students get harmed. we were already here in 2016. this is 2021. do we have come back with the same issues? it's time for radical change and time is now. lowell is a public school and needs to be treated as such.
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every other school district should be brought up to the same standard as lowell where there's no division where they feel students of black and brown ethnicity aren't able to delegate. thank you. >> hello, tim? >> hello, i'm a community member. i'm speaking in support of the resolution. i want san francisco to become a leader of racial equity and equality. the racism and exclusion experienced by black students at lowell shows problems of the past. increasing representation of black and latino students. the resolution will provide an opportunity to address the issues of race and creates it
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better for the lowell community. i urge the board to pass the resolution. thank you. >> this is joe trust. i'm calling primarily as alumni of lowell high school class of 2000. i'm a black student that survived that experience. i'm digging through communicated by worth and worth of my community. i'm calling as an educator who works to do cultural responsive teaching and humanizing pedagogy and there's a huge contrast what we're talking about doing and having an elitist system that seeks to disproportionate outcomes to students that has to do who goes to school and communities where everyone falls in the racial hierarchy.
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i was part of the writing the letter in support of this resolution including administrators and educators, authors and parents. the time of elitist classless racist policies is over. we're better than this. we need to rise to this occasion. thank you. >> hello, arnold? >> thank you. my name is arnold. i am the vice president of the
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san francisco branch naacp. i want to support the students and also commend them for their sober and statements and approach to a very difficult problem. i do want people to understand that what we have at lowell presently is that certain people are running a private school at public expense. it is time that we brought all schools up to what -- so we can claim they teach academics. but the naacp supports all 23 articles in the resolution, however, we do think that more work needs to be done in terms of vetting and adopting a sensible admissions policy. thank you very much.
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>> i'm benton coe. i support the resolution. then 70s -- 1970 naacp sued sfusd over lowell. lowell is a magnet school. magnet schools are significant part of the nation's effort to achieve voluntary desegregation in our nation school. lowell has failed therapy purpose alongside the district to fix racism and equity with severe flaws. merit-based admissions. now the naacp among many others are back with the same question, waiting a half century later. the board must move forward with the final discussion of lottery due to segregate using the resolution. such as suggested by the u.s. board of education.
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>> hello leah? >> hi there, thank you. i'm calling to support all of the demands can released by the b.s.u. to thank the student commissioners for their leadership and for writing this resolution. i want coencourage -- to encourage the board to follow student leadership particular black students and students of color. they know what the issues are. they clearly know how to fix the
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problem. i think we need to listen to their voices and focus on their leadership. thank you. >> hello robin? >> i'm robin, i'm a member of the parent p.a.c. i'm not speaking on behalf of the p.a.c. but myself. i have a child student at lowell and ninth grader in eighth grade. we're applying for public school now. i'm in full support of this initiative as is my child who's a student at lowell and her friends. children at lowell are hurting. many adults in the community are gas lighting children and engaging in hurtful behavior. i'm very proud of these kids. thank you. >> hello, latoya?
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>> thank you, justin. i'm a parent leader with apec. i'm also a parent of sfusd students. as a leader, i stand in solidarity with lowell b.s.u. as well as this resolution to finally desegregate the process. as a personal individual completely separate from the district apec, i urge you all to take this resolution very seriously and get rid of the separate but equal standard. thank you. >> hello chris? >> i will keep this short, sweet and simple. i'm an educator with sfusd, i support this resolution and students at lowell who need this
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to happen for their mental, physical and emotional well-being. >> thank you. hello josephine? >> hi everyone. we stand in solidarity with the b.s.u. to eradicate racism at lowell and more inclusive school. we support black and brown students and asian students to make them feel at home. our goals are aligned for the betterment for lowell for diversifying student body and quadruple our black and brown students. lowell is unique ability to support students, include asking those who need more instruction.
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>> hello viviana. >> thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak. i'm a senior at lowell, i'm also a student body council secretary. i like to express my full support for the resolution. i'm mexican-philipino identifying student. i quickly retired and people
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telling me my freshman year i got into lowell for diversity points. i have busted my butt and thrived for the past three years at lowell. >> hello, sheila?
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hello janet? >> i'm just listening. technical issues. >> hello, shakira? >> thank you so much for the opportunity. i am the director with office of racial equity within the san francisco resume rights commission led by our executive director. i stand in solidarity with support of our young people, particularly our black students who rang the bell clear from this process of our youth. i thank them for holding us accountable.
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all adults in this process. i want to support the facts for this community coalition and working together with the b.s.u., sfusd staff, naacp and all of our community and parent leaders on this process to push for what the equity audit and making sure we have real meaningful solution to get this work done over the next year. i want to -- it's not going tick a silver bullet to help us dismantle anti-black racism.
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>> i like to start with a quote of the great dr. martin luther king jr. now is the time to change racial injustice. now is time to make justice ring out for all of god's children. part of those rights that have been denied to our children have been the rights of education. we have seen this over 50 years. it is incumbent upon the school district and board of education to take steps to root out all of the administrators who have not
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been supportive of students and have not stepped up to make necessary changes. i agree with the resolution before you guys today an i'm going to make it my personal point to ensure you guys pass it. >> president lopez, this concludes the 30 minutes. >> president lopez: we're now going to have public comment on the cons side. please raise your hand. >> if you opposed to the resolution, please raise your hand now.
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hello, good citizen? >> i want to say, i don't necessarily support this specific resolution. i think it's a bigger problem. if we're not seeing a diverse population at lowell, really is the board and the district a whole. it's not their fault these students art being prepared to get in lowell. it's much more broad and the only reason we're seeing this at lowell is because the district has failed to improve schools that primarily serve, black, brown, all minority groups.
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thank you. >> casey? >> thank you for letting me speak. i'm lowell alumni. i want to touch on a comment made last week. student was asking for help not for someone to do it for him or her. you're saying that you don't need to help these students you need to get them in. many supporterses say it will end remain but it won't.
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>> hello mckale. >> i want to echo dr. brown's comments. in order to have lasting change, you need to bring all parties to the table determining an admission policy. i don't think that's happening by rushing through a resolution two weeks without proper input from all parties and
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stakeholders. by ramming the nuclear option through in two weeks to make lowell a lottery, you maybe putting on a short-term bandaid. i urge you to invest in root cause of the problem at the elementary and middle school levels and not just take the easy way out by treating the symptom. i ask the board to pause the resolution until more community input is received. i urge you to retract your attention to addressing root causes of inequality today. >> hello nance? >> thank you for the board for your dedication to diversity.
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we need to combat racism. removing merit-based admission at lowell is not the way to go. we can and should do all these things wit academic standards. lowell has been a beautiful example what public education can provide. let's continue to build and you've lowell, not invoice it. let's uplift our underrepresented students in effective ways.
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>> hello, lisa? >> hi. before lowell i was bullied for being a nerd. my personal nightmare ended forever. i did not hear i have racism at lowell until now. i have no generational advantage. my poor, middle school educated parent did not even understand english. this is a major disadvantage that every child with american-born parents does not experience. the main difference me and the children, outreach should be
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expanded to -- it is not based on one technician tex testimony fom you should never kill a goose that lays golden eggs. >> hello, victor? >> i do not dispute the racial climate that exist. the district, yearly, cultural climate survey. the sense of belonging is very low and almost the lowest in the city among high schools. however, i think that d for
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range of schools for people different motivations, interests, just like the nerd who was targeted, found a home at lowell. i think that with lowell, being just accommodating 10%, i think screen very well. i support reverend brown's call to have a collaborative system. >> i'm appalled i've been told not to speak about this matter. i live in reality, not in the narrative. the relate is this, the board of ed has not shared a plan to support all k through 8 student
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to enter high school. the resolution does not change this reality. the board of ed should tell the truth that three of the four demands from 2016 have not an cannot be implemented because they're not compatible with board of ed policy, not because the community doesn't care. by the way, the policy in question are 4030, 6145.5 and the district priority. what is getting in the way of students feeling heard and prepared is the board of ed itself. please stop villainizing the lowell community to fit your narrative. thank you.
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>> i'm committed to dismantlely racism at lowell. we can do this without making lowell a total lottery. as mentioned, the board admitted itself less than two months ago that lottery admissions worsened inequality and has done so to make the board stop lottery admissions at the elementary school level.
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>> hi, we support are reverend brown said creating a dream team. we urge the board to step up. a as minority group of history being discriminated against via exclusion and segregation, we recognize plight of families
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here in san francisco. we urge the board to allow for more time to examine admission policies at lowell high school. thank you. >> hello betty. >> this computer is thinking on its own. i'm not raising my hand p sorry. >> hello, eugene? >> thank you. i'm class of '97. i was one of four kids to go to lowell. both of my sisters did very well
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there. it was an experience where every part of the city was a piece of that school. what you want to fix a problem, you have to fix it at the elementary school level. if you're not interested in doing that, you're not interested in solving the problem. all you're interested taking one example and what public education can be and demonizing it. the idea that school work is anything other than what it is, it's complete undraw. its location will do nothing but have the same public agreement. thank you. >> hello hayden?
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>> i'm a student at lowell high school. i support the majority of the resolution including a review of the school and additional anti-racism training for staff possibly a change in administration and other ideas like that. i don't think that changing to a lottery system, which the board of education is actually going to be phasing out for elementary schools, is the necessarily correct solution. i think we should wait a year, see how it goes next year with the one-year due to covid. see how that works out. if that works out well, maybe this is the solution. let's wait and see. there can be little bit more community process, reach out to what more students think. really have a full picture before we just make a decision and jump on this.
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i think more needs to be done i don't think admissions is how duo it. >> thank you. >> hello joyce. >> i'm lowell alumni class of 2003. we need zero tolerance for racism. i hope we implement them. lottery admissions for lowell high school is completely unacceptable. it's a destruction of educational opportunities. lowell is not about labeling students as elite or not incident about provide -- it's about providing appropriate education for additional learning needs.
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by destroying lowell, appropriate education for accelerated students is destroyed. the board has not created alternative accelerated educational standards. thank you. >> hello, josephine? >> thank you. i want to apologize. not that i can be a representative. i want to apologize to all the black and brown community for any speech from my community that seem racist or insensitive. we are in this together. we are to make things better for everyone. lowell has its shortcoming. we need to change it. at the same time, we need to
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also consider what are the options so we can do a better job. we would like to still do this process properly. i would highly encourage that we need to send this over to the committees for a community input as well as a vetting process. thank you. >> hello kelly?
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hello wolfgang? >> that's my dad wolfgang. i graduated from lowell 1989, former deputy public defenderrer. i support large majority of the resolution. i like to ask that you wait a year, see how the lottery goes and then maybe we could all come together in the community and really support this effort after doing a year's worth of hard work. we have a teacher who had to sign on his wall, the process is the product. this process is rushed. the product that we wanted to have the best product for all of the sfusd, not just lowell high school. not the students that attend in the future. we have the opportunity to create better education for all of our students if we work
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together collectively. >> hi, thank you for continuing to serve all these great years with us. i'm barrett, president of the chinese-american democratic club. i'm here to speak on behalf of our club and say we support reverend brown's suggestion, that we make sure we have
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members of all our communities together. working at the human rights commission, when we work in coalition, we can get thing done right. we ask the board to make sure we find the proper time to get this done. let's not rush this through. thank you very much. we'll work with you hand in hand, arm in arm.
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>> we should be trying to get kids to study harder and get higher reading and math scores.
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>> hello, david? >> thank you for the opportunity. i come from a school who's motto -- [indiscernible]. it means english that i'm a voice crying out in the wilderness here. i know you're going to vote the way you going to. i wish i knew what i know now. i wish would have known that living over by lowell, it led to great outcomes. the magic dirt seems to be the thing. the solution is a hammer looking for a nail to hit. if you want to stick to the problems here, high school is not the place to do. i'm looking at the board of
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education here, matt alexander was a principal and teacher. if you're not preparing your kids for school like lowell you fail. this board of education is failing the students of the school. it's not lowell. it's not the parents. you need to look in the mirror and say why are we not preparing kids for lowell. that's your solution. not destroying the last academic school in the city. thank you. >> jorge? >> hey, thank you for letting me speak. i'm a mexican-american. i was raised in san francisco. my brothers and sisters went to sfusd. even then, lowell has -- [indiscernible] i don't think i think the
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question we need to be asking, do we want to dismantle or do we want to place underrented minorities in the school with a chance to thrive and becoming successful. >> hello, natasha? >> thank you for the opportunity to speak here. i go to lowell. it's the best thing that ever happened to me. the opportunity to go lowell --
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imagine your kid has a stand out gift that can send them to public julie art. i was mocked for being different. i want black and brown students to be welcome and thrive there. make the school more welcoming and inclusive. >> hello, maya?
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hello darryn? >> this is darryn. i'm the parent of a latinx student at lowell. lowell is a good school and not a perfect school. you're about so destroy something that you can't put back together again. this deserves longer and i do not want to take anything away from the issues.
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they need to be addressed. this isn't the way forward. thanks. >> plqw. >> i couldn't help notice they can't have their cameras on. i thought because they lied in october because there's this great quote from commissioner collins that says more lottery won't diversify lowell much. we are considering this action because of covid and lack of grades. it's much easier for all concern to just lowell in the lottery temporarily and then work it out later said ally collins. we all know this is going to pass. this comment is for all the
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parents who ewon't get to comment tonight. this board isn't even listening to you. the commissioners can't even bother to watch and take action at >> i like to remind the public to refrain from using people's names when they are making comments. >> this is yonathan -- jonathan randolph. i attended lowell in 2003. my family did not have a lot of resources. my parents and grandparents taught me to study hard. lowell was very good for me because it provided me a stable environment where everybody
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studies hard. to me the purpose of lowell is not to feel superior to other people. it's to let students challenge themselves by taking classes and surrounding themselves with peers. i'm thankful for the opportunities that lowell gave me. i urge you not to eliminate the selection process without first understanding the kind of academic environment that is there to create. in addition, i question the premise of the resolution that the lottery will solve the racial tension. the resolution says admission test promote white supremacy. last year people who identified white 18% of students -- plaza take the time to evaluate what the goal is and lottery schools will achieve the objective. thank you. >> hello david. >> just a quick question, according to the resolution, lowell is out of compliance with state law, which mandated that
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the must enroll students through a random unbiased process. if this resolution passes, will this be applied to soto and if not, why not? >> hello derek? hello michael? hello betty? karen, are you there?
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president lopez, that was the 30 minutes. >> president lopez: maybe those were hands that were already called on. i wanted to make a comment about any public speakers. we know we're in a virtual world in our boardroom, we would have you sign up and use your name. please in the future, identify yourself when you're making a comment or speak into the record. thank you. >> one of the comments regarding cameras off. as we have started asl presentation, -- interpretation, one of of the requester for the deaf audience is many cameras be off as possible. that's why some of the cameras are off. it has nothing to do with who's
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speaking or when. it's for our asl interpreters. >> president lopez: thank you for clarifying superintendent. now i'm going to open it up for comments and questions from our student delegates, commissioners, superintendent and i know that there's few folks on the lane to -- line to help us with this discussion. i want to welcome dr. vincent. >> i wanted to introduce. we have dr. vincent here. he is with the education initiative, which is mentioned in the resolution. he has expertise leading equity audits in this type of frame and i wanted to bring him on, if you want to explain little bit about what that is. i think it's a great opportunity for us and i think i wanted to educate the board and the
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public. he's also available to answer any questions. for the commissioners around that process. >> to president lopez, vice president collins, the commissioners, particularly the student delegates, which is so impressed, superintendent matthews, it is an honor to be here this evening to observe. just little bit of background, i grew up in new york city. my mother was on the school board in new york city. this brought back fond memories. this has been a one experience to join you all. i want to share just educationally, i really do
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appreciate the passion on both sides. i attended a specialized high school in new york, bronx high school of science. i completely understand the issues that you all raising and has been intimately involved even today about how do we increase access to specialized high school. i do appreciate that. the reason why i'm here as vice president collins mentioned is to share some expertise. let me explain little bit about this initiative, the education of civil rights initiative. it is a brainchild of our dean and of course the leadership of the naacp. we came together to do two
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things. provide reliable, accurate, research to school districts to other educational institutions so they can make well-informed data driven decisions. and to provide assistance in this case, in the form of equity, audits and other work so that you all can address the issues that are facing your community. only other thing i want to do, i do think, i wanted to share this. i think it becomes even more important given the discussion that i have. i'm going to quickly quote from the 1954 decision, brown vs. board of education. many of you know that case dismantled jim crow on education. i thought it was appropriate to
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read this passage. unanimous court said this. today, education is perhaps the most important function of state and local government. compulsory state attendance laws and great expenditures for education both demonstrate our recognition of the importance of education to our democratic society. it is required in it performance of our most basic, public responsibilities even serve in the armed forces. it is the very foundation of good citizenship. today, it is a principle instrument in awakening a childly to cultural values and preparing him or her for professional training and helping him to adjust normally to his environment. in these day, it is doubtful that any child, he is denied the
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opportunity of an education. such an opportunity, where the state has undertaken to provide it, is a right which must be available to all on equal terms. i share that context to really help. when people say what can we to solve this issue. my short response is live up to the promise of brown. the question that i becomes have we done that? it's not just san francisco it's everywhere else. i'm excited about the opportunity to help if voted upon on the equity audit. i do think that will help uncover some of the issues but more importantly some of the solutions and the path forward. i'm happy to answer any questions that you all may have.
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>> president lopez: thank you so much for that contact and being here tonight. i want to encourage our open it up for student delegates, if you have questions or comments? >> yes. i have this written out and i'm going to start with a few questions to the public and the community. what are you protecting right now? who are are you protecting right now? is it the school, what about it? a school is nothing without the people. it is proven in a data presented in this resolution that this school is lacking in diversity. are you protecting the school climate? you are protecting an environment that challenges students to the point of their mental health being intensely impacted. are you protecting a climate where only the highly driven
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goes. what does this climate really look like? you cannot determine how highly driven a student is based on their skin color, test score and grades. you cannot determine or make a decision if someone is highly driven unless you have insight into their everyday life. are you protecting lowell's prestige? a school is not a design or brand. why is opening up gates highly funded well resourced school such a bad thing? is it because you know your privilege will make it easier? this change is not going to destroy lowell high school. diversity is not a bad thing. opening up resources should never be interpreted as a negative thing. this discussion has been put on hold for too long. the reason is fear of change.
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humans need to do a better job having difficult discussion and learn to embrace change. especially when the change is something that others have asked for years, decades, half a century. these deliberations and debates have happened on a state level. the conclusion was determined by the california education code section 35160.5. making a task force to address admission policy for lowell sound like a plan to make a plan. we don't want the district to get an f on addressing racism. get an f on complying with state law? we have an f on having a segregated high school. it's time to retake that test. i acknowledge that the work does not stop here. i promise for as long as i'm here the work will continue. i personally acknowledge the fact that there are changes
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needed at an early education level. the fight is not finished. my fight will not be initialed at the end of this statement. >> president lopez: thank you student delegates? are there other student delegates? >> i can go next. i wrote something out too to gather my thoughts. kind of gotten angry in the past few weeks spewing out lot of stuff. i decided to consolidate myself into the notes of my mac book. i do agree we need to invest in other schools. that's why b.s.u. on, one of the
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demands we develop saturday schools that's in community based organization to close the opportunity gap. the question really is academics at what cost. minority students don't apply here because they know the system will work against them. in my efforts as a senior, i got the to offer to work with black and latinx students to them with their lowell application. i heard lot of the parents saying, like they are racist, another black student had a 4.0 showed me his report card from 6-8, i told him contact me if you want to shadow me, he texted me couple of months after he got his decision. he didn't get in. there's some stuff that's very fishy about this. how does a student have 6-pointt
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get in lowell. when of the ban three system, there's a committee that goes over the band three advocate. band three, that was underrepresented, still not work in lot of the kids favor. two black kids from my mill school went to lowell. there's a lot of flaws here. lot of people know that this school does not help kids.
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another point is the community refused to work through this. anti-racist lessons, teachers refused it. i feel like there has been a lot of options for us to work on this as a community. there's been the c.e.c., other equity coalition has been stopped by the administration.
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lowell can be a shining example of black and asian solidarity. we have to move past bias towards each other or the belief that one is better than the other. we need to change. we need change in the school district and especially at home. that starts with addressing anti-blackness, new leadership at lowell and radical change. to the commissioners that have been crying out and calling for community input, you've been saying this since our first -- [indiscernible]. finally, i like to say i like to advocate for protection of the lowell b.s.u. students. i'm a senior, i will be graduating.
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i can't be the hawk for another four years like i really hoped i could. i wish i could. i really wish i could. but i can't. it is not a safe environment for me nor black students. i want to advocate for protection of b.s.u. lot of us have given us the title of lowell eeight. like the little rock nine. i had a student she has been held back in her class and a teacher told her to stop talking about this issue and that these going too hard on the administration, they're going through a lot. you have these teachers seeking out these kids trying to silence them.
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the retaliation is about so start. you need to protect these kids, whether it's an s.r.o. officer especially for black students. the school will retaliate because these kids are standing up for what's rake. lowell has became a high school overused political pawn with failed leadership. >> president lopez: thank you student delegate hines-foster. are there comments from the commissioners? >> commissioner boggess: i think for me as someone someone who
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went to public school and didn't attend lowell. i experienced anti-black civil service commission and -- really recognizing the racism in city of san francisco. i guess, i say that to start and to say, i do hope that the authors will be open owaiting to hold this vote to allow us to provide more input into the -- i want to raise up the work of local organizations. children are making a change, youth making a change, group. it demands they put forth to address issues of intechty for
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black students across the entire district. i would hate for this opportunity to pass to only focus on leadership. >> president lopez: commissioner boggess i do want to recognize your request. we can have the conversation and make sure we get back to you. is that something you're open to? >> it i respond to that question specifically? >> president lopez: i think it's important we hear from commissioners.
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we'll be able to respond and hear from other commissioners to weigh in. commissioner -- boggess. >> commissioner boggess: i don't think i heard the full 23 demand. i was wondering for someone who can read those. if i can have those shared with me to make sure we publicly acknowledged it. i seen a smaller number of demand. one thing i'm interested in,
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really about the implementation of this and essentially kind of what is a plan for this to kind of be successfully implemented. i see in my experience on the community side advocating that the district historically histoi will be interested to see highway we can ensure that the resolution includes the implementation plan and everything included in it. additionally for me, i really wanted to talk about not just about the admissions at lowell, i want to talk about access to the courses that are offered at lowell. how we can expand and offer those to all the students in the district. that's my biggest priority. how do we make sure every student who wants access to a class that's offered at a school like sota or lowell has access
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to that. these are my comments. >> president lopez: i know we have dr. inventory sent here -- dr. vincent to help with implementation. >> the resolution is in response to lowell. i agree with commissioner boggess. my kids experienced anti-black racism. these stories are not new. as dr. vincent said, this is
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national. this isn't just sfusd. there's an importants -- we can talk about racism in the district as a general thing, we've noticed there's issues that happens at lowell. if you talk to lowell students and alumni they represent experiences that are above and beyond. when students do complain things are happening, it's also different. the fact that we had so many initiatives specific to lowell. we had school walkout and press conferences. that is unique. my feeling is that -- my goal --we respond to them. i agree, our district doesn't
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have a good track record on following through. they can conduct the audit and they can conduct the report on what response needs to happen specifically to lowell. out that process, i hope there's recommendations for our entire school district. i want to recognize lowell is lowell because it exist within our district and there's things we're doing to keep that going. at the same time, i welcome, i agree we do need to address anti-blackness in our district. my hope is that some of the recommendations for lowell, we
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should be looking at how can we apply this across the district. that includes looking at how schools are resources. i do think this is an ongoing issue, which is specific to lowell. i love to hear specific from student delegate hines-foster and apec parent involved in the -- you will have lot of welcome votes saying yes and will look at resolutions how we distribute resources in our high schools and how we address anti-black racism in our city. this is censuring their voices. if representative -- you have
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two apec leaders who made themselves available to say -- >> i think it's really because, lowell is on another level. i have friends who are at one example, lincoln. i have friends who are at mission, other high schools. they tell me all the time, this is worse than what we see at our school. -- mission values their black students. no one trying to say racism isn't at sfusd schools. that's really why b.s.u. had an event called black students matter. not saying this is an issue that
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happens at lowell. this is an issue that impacts a lot of students in our attract. it's very -- the boiling point is over at our school. let's address it now. >> president lopez: are there apec patients -- parents -- >> also, i can elaborate. it's really the fact that we come on coming back. i asked how was administration's response during 2016. i explained what's happening now, 2021.
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that was the same. they only wanted to collaborate or respond to the b.s.u. when the media came. there's a repeated pattern of how they address it too. which needs to be addressed. >> president lopez: thank you for responding. i'm seeing hands from apec leaders. >> my biggest issue that we have, every time an issue comes to the head, we bring it, we advocate, we advocate hard. we support our babies 100%.
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it's always says that it's rushed. this happened in 2016 intenant -- in four years, you're telling me that's rushed? in four years, you're telling me they didn't have the chance to make the proper changes? they did, they didn't want to. it's just like -- you want to come out and say you want to make a change. then you want to collaborate. you want to do all that you can to make the change. don't rush it. we have to go slow, we have to go slow. how long is slow? how many babies have to be challenge. this is a public school and it needs to be standard across the board.
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[please stand by]
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>> commissioner collins, can you remind us of the name of the apec leaders, that way, judson knows who to call on? >> well, i know rionda, who just spoke. there's maurisha robinson,
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who's an apec leader, and then, virginia marshall, she has also been pivotal in supporting us in the resolution both as a representative of naacp, but also former president of the sf alliance of black school educators, and i believe linda eliason, the current president of the sf alliance of black school educators, and they could provide some reasoning why this is focused specifically on low el as well as how those could be promoted in other resolutions or, you know, through policies district wide. >> thank you. they've all been promoted. >> suzette bracket also has her
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hand up. >> everyone has been promoted. >> and again, this is really to help discussion for student delegates, commissioners, superintendent, if there are questions or thoughts you'd like to hear from our panelists who are here tonight. >> hi. this is maurisha robinson. mom with some babies in the district i'm also a family liaison at george washington carver, and i've been doing work with the parent advisory
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council for the last six, seven -- seven years, so i've seen the ups and downs that black families have faced in this district. i've also been harmed by some of those ups and downs, as well. while we know that some schools in sfusd has some growing to do when it comes to being antiblack and supporting our black babies, we are here to standup for children who have continuously been marginalized and abused at lowell high school. we can't continue to put things off. in the beginning, when i came to apac, we came and sat at the board and said things, and nothing was acted on. our babies have been harmed for far too long, and it's time to
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make a stance. apac, as said in the beginning, earlier in the board meeting, we make our decisions as a consensus. our parents have said their stories over and over and over, and no action has happened or changed. even dating all the way back to the 1970s. the time for us to act now. we ask that none of the words be changed, and our -- in this resolution. do not change the language because it would only diminish our pain and fear -- sorry. i'm going to get emotional. the apac families will not uplift a system that is meant to dim black babies' brilliance. do not ask for a seat at our table, the apac table, where we
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came and cried our hearts out when you have contributed to the problem or are part of the problem or cannot tell your peers that they are part of the problem. do not diminish every black family in sfusd by saying that we are not academically challenged or we prepare all of our families for learning. do not think this fight will stop here, and it will not stop until every children is free from racism. stop saying this is a rushed process. black families in sfusd have been fighting against injustices against their babies since segregation. check my receipt. black families have been saying
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this. it's all documented. nelson mandela says in his inaugural speech, first, we must let our own light shine. when we do, we give other people permission to do the same. i stand by those voiceless and who have not been heard to shine their light and go forward with this resolution. thank you. >> i don't know what the process and the protocol is. i don't know if folks are just -- >> miss davis, let me make this comment, please, as naacp, make it clear that the naacp supports this resolution. my comments was about how we get traction and move with deliberate speed, to use the
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word mr. benson of the supreme court decision. let me remind you, friend, real quickly, historically. do you all know that willie louis brown, jr. was admitted to san francisco state as a provisional student? they didn't want him there. do you know they also didn't want w.e.b. dubois at harvard, the first ph.d.? what are we afraid of? black people have brains. give us the opportunity, give us the chance. we will produce. my comments as president of this branch has been in this town for now 45 years, was that we don't follow through. we have a whole lot of
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i'm-going-to-do-it intentions, with resolutions, but some people have fears, whether they should or shouldn't have, but then, you have the bringing together of a community and a real village. but let's pass this resolution with the understanding that we'll bring in representatives from the asian community, bring in representatives from the black community. we don't need a long time. 70 days, and we will deal with this knotted problem of admissions, and if black folks get their foot in the door, and
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we give them the support and the help they deserve, and these teachers who need to be taught how to love everybody and have expectations for every student, we'll do all right. for every douglas haines, too, went to lincoln high school, but after his father, his predecessor died, what did his teacher who was grading his paper, told freddy? you're never going to be anybody if you produce this kind of a paper. he left that school, and who did he see? frederick council, a council member. he said freddy, what's wrong? he said, i don't like school,
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and he said freddy, you better get back there. don't let that teacher divide you. frederick douglas haines, iii, he couldn't believe that incredible sermon that he heard. we know how to support people from our community. we have back on tracks, we have freedom school. all these young people need is support. there's nothing wrong with their brains. we will not dumb down their school, but we've got to get the traction, and i hope the board does the right thing, support it with the proviso, that you're going to give it to people with traction, and not just leave it on the paper.
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that's the naacps position. >> thank you, reverend brown. sorry for the confusion. we have people who have been made available. if you have any questions, commissioners, feel free to ask them. that's why they're here, to lend their expertise. >> i'd like to ask director davis about her perspective in just the role of h.r.c. and office of racial equity, potential partnership. >> thank you. this is a very difficult conversation to have, and i have to tell you, quite honestly, i'm a little bit -- i'm a little bit conflicted and torn because i don't want to necessarily align myself with some of the comments that have come from the folks who were oppositional. i think that folks are allowed to be opposing, but i think some of the things that they
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say are actually why i am concerned about this, right? the narrative about or the perception about things being dumbed down, but i also want to go back to some of what i said in the open comment earlier about how do we get ahead of some of this or how do we work together? you know, the h.r.c. has been running our brother's keeper initiative for a while. we're leading opportunities for all, and we don't get the opportunity to actually come and talk about recruitment and the success that we're having or how we're helping black students. i'm going to say something that folks may not like. i agree with what's being put forth. i'm concerned about the narrative, i'm concerned about the larger pictur, and i want
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to thank yvette for coming to have a conversation with me. i think even the very nature and structure -- i feel conflicted to be speaking because i know it looks like, and the optics are, are only people that support had the opportunity to speak, right? i'm concerned about, even if i'm totally honest, mr. vincent, he's listed in the resolution. as a black person, i'm thinking, why was he centered to speak before other people on the resolution? i want us to figure out a way to do this in a way that we don't have unintended consequences, where the folks that are oppositional -- i don't know if folks heard what shamann was saying, about the need for mace for folks to be
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protected. we have to hold people accountable. if adults are supposed to be taking care of young people and holding them accountability, changing the admissions -- accountable, changing the admissions process does not help that. i'm concerned about the adults that are leading badly in bad behavior about treating young people. the fact that some people think that racism does not exist at lowell because they haven't seen it is also very troubling, right? and so those are the things that i want to make sure that, as folks have said, that we drill down on and that we address. you know, i am not wanting to be aligned with anybody that says you have to work harder and pull yourself up by your bootstraps because if we are totally obvious, san francisco has worked against people of color and specifically around black folks, so there is not
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enough pulling up by your bootstraps and there's not enough work to make it better. so as we do this, i know how far siobhan fought to get into this school. as we do this, again, this is one piece of it, and i get, and i'm going to keep harping on it, but that made it very clear to me, like, why the centering in this conversation needs to happen, but for me, again, what happens to our preschoolers? i dealt with a family where their preschooler was told that he was a demon by his teacher, and all he was doing was age appropriate actions. i understand people saying they don't want to wait. i get that, but i do think we
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have to have some very fine lines that these things are going to create, the things that siobhan mentioned. i just think we have to be mindful of things, and i'm not saying there's anything malicious on the part of folks saying who was centered and who wasn't. i'm just saying we have to be mindful of what we do and how it can impact other folks. >> president lopez, do you mind if i just make a very short comment? i'm actually on central time, so i'm an hour ahead of you. i just want to make some comments and thank you for the opportunity to come. i want to be clear, i think one of the reasons why i was asked to speak is i think i'm the external person to the group, and typically, you have guests come and speak, and i just want
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to share a little bit about my background. in addition of serving as the executive director, i also serve as a professor at the university of kentucky, and i've done this work both as a professor and a scholar, and i hold both a doctoral and a scholar. and i say that because that can be used to address some of the key issues that are being raised. i do think that you have to be sensitive to wait, wait, wait. dr. king spoke about this in the letter to the birmingham jail that dr. brown knows so well -- reverend brown knows so well about just wait, just wait for justice, just wait for justice, and you have to be very careful about that. now don't know, don't be impulsive, but i think you have to be careful about this. is this the first bite at the
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apple? and again, i don't want to dominate too much time, and again, i want to be respectful to president lopez. i am going to have to get going, and again, part of this also is that vice president collins was very respectful of my time because i've literally been on since 5:30 my time -- well, 5:30 your time, so that's another reason why i was asked to speak when appropriate, so i just wanted to convey that, as well, but i'm happy to answer questions before i do have to go. >> thank you for sharing. so i did have one question for you before you have to go. given your expertise in this area and hearing that there's so much support from our -- from communities from all sides who really want to be a part of this process and saying that it needs to be an external process, given the experiences that we've had in sfusd around this issue and that it's a long
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time coming, what have you seen about this process that can help our communities see that this work is really thought through? >> yeah. so one of the reasons why i shared my personal experience of going to a similar school like lowell in new york city, i understand the emotional appeal and all the things that they talked about being a nerd and being with other folks, i guess that. my question that i'm going to get at is, if you were to build a system today, would you build a system as is or are you living in the past? also, are you addressing the needs of all students? so what i've seen across all school districts is finding ways to build communities within community schools, building community within schools, that's one approach that has worked. the intentionality of antiracism, one of the things that i know we all know is that
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we have a reckoning -- three things happened in recent history. we've got exposed to -- with the george floyd and breonna taylor murders, that's exposed us, a. we're living in a pandemic that's further exposed these disparities, and we had an assault on our democracy. one of the reasons i read that passage is what does it mean to be citizens of the entire community, so how do we build community in a more global way and how can san francisco take the lead? i do think that communities are thinking about those issues, and in my expert opinion, the reasons not to do it don't rise to the reasons to do it, the compelling reasons to do it, which is justice is now, you have two students who are saying, we're done. we had our four years, yet we still -- they're still
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passionate about this issue, and so i believe that the equity audit that we can implement will help address some of these issues. but my question for you, is a school that was built on exclusion, has that legacy been changed and has it been adequately dealt with, so that is are the things that i would -- those are the things that i would ask you to address. i want to be clear about the partnership, the naacp and university of kentucky partnership, we are here for you. we are committed to doing this work, and again, i just want to congratulate the students again for just their exceptional leadership and service and to the community. we stand with you to help.
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>> thank you. >> is it okay if i speak? >> that's okay. i really quickly do want to add, commissioner, you spoke about implementations. >> i just -- i had a specific question. just, i think, for me, as someone in san francisco who grew up here, i'm just curious about how do you feel that not kind of the right connection to san francisco would impact the ability to do the equity audit, and i guess kind of how would you -- and i guess how do you expect to kind of navigate the dynamic that's san francisco? >> yeah. one of the things that i -- i mean, every community has its own issues, and it's the same, right? and the reality is that -- there are these schools, and for a variety of reasons, they are schools that were developed to educate a particular segment of students.
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i would include musical schools, as well, so i would include those schools there. so i don't think the fact that it's san francisco. i think the fact that any -- like, any person coming in, you need to understand the context. one of the things that i appreciate -- and again, growing up in new york city, i appreciate this, is the rich diversity that is within the community, and that's something that should be applauded and recognized, so that's something you need to address. and even within groups, there's some rich diversity within those groups, so i think that's something that needs to be taken into account. i think one other thing -- and i'm just going to be blunt -- i think sometimes the so-called liberalism, and having lived within austin, texas, i know what this means, sometimes the liberalism can create blind spots, so you have to be careful: oh, we're liberal, and we don't have the problems other places have. you have to be careful working on that.
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i don't think the context is the same. i do think the solutions and the evidence-based best practices can be transferrable to this district. >> thank you so much for being here. we hope not to hold you on any longer. >> no, and again, and i just want to, again, just note that if you all decide to engage us, we are very pleased to do this work. we're committed to doing this work, and we are a phone call, text, zoom conference call away. >> thank you. >> i just want to say that, being in san francisco, i don't think changes anything. i think for one example, if i talk to a kid, like, from boston latin, like, that's being from across the country, i think we would have same experiences being in that same environment, so i think, dr.
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vincent, being in a magnet school, i guess has some knowledge about what environment students are in in order to engage in this equity work. >> thank you, miss jordan, and also, commissioner lam, i see you have a hand. >> okay. thank you very much. umm, i just want to say that changing the admission policy -- admissions policy, it's a great starter, but the process has to go deeper. we can back lowell, 50% latino, 50% black, but unless we have the experience, it's going to continue. that's like if you have mold in your house, you don't just ignore it and say it's going to go away. no, you have to sanitize it, get rid of it, in order to continue living it. when i say that, i'm talking
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about the environment, the cultural environment that students are at at lowell. dr. matthews started in, i believe it was 2017-18 with this notion of antiracism in our schools and addressing it and starting at the top with leaderships, and our admin institutes, and this has gone on, and this has gone on at the pip schools, but he's one man that has staff working with him. but it gets deeper. he opens it up and said let's get busy. it gets deeper. this is an opportunity right now. these students have come out, just like students from the past, have come out to tell us what's going on, and what is happening to them, how they're feeling. they're being marginalized, they're being mistreated. that's not okay. they'll still succeed. they walk-through it, and they still make it happen, but
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something has to change in the environment. if certain students are walking through lowell, and certain students are not seen as students, they're not seen as scholars, the perception is not here comes a learner, then that's a problem, and that's one of the roots of the problem. how are students being perceived as they enter the building? siobhan says students, as they enter the building, they feel respected. that says a lot how you can matriculate through your classes. i just want to make sure that whatever is put forth by this commission, that we're all sitting at this table, trying to make this equitable for everybody, but understanding changing the policy for admissions is only the first
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step because you have to clean -- you have to sanitize the house if you want to continue to live in it. even if you want to change the further, even if you're going to change the house around, there has to be some other work done in order for that to happen. and i just want to, once again, say to siobhan and -- oh, my goodness, almanzera, you guys are phenomenal. you met with your friends, other students. you guys talked about what the problem is. you put it together, you brought it, dissected it, and got involvement. you've got a lot of work, and i just want to commend you all, and understand that i'm here, and i represent the alliance and everybody with the alliance, we're very concerned, and we want to walk with you and the district -- well, we are the district, too, and we want to work with the board,
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and we want to make sure that this works out, and we know it's not going to happen over night. and for those of us who feel we need to wait, i think we've waited long enough. if we keep waiting, we're going to injure more people. these students have been harmed. we can't allow that anymore. that can't go on anymore, so that's all i wanted to say, and i'm available. >> thank you for being available. >> i just wanted to say one way we can follow up miss jordan said by sanitizing the mold is by honoring the b.s.u. demands, specifically 16 through 22, qi calls for changes specifically within our leadership. another thing i wanted to bring up, a lot of these groups are saying that they support the lowell b.s.u., and they stand
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with the lowell b.s.u., but not our first demand, which is to have the resolution pass. so whether this resolution is passed or not, you need to keep your promise of supporting the b.s.u. though it's implemented, you need to keep your promise by saying you stand with the b.s.u. if [inaudible] he need to keep your promise by stanning with the b.s.u. just showing your performative alliship does not do anything for us. it's actively engaging and doing the work with us. if you're not willing to do the work [inaudible]. >> thank you. i know a few commissioners have more comments, and then, we'll be going back to the original request. >> i just wanted to clarify really quickly -- is that okay, president lopez, just a real quick clarification?
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that i really appreciate the clarification of director davis and also the woman in charge of the office of racial equity, shakira simlee, that they are experts in our city in leading these kinds of conversations, and the resolution is also made in partnership with them in terms of holding the work, and i believe that the work should be held in community and not be held by our district staff, and so they have expertise which will be actually creating the coalition and figuring out, you know, the scope of the work and that that's done in support with all these other organizations, the alliance of black school educators, naacp, and also the educational and civil rights institution as a resource, but i just wanted to make that clear. >> thank you, and commissioner
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lam? >> thank you. i just want to thank everyone tonight for this long overdue not just discussion but decision point, that clearly, the district has failed. has failed our students, has failed our families in addressing what we know is the long-standing racism and antiblackness, and that we allowed it to continue, and that the burden now has been carried on by our own people, and that i absolutely am excited to hear -- to see the community coalition the opportunity to look at the equity audit to partner with the human rights commission and, really, the intentional
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work that we know is so needed to address the long standing racism in our city and at lowell specifically. i hold the fact that not only is the 2016 walkout and four years later, that the district has not fulfilled even those basic demands is beyond troubling, and hearing the pain from the b.s.u. students about the retaliation that they're facing from adults at lowell is completely unacceptable and has to be addressed now, with or without a policy if we were even discussing the action before us tonight. our young people deserve dignity and respect at any
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moment in san francisco unified school district whether they're at lowell or whether they're babies in our preschool program. i think i also want to acknowledge how difficult this is not only on a personal level but i have a differing perspective on the admissions approach and the policy that we're going to be voting on and discussing right now; that i think that there are more voices that want to be heard, and the community's voices, and i also am very mindful of that, you know, we need to fight racism, both the institutional racism that our black students and families have faced but also point antiasian perspective that is also --
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what is it, evasive and present. and i hear you, siobhan, and you're absolutely right. this is a callout. if we're going to support students, it's getting adults to do the work, including myself. and i would say i've dedicated my life's work to this -- my adult life's work to this, and thank you to ms. jordan. that's right, that this work is beginning. it is institutionalized at that school, and we have no choice but to do what is our responsibility, so that's -- i just wanted to be able to comment to that, and so thank you all. >> thank you, commissioner.
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i think -- i do -- oh, sorry. we're back [inaudible]. >> gabriela, is it possible for me to make a quick comment before we continue? >> i think we need to pause on the discussion now, if that's okay, so we can vote on this item or wait for -- respond to commissioner bogus. >> what i have to say may be important [inaudible]. >> the rest of the speaking time i would have right now to allow for community member to speak. >> thank you. that's -- thank you. >> so, again, my name is
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[inaudible] bracket. i'm an alumni at lowell back in 1995. i had my own experience with racism that my father took to the school, who failed to district. in 2016, my daughter was attending lowell high school at the time when the racist black history month mural was posted on the wall, and the kids were scared. they were absolutely frightened because of the way that faculty had been treating the students, that administration had been treating the students, as well as their peers. they felt isolated, and they did not know how to get help. i worked with the students and collaborated with them in order to do a workout, but i also made it very clear with the students that we also have to come up with solutions, not just complaints. we went through that entire
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process of brainstorming with kids crying to me, to their parents, to district officials, and the whole nine yards. at the time, lowell's response to those incidents was beyond the pale. lowell high school spoke up and addressed the faculty at that time, administration, including the principal, demanding that they do something to show that they were serious about stopping the culture of racist bullying at lowell high school. they failed to do that. that's what led to the students walking out. we try today do every measure possible that you can think of in terms of working with the community, extending grace, opening the process, trying to allow other groups to see what
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the impact was on the students in this process. and it wasn't just black students. it was also latinx students crying. so the students walked out across all racial lines to bring attention to this issue and to call in the community for support. the time for community to have time to give input was the last five years, not now. the community had five years to put in input in the panel, five years to do training with the district. staff fought it. they did not want to go through cultural competency training, which means that there is not a will at lowell high school to change. during this same time, the alumni association continued to put out racially motivated
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information to other alumni. we have lowell alumni who have deleted the lowell high school page to this day and have created subgroups. so if this is what is happening to where the adult responses, they don't even want to deal with lowell high school, how much more do you think student feel, and why they think they deserve to feel this way? what we see are more brilliant students like cia, siobhan, and other students being emotionally damaged for the most of their lives. they have to live knowing that
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adults have bullied them, and we have a san francisco unified school district handbook policies with procedures to protect them, and yet, the district has failed to use those procedures to reprimand the people who are doing this and so i'd just like to just say that i do not support anyone who is trying to put any kind of amendment to what the students have put forward. it's time now to really show your solidarity as board of education commissioners and stand with these students, stand with these parents, and stand with these alumni who are also standing with these students and trying to uplift them because it's hard to see these students hurt the way we were hurt. today, you can protect these students. it's your choice.
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>> thank you. i know miss marshall is also here, and i do want to share that the panelists who are here with us tonight are part of the work written in the resolution, so they're here to answer any questions or any issues that we bring up. >> thank you, president lopez. it's very late, so i'm only going to take one minute because i'm working on the honor role. in 2016, when we were going to walk out, the principal sent a guard for them to walk with them. this time, it feels very hateful, very deep. last night at the naacp meeting, i said to my committee members that i'm glad that we're not in school right now because if we were, i'll be afraid for my student's safety. i shared this comment with siobhan, and guess what she
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said a few moments ago? i know this is a very hard decision, commissioners, for you to have to make tonight, but as i said, i hope you will vote yes. thank you so much. >> thank you. commissioner moliga, do you want to make one last comment? >> thank you, president lopez. i do. i just wanted to give an explanation of why i'm going to vote the way i'm voting tonight, and just -- i want to be voting yes on this resolution, and i've gone back and forth with it plenty of times. the reason why i'm going to vote yet on this resolution is the piece for me was trying to figure out if this is something that we put to committee, you know, or is this something we need to act on currently, like, right now. and just, you know, from my experience, i'm from the city, you know, grew up in the city, worked in the community, trade
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out of undergrad -- straight out of undergrad 22 years ago. when people are hurting, city and county. we come to these formal groups, and they always drag us through this process where, at the end of the day, nothing happens, right, and, like, you know, you have a lot of people who show up and commit to processes -- and again, some of these communities, we're not working with large, you know, groups and, like, you know, ton of money political power, so it, like, literally is the labor of love that's keeping folks moving through these processes. so for me, at the end of the day it was, like, you know, i don't know if this is actually going to get settled through a community process or going through committee, you know? and one of the other inspirations and guidance, i've
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been reading this book by john lewis, and he was talking about how it took almost 100 years for the national museum of black history to get built. i this with this issue -- i think with this issue and this admission policy, it is something that i'm going to vote on tonight. not only that, right, the process in itself right now is in violation of the california education state code, right? and so, like, if they were people of color, you know, we get banged up for all kinds of violations: suspensions in schools, referrals, and here we are entertaining an admission process that is in violation of the code. that is not okay. for me, i cannot stand by that, and for me, i think we should have done away with it a long
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time ago. we built a system where if we could build it again, would we build it the same way, and i don't think we would. for me, right now is a building time, and there's urgency around this matter, so i hope that makes sense, and why it's clear why i'm voting the way i am tonight. so again, i'd like to thank everybody for coming out tonight, and thank you for all the supporters. >> i'll chime in. like commissioner moliga, i will be supporting it, as well.
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i'll provide a little bit of context. i'm the oldest member of the board, and when i first started sitting on the board in 2001, the board was dealing with lowell, as well. the school had been sued dealing with the consent decree, which had mandated that students of different races and ethnicities could get in as different levels of academic achievement to lowell. there was a lawsuit against that that prevailed, and then, we weren't allowed to use those criteria anymore, and then, the school became more and more racially isolated. and that's why we instituted the bans, which i knew at the time would not -- were so convoluted, they would not be successful. but the time i became principal at horace mann middle school in 2009 to 2011, the committee that was supposed to be in place for years to identify students to be accepted to lowell under the bans had never
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been created. no student got into lowell from horace mann my two years there, so we've been dealing with this for decades. superintendent matthews mentioned last week, his anecdote. i'm hoping he'll repeat it again. it's indicative of how long we've been dealing with this. commissioner norton often said if there were no lowell today, and somebody presented us with a lowell option, would we do it? notwithstanding that it's again the law, lowell and the schools like it across the country have segregated it, to keep black and brown kids away from other kids. that's why they exist. that's the main reason why they exist. so when people say slow it down, we've slowed it down for decades.
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it's time to act. we're so blessed to have siobhan and katja on our board. shame on us if that was the case. we have to act. >> thank you, commissioner sanchez, and commissioner alexander? >> yeah, i want to speak, as well, about my position. i think, you know, obviously, i'm a coauto who of this resolution, so i support it, and i intend to vote for it. i -- i'm a coauthor of this resolution, and so i support it, and i intend to vote for it. i hear a lot of conversation around inclusion, and i think those are real. and at the same time, i think we can hold the reality that we've been waiting, as
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commissioner sanchez has eloquently said, for a really long time. the lowell community has five years to give input, so i think there's different things that different segments of our lowell community are living with.
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we've got to deal -- i think there's -- i think there are a lot of great things -- all high schools have really great qualities, but we have to deal with the investment in those schools, we have to deal with the quality of the programs, we have to ensure that kids, you know, that want an intellectually rigorous environment can get it, you know, and that it's accessible to every kid, especially low-income students. and i think that we need to -- two -- two things that i think have pushed me to want to move now because our intention all along -- i've said this to people, but our intention was to have a longer process. we actually as a board had talked about setting up a committee to figure out lowell this spring. that was something that we had in the works and then this incident occurred.
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and i think after the incident, as commissioner sanchez said, we're following the leadership of our students and our young people, and particularly of black lowell students and black lowell alumni who have spoken up so powerfully in this moment and said we can't wait any longer. so i think it's appropriate that the pacing be determined by the people that are directly impacted. but i just want to say briefly, too, about the substance of this issue because there's also been a lot of conversation around admissions, and i know some of my board colleagues have differing positions on this. but i want to say why i think lottery admissions is a good thing, and why i think the current policy is racist. if you look at the outcomes of the policy, it's -- for decades there has been lower enrollment of black students by far compared to their proportion in the city. same with latin students, same
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with pacific islander students. so unless you believe that black and latin and pacific islander students are less capable, it's producing a racist outcome and has been doing so for decades, so we know that the current admissions policy is racist. we also know that there's evidence to suggest that lottery based admissions produce more equitable racial outcomes, and there's a study that was shared -- i think the board has seen it, memory beshz of the community has seen it, but there's many, many academic magnet schools around the country that use lottery-based admissions. it works, it actually produces more diverse schools, and i
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think to -- to a point earlier, if that's the only thing that's making the school special -- if the only thing that's making the school special is its exclusivity, that's a problem. special education students are completely or students with special needs, excuse me, are completely underrepresented at lowell by dramatically, right? and i know students with i.e.p.s who are some of the most brilliant intellectuals that i've ever met, but they don't have near the representation at lowell in the school district.
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immigrant students that are learning english are almost completely excluded from lowell. 2% of the english language learners are at lowell, and at public schools have 26%. some of the most brilliant academically oriented young high school students that i've ever met are immigrant students who have come in the country within the past three years who take city college calculus classes who do high level literature work in spanish and chinese, but under the current admissions process, they would not have access to lowell. i think there's a current set of substantive issues around this. i think it would be great if we had longer time for discussion, but there are serious social justice issues, and there's always a call to wait, there's call a process for process,
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there's always a sense that we should -- that this isn't the right time, and so i think for those reasons, now is the time. there's never a better time, and we can commit to moving forward with a process that is really deeply inclusive and that starts to address some of these other challenges, not just at lowell but across the district not just of racism but equity among all of our students. >> thank you, again. thank you, everyone, for speaking tonight. i want to go back to the request, if there's any comment from board members or if we are moving in to the vote tonight.
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if there's no further comments requested, we will move to the roll call vote. okay. hearing none, roll call, miss casco. >> clerk: thank you, commissioner. [roll call]
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>> clerk: that's five ayes. >> thank you, everyone, for a good discussion. >> thank you, all. >> thank you, all. >> thank you. >> thank you, thank you. thank you, students, thank you, commissioners. >> thanks, everyone, for the
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discussion tonight. we do recognize that there are so many parents on the call tonight, and it is really late in our discussion and our meeting tonight. we've been experiencing that a lot, given that there's so many important issues that we want to discuss, so we do apologize, we have a lot of working families in our staff, as well, and we realize that this is a lot of work that we're holding. with that, i am moving up the item on school reopening update, and superintendent matthews, you can help us with this presentation. >> thank you. mr. steele? i don't know if he can hear. mr. steele, can you hear me?
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thank you. is there a way to make this presentation a little bigger? >> it's not full screen, dr. matthews? >> maybe it's just mine. >> president lopez, do you see it on full screen? >> you're good. >> never mind. >> okay. >> you're good. it was just me. >> all right. >> good evening, everyone. so as many of you have heard, we have reached a tentative agreement with our combined labor partners regarding health and safety. that agreement was reached saturday night, so this presentation is not regarding that agreement. that agreement, since it was
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reached late saturday night, did not become a part of tonight's agenda, so this presentation is more about the progress that's being made by district, district staff, in regards to in-person learning. so we're going to update you there, and we hope to have the item of the tentative agreement at our next board meeting. that is our hope, so tonight, we will be giving you an update on the return-to-person learning. next slide. so just a reminder is that our mission is that every day, we're going to provide every student quality instruction and equitable support that they can thrive in the 21st century. so the agenda tonight is we're going to talk a bit about testing, vaccinations, what we're doing for in-person
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learning, how the inspections are going, and how we're going to continue to communicate with our families. next slide. so you've seen this slide. it's our road map to readiness. beginning august 17, we started in distance learning, and we're moving down the road to in-person learning. and really, what we're looking for is the indicators that can indicate when we can return. we're going to comment on what action we're taking and who's doing what when. next slide. you've seen this. this is our decision tree, and it goes through -- basically, what we're trying to get to is all yeses. when the city and county says yes, and when there's -- the spread is low enough, that's the middle column, and then, the third is the operational indicators that we have to get through. we have a dashboard with these indicators to alert the community and let the community know of the progress that's being made in that third column, and what we have to do
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is get everything yes so we can bring students back. next slide. and this is what i was talking about earlier, the dashboard on our website. it updates on fridays, and it lets the community know when it's safe for us to return. one of the items i just talked about is -- you see number nine, labor agreements in place, and as i said, saturday night, we were able to reach a tentative agreement with our labor partners. next slide. so next, we're going to talk about testing, and i'm going to turn it over to maile lausman. >> thank you, superintendent matthews, and everyone. i'll be very quick. the student testing is a new
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criteria, released, i believe, on january 14 from the california department of health. as a result, we have had to release a request for proposal to identify partners to actually help us to implement the student testing and the staff testing -- testing sites. there are a few posts this last week. it closes on february 22, and it will be -- we will be working in partnership with the san francisco department of public health to review and evaluate the proposals. the goal is to have test sites standing up by march 15. you go he to the next slide, please? on the vaccination front -- you can go to the next slide. in the red tier, we will be requiring vaccines at the recommended dosage for returning to in-person
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learning. we continue to work closely with the department of public health and the city and county's health service system to better understand the timeline and criteria for when sfusd staff can expect to begin being vaccinated, and we kno as well as many people on this call and commissioners, the vaccine is going to be the biggest driver of that timeline. and that's it for me. next slide. >> so good evening. we continue to work to prepare to bring our babies back into our skill buildings when it's safe to do so. i'm just going to share a little bit of our work to prep for in-person learning. next slide, please, judson. you might recall that we called out two groups to return to in-person. we had our phase 2-a and phase 2-b. they highlight our priority student