Dear Ms. Mendoza,
I am writing to express my admiration, respect, gratitude and shame.
I will start with the shame – I was embarrassed to watch (link #1) the lack of empathy, lack of respect and the lack of gratitude – all these were totally due when you stood to speak up after the presentation about the “new vision” in special education.
The board and audience all should have applauded – you brought the change. None of the new declarations would have been offered without your courageous actions.
I truly hope your child is doing better. I think you know more than others why anyone who has high stakes in PAUSD will not come forward. Retaliation was mentioned so many times.
I hope the day will come when you will stand in front of PAUSD offices and the grateful, respectful, admiring people of Palo Alto, free from fear of retaliation, will stand in line to shake your hand – all in broad day light. I know I will be there.
And few related thoughts/questions –
1. I do not know who actually came forward to the Weekly with the information about the OCR settlement.
In any case – I am very thankful to the family who came forward. I noted that many times before.
2. I called many times, as have many others, for an independent investigation. We are still waiting for this, and still believe it is needed…
I think that the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 (link #2) beautifully defines the logic behind attempting to correct wrongs. It seems to me this logic is especially compelling here, since it is about an education system. The preliminary steps, before any change is possible were defined as: 1. Acknowledge. 2. Apologize. 3. Educate. Unfortunately, it seems that PAUSD is in the pre-Acknowledge step. My address to Ms. Mendoza above was triggered by the board’s reaction to her on Tuesday evening, clearly showing their lack of acknowledgement.
3. Who do the board members represent? On 5/24/2013 (link #3) I wrote: ” …..The latest info as to the closed board sessions dealing with litigation had me wonder – Who are the board member serving? Info about the first OCR case revealed that the parents tried to contact the board members, seeking help. Seems that a closed session could be about a case where board members were contacted by community parents who ended addressing the OCR. I am wondering, simply – on what side are the board members? Closed session makes it clear that the board sides with the district officials – anyways, always. Should concerned parents try to contact the board members regarding concerns they have, knowing that the board always sides with the district officials? Conflict of interest?”
Link #1 -http://www.midpenmedia.org/watch/pausd_webcast/October/PAUSD_100813.html – Ms. Mendoza’: 1:46 hours
Link #2 – http://www.civics-online.org/library/formatted/texts/civilact1988.html
Link #3 – http://www.paloaltoonline.com/square/index.php?i=3&d=1&t=20391