Thursday, February 25, 2021
The latest school board hot mic moment happened in southern California in the La Mesa-Spring Valley district which is east of San Diego. The board was meeting Tuesday to discuss a date for reopening but the board’s Vice President, Chardá Bell-Fontenot, got into a disagreement with most of the rest of the board, comparing asking teachers to return to classrooms to slavery. What seems to have kicked off the argument was one school board member said, “We have to give the teachers, we have to give the students, the parents a date.”
“We don’t have to give anybody any date,” Bell-Fontenot replied. She added, “I don’t know where you’re getting information or who is telling you that we have to make a decision today, but that is not how this works.”
After a jump cut in the video school board member Sarah Rhiley said “70 to 80 percent” of parents have indicated they are ready to have kids return to school. Bell-Fontenot replied, “The 70 and 80%, who are they? I would like to know geographically from which school sites, which language group, and how they conducted this feedback.” She said without that information she could not make a decision about reopening: “I can’t make one and I will not make one.”
“You’re welcome to abstain I believe, right?” Rhiley responded.
“There’s no reason to be nasty to me,” Bell-Fontenot said, though at this point she’s the only one who sounds worked up in this conversation.
After another jump cut board clerk Megan Epperson said the issue could be presented for a vote and “if you wish to vote no, you are more than welcome to.”
Bell-Fontenot interjected that she knew what she could do but she said what the board was doing was “wrong.” After another cut in the video, Bell-Fontenot said the plan seemed like white supremacist ideology to her: “So how are we forcing what seems like a very white supremacist ideology to force people to comply with, you know, and conform…So I don’t want to be a part of forcing anybody to do anything they don’t want to do. That’s what slavery is. I’m not going to be a part of it.”
East county San Diego! In the news!