Trustees blunder in national politics again | Tim Talk | Tim Hunt | |

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By Tim Hunt

Trustees blunder in national politics again

Uploaded: Aug 31, 2017

The Pleasanton school board and its administration could not resist stepping into the race debate after the debacle in Charlottesville, VA.
The trustees felt compelled to reaffirm the existing policy that they treat all children equally. Great. That’s the way it should be.
But trustees went beyond that, arguing that systematic racism characterizes our country.
Excuse me.
School board president Joan Laursen was quoted in the Weekly saying, “While the events in Charlottesville were frightening and ugly, and I was heartened to hear good people across our country denounce the sentiments expressed by the white supremacists, I believe that it is time we all recognize and begin to address the historic and contemporary structural racism that plagues our country,” Laursen said.
I have lived in Pleasanton for virtually all my life. I have witnessed the community change from tiny town, to suburb with affordable housing, to a business center with great neighborhoods and schools.
The character of the community has shifted as the wealth has grown. It’s become a place where there’s an open question of how well you know your neighbors where once neighbors knew each other pretty well.
In the last 10 years, the it has become much more diverse ethnically as Indian and Asian families have flocked here for the quality schools and quality community. To my knowledge, they have been welcomed and there’s been no overt backlash.
The trustees blundering into this issue is like what they did earlier this year when they responded to state schools chief Tom Torlakson’s request that they declare Pleasanton a “sanctuary school district.” By policy, it already was, but trustees and senior staff could not resist dipping into national politics with the action.
Trustees, who have hired a new superintendent, Dave Haglund, to stabilize a district characterized by leadership turnover. They would be well-advised to stick to that focus and leave the national politics to those in those roles.
One follow-up from Tuesday blog post: If you want the poster child for disruption in the retail business consider Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods, otherwise known as “Whole Paycheck.”
Monday, after the deal closed, Amazon slashed prices on everyday items, throwing the traditional, low-margin grocery business into a tizzy. The Whole Food price cuts—from $9.99 to $7.99 for an organic rotisserie chicken, still leave the price point higher than traditional supermarkets, but being within hailing distance.
Amazon also will leverage the new store locations by placing its lockers there so customers can pick up items when they do their grocery shopping.
This will be interesting to watch how this works over time. Amazon has revolutionized the online shopping business—how will the fresh food acquisition with its storefronts open additional opportunities?