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PUSD trying to stop democracy in action.

Original post made by School Board Censorship, Birdland, on Jan 18, 2017

Why does a school district try to stop students from showing America and how great it is? So typical. I guess this letter was sent to all district teachers last week.

Dear Colleagues:

The peaceful transition of power is a cornerstone of our constitutional democracy. The Presidential Inauguration will occur on Friday, January 20, 2017, when Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America.

Public education for all is a unique American experience of which we are proud to be a part. Diversity of thought is not only welcome, but is central to the goal of educating students to be able to critically and compassionately navigate the complexities of our global society.

We would be remiss to ignore that this presidential election cycle and continuing events have been surrounded with controversy. Some adults in leadership roles in our country have exhibited, and continue to exhibit, behavior that directly contradicts the conduct and respect that we honor as educators and that we take great care in teaching to our students. This election and the divisiveness that have followed cannot be simply distilled to a matter of differing ideologies. Schools across the nation have reported an increase in bullying and harassment following the election. The safety and support of all PUSD students, families, and staff remain one of our top priorities.

Following the election, some families reached out to district leadership to discuss concerns about the rhetoric that has occurred on our school campuses and in our community. In the days since, our leadership team has conducted a listening campaign with various parent, family, and student groups. Some employees, students, and their families in PUSD tell us they are feeling disproportionately disenfranchised, unsupported, and in some cases, threatened. Every person in our educational community is loved and valued. It is vitally important that we maintain a safe and supportive school environment for all our students, as we know that elevated levels of student stress inhibit optimum learning. It is equally important to communicate and maintain high expectations with regards to proper behavior and discourse for all members of our school community. To help with this important task, we have prepared a text set of resources for staff.

While the topic of the recent presidential election remains controversial, the inauguration and associated peaceful transition of power present multiple teachable moments in the history of our country. In light of this complexity, we would like to remind our community that the Pleasanton Unified School District school board policy provides guidance (BP 6144) around the instruction of controversial topics. Additionally, due to the unpredictable nature of live broadcasting, the use of live video or audio footage is discouraged. If you should choose to present pre-recorded clips of the inauguration, aligned with the District adopted curriculum, please provide an opt-out letter to your parents/guardians, taking steps to ensure that students who may feel vulnerable are provided with an alternative instructional opportunity. While there is no legal mandate to provide an opt-out, it is in line with PUSD past practice around the teaching of controversial topics and specifically supports the goal of providing a safe and supportive learning environment for every student.

Site leadership has been provided specific instructions as to how to ensure student safety should (student) demonstrations occur on any of our school sites. Please contact your site administrator(s) if you have questions and/or need additional information.

We continue to appreciate and value the excellent job you do providing an outstanding educational opportunity for our students.


Educational Services Team

Comments (6)

Posted by SHale
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 19, 2017 at 11:32 am

SHale is a registered user. what exactly is your issue with the letter itself?

Posted by OhBoy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 20, 2017 at 12:26 am

OhBoy is a registered user.

It's so lovely that you didn't just complain about this email to your superiors but decided to make it public. I especially loved the article in the East Bay Times and the quote from the APT - "Janice Clark, the president of the Association of Pleasanton Teachers, said that her organization does not support the district guidelines"

Yup there you have it. Teachers don't need to follow any district guidelines they can do whatever they feel like doing. Straight from the horse's mouth.

Posted by FrequentWalkerMiles
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 20, 2017 at 11:05 am

FrequentWalkerMiles is a registered user.

I guess my only question is, was this type of "suggestions" sent out before previous inaugurations/major political events?

Posted by res1
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jan 20, 2017 at 1:04 pm

res1 is a registered user.

The schools should be teaching and celebrating the American process of electing leadership. While I agree that the news is not always student-appropriate (not sure stiring up the people on our new leader, but murder, rape, bombings, robbery, etc.), official items from our president is appropriate and should be encouraged

It seems the media, and in this case our school district, is stiring up controversy which is not needed, and only shows their ignorance.

For all those who fear the new president on what he has previously said, did you also believe the promises made by other elected officials and hold them accountable for the promises that you wanted? Have we not yet learned that politicians will say whatever they think the voters want to hear to get elected. Only have to look as far as our own city and the politicians saying they are slow-growth and concerned about development during the elections.

Posted by Lessismore
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jan 22, 2017 at 10:45 pm

Lessismore is a registered user.

School Board
Thank you for making the rest of the Bay Area think we are a bunch, bigots in Pleasanton.

Our High School students get to see this one time during their 4 years in High School and discuss with teachers and classmates.

The school board must not think much of our teachers and students.

Posted by Mabry
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 24, 2017 at 12:02 pm

Mabry is a registered user.

A teachable moment indeed.

This backdoor control by PUSD speaks volumes about their continued and once again exposed dysfunction. The Educational Services Team (whoever they represent) sadly has done a tragic disservice to our children and community by creating unnecessary fear around a topic as important and rare as a presidential inauguration. Is this their example of "diversity of thought"? Buffoons.

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