By Lupita T
Editor’s note: The letter is from February 4 and was public comment to the school board at that time. The writer is the mother of a student in DJUSD and lives in Davis.
Good Evening Staff and Board of Education Members,
I am a concerned parent with a 6th grader in the Davis Joint Unified who took part for a couple of days in the experimental cohorts of students attending in-person learning.
I had a very disturbing experience during the Superintendent’s Parent Advisory meeting last week on January 28th. I was verbally attacked by another parent who did not like what I had to say about the experience my daughter had with the two days she attended in-person learning.
She didn’t even let me finish my sentence before I was cut off, and she started screaming at me because I told her some of the teachers and students need more training because they were not properly following COVID protocol.
She said that I stood alone, “party of one”, and I assured her that I represent many of those parents whose silence does not mean that they agree with returning to school prematurely.
I let this parent know, her experience, while a positive one, does not represent our experience, and that we have a right to be concerned when a disproportionate amount of black, brown and indigenous people of color are dying from this virus.
While many white, upper and middle class families seem to be eager to return to life as normal, I assure you with a heavy heart that things will not be able to be normal again.
I want these parents to understand that we are in the middle of a pandemic and your privilege will not protect you from the dangers of this virus. The vaccine will not be the answer in of itself either.
The reality of it is that we are in this for at least another year, maybe two before things get better. So for now, following proper procedure such as mask-wearing and frequent hand-washing/sanitizing can save lives.
The assumption is that, just because you didn’t die from this virus while being exposed to it, that means it is not “as bad” as everyone is saying that it is.
There are many factors affecting how people react to this virus, and how our immune system responds. Good health and adequate nutrition, outdoor sun exposure, healthy immunity and exercise are also factors that affect our response to this virus. These things are never mentioned when a discussion of COVID-19 takes place. Everyone is so set on a magical pill or shot that will fix everything. I assure everyone, this is unfortunately not the case.
Until we can begin to address the deep systems of inequality that plague our country, things will NEVER be normal again. Until all human beings living on the planet have adequate access to good health care, nutrition and shelter, there will always be crisis within black, brown, indigenous communities of color.
My daughter explained to me that she witnessed teachers and students removing their masks indoors, which is a big no no, and one adult even removed his mask inside the classroom to sneeze!
It is clear that this Parent Coalition is eager to return to school. So are we. However, doing so without adequate training for the teachers, students and parents will only put all of us at risk, needlessly.
Opening our schools while the district has not addressed the deep system racism and inadequate plans for return will put our students in danger and let me remind you all that our Latinx, Black, Indigenous and Low-Income students bear the greatest risk returning.
So please, think about the racist nature of your ask to return to school and trying to silence those that oppose. You are asking communities of color to take on a greater risk than your families in order to return. So you can have your free babysitter, so your child can socialize and feel like things are “normal” again, you are asking me to put my daughter and countless others in a very psychologically stressful and dangerous situation in which our communities are facing a greater risk than yours. Think about this.
Parents in the Davis Joint Unified, please think about the students of color in your community and instead of yelling at us because you think we want the schools to stay closed, please get involved and demand that the district follow proper procedures to adequately train and orient EVERYONE that comes into contact with our student, on why its important to have self-discipline and maintain proper COVID protocols. Thank you.
Concerned Parent in the Davis Joint Unified
Families, I assure you that there are many unduplicated students (foster youth, homeless, low-income, English Learners) and other vulnerable families that have LEFT the district due to the outright negligence of the DJUSD regarding this issue. It is our voices that are largely being ignored. Local teachers and parents also have concerns regarding lack of adequate COVID-19 protocol education, and math/English intervention and support for failing Distance Learner students.
Please send your public comments to BOE@DJUSD.NET before the next Davis Joint Unified Board of Education meeting on April 15, 2021 from 6:30PM – 11:00P. Demand that they not only provide proper COVID protocol education for all students, but also outreach to all vulnerable students in the district with a survey at the very least, and use alternative forms of communications such as PeachJar, text, mailing flyers, etc. to provide adequate input and information regarding the newly adopted re-opening models and easy access to required documentation for the parents, available not only on the website AND BILINGUAL (some of the bilingual links don’t work on the DJUSD website!) but also on physical flyers and via cell phone messages. The digital divide is real!
Additionally, the DJUSD needs to prioritize distance learners who are failing their classes and provide Math and English intervention before they continue to fall through the gaps. This discrimination will not be tolerated in our schools and our school supplemental funds can and should be utilized for this purpose!
Below is a link to parents who wish to sign the petition to return to schools safely reopening in Yolo, in order to ensure that our all families and especially the most vulnerable and those at-risk, can have an equitable, inclusive and enjoyable school re-opening experience. Taking one minute to sign this petition could save many lives! Thank you:
Support our work – to become a sustaining at $5 – $10- $25 per month hit the link: