Submitted by Deberie Gomez-Grobe, Ph.D.
I am terribly concerned about our long-trusted Coronado Unified School District. After 21 years trusting that our school district was doing a better than average job of educating the children in our community, I was awakened during the pandemic months to signs that the wheels are coming off the bus. Hiding behind Zoom interactions and a community closed into their own homes, Superintendent Karl Mueller has embarked upon questionable courses of action with no thought, no discussion, no community outreach, and a total lack of transparency.
Last October 2020, CUSD Trustees Valdes-Clayton, Simon, Russell, and Pontes gave Mueller specific direction not to hire a race-based consultant to facilitate an Equity Committee. The potential consultant started an interview with the then Board saying, “America has deep-rooted racism at its core.” Mueller proceeded to let a $30,000, 2-year contract with that very consultant from the San Diego County Office of Education’s Equity Department. Fast forward to the May 20, 2021 CUSD Board Meeting where Coronado parents and community members confronted the Board and Superintendent with their growing concerns based upon reviews of the publicly available PowerPoint presentations from the 7 Equity Committee 90-minute sessions. The content included asking the parents, teachers, and students on the Committee to explore and question their own identity, to identify their preferred pronouns, and to understand that equity is about racism, sexism, ageism, diversity, religion, inclusion, cultural competence, and ability and size discrimination. For those of you out there, and I include myself, who were unaware that this activity, steeped in the language of critical theory was taking place, I urge you to wake up and start understanding what may be happening in our beautiful small island community where trust and community discourse and dialogue has long been a hallmark. A year ago, I did not even know what “gender pronouns” were. I do now and so should you because it is being taught to our children in our schools.
Have the wheels come off the bus in CUSD? Another race-based program, “No Place for Hate” was also instituted during the pandemic just because Superintendent Mueller decided to do it. It is the product of the Anti-Defamation League and purports to spread kindness but in fact teaches hate, a word that I do not use and did not teach my kids to use. Meanwhile, Mueller pushed through the implementation of the 4X4 scheduling for the high school by completely ignoring the career teachers at CHS who have much more wisdom and knowledge and background than he does. Again, there was no transparency, no community outreach and no real discussion or dialogue. If I have raised your awareness, attend the Board Meeting scheduled on June 17, 2021.
Let’s stop trusting and let’s ask for true community discussion and dialogue. We can have true dialogue, discussion, and discourse by spending the second $15,000, currently allocated for the Equity Committee, on greater community/parent outreach through townhall meetings and large and small forums and group discussions. The City often conducts this kind of true broad outreach and the school district can, too.
Deberie Gomez-Grobe, Ph.D.