Day 142  Wednesday, February 10, 2010: “Join Together”

 

Today is Wednesday, February 10, 2010 and Day 142 in the Countdown on my Fremont career, the-more-so of a Countdown because there is a timeline issued by the Powers-That-Be on when and where we should be jumping—and how high.

 

We survived the rally! Mother Nature brought thunder and lightning and I quoted songs just to annoy Mat Taylor as he chain-smoked and glared at the rain (alright—“Thunder only happens when it’s rainin’”—he finished it—and “It’s like thunder. Lightning. So very, very frightening. Knock on wood.”). We did not get the thousand teachers we were hoping for, but look at what we did get (I’m a glass half-full sort of guy):

 

The permit which was previously approved—and paid for—was revoked. The media which was hoped for was at one of the other rallies being held in LAUSD, I think on the West side. The rain relented, though not before soaking through my no-longer-rainproof duster. The rally happened anyway, with representation from South L.A. and the Harbor area.

 

The faculty was being kept in P.D.s (why, when we’re not going to be there in 142 days?) for their SLCs (why, when the SLCs will be thrown upon the dung heap of LAUSD plans in 142 days—ohh, I forgot, we’re cross-pollinating… Sorry) and was supposed to remain in meetings after 3:04, but came out to join us. A number of students and parents were there as well, including two sisters who were former Fremont alums and employees—one RIF-ed last year. This put us around 200.

 

Dr. George McKenna III, mini-superintendent of mini-district 7 was on campus, standing in the breezeway behind the locked gate and the school police who formed an impressive line across the entrance of the school. Hey, what’s up, Doc? Were the school police there for our safety again (reference Day 156 “Just Because It Doesn’t Make Sense Doesn’t Mean It’s Not Logical”)? Were they protecting the school from the teachers—or the community the school and LAUSD serve? (“The hardest tumble a man can make is to fall over his own bluff.”—Ambrose Bierce)

 

Add this one in: last week, I believe, a meeting was scheduled between LAUSD and UTLA over the Fremont issue. It was supposed to be taking place today, 2/10, but was called off by the district because of a “previous engagement.”

 

The permit for tomorrow’s parent/community meeting, which was supposed to occur in the cafeteria (or the auditorium, if available, although I know there was construction going on in there) was revoked. So the parents who are sending their children to this school are not permitted to meet with those who work with their children to receive information about major changes afoot?

 

My reason for saying the glass is half-full? Ideas have to stand strong on their own. If you are afraid to expose your ideas, your beliefs, your plans to any sort of criticism, then you probably have some bad ideas. That idea is like a genie in a bottle. You won’t be able to contain it forever, Dr. McKenna. Nobody heard you offer up your famous, “Let’s dance.” Instead, you stood with a locked gate and school police between you and the community you are assigned to serve, the same community you will not allow to meet with teachers on the very campus where they work. “Both oligarch and tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of their arms.”—Aristotle. Or the truth?

 

“This, to me, is the ultimately heroic trait of ordinary people; they say no to the tyrant and they calmly take the consequences of this resistance.”--Philip K. Dick

 

Anthony Cody later published a picture from the February 9th rally with an article on reconstitution in Edweek.org: http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/living-in-dialogue/2010/02/reconstitution_there_has_got_t.html

           

 

 
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    Chuck Olynyk is a Social Studies teacher who saw the effects of reconstitution upon John C. Fremont High in Los Angeles. These are reposting of his original blogs from the Save Fremont website.

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