A protest was held today at the TUSD board meeting to denounce the closing of 10 schools, all of which have majority minority populations. Many people showed up to speak at the call to the audience, a long line outside the building was formed. However, even by 6:30, when the call was scheduled to begin, they would not let anyone in. The reason given was related to violating fire code. There were also no speaker system set up for those who couldn’t be inside to hear the proceedings. ”We didn’t expect this many people,” the board said. It is curious however, that despite the fact that they didn’t expect a lot of people, there were barricades and cones set up from the very beginning.
I wasn’t able to see the call to the audience, here are my photos from outside.
Full Set: http://chrissummitt.com/blog/tusdbrdmtg4_9_13/
The TUSD board has stressed that there is a $17 million dollar deficit that is limiting their sources to fund their schools and that there is nothing that can be done. These school closures are occurring where public education is needed most. Therefore, we ask community members to come together for this event to demand that the board does more with their power and “Find the Money and Stop School Closures.”
Though the decision to close down schools has been made, it’s not too late to overturn there decision; the board has from now till the start of the new school year to stop such an injustice. More importantly, the closure of 11 schools should not be allowed, especially in silence.
Over the years, the TUSD board has continuously failed the community, by undermining decisions that helped the welfare of students and all people in their district. Its time to act, our children have the right to education. Please join us in saving our children’s futures.
Today was the last of 3 public forums held in order for the community to express concerns about the proposed Desegragation/Unitary Status Plan directly to the Special Master. I think it was the most attended, at least 70 people spoke, and it ran an hour late. Only one speaker was against MAS, everyone else had beautiful words in support of the program. As usual, here are my pics.
FULL SET: http://chrissummitt.com/blog/desegforum3
Today was the second of 3 public forums held in order for the community to express concerns about the proposed Desegragation/Unitary Status Plan directly to the Special Master.
A proposed Unitary Status Plan to provide equal educational opportunities to African American and Latino students in Tucson Unified School District is available for public review and comment through November 28, 2012.
The proposed plan is just that, a propsal, the community input during these 3 meetings have the potential to effect the final version of the plan. Members from all parties involved in the desegragation case, Fisher, et al., Mendoza, et al. v. TUSD, CV 74-90 TUC DCB, as well as the special master headed a panel which listened to community input. There was not any input from the parties, they just sat and listened. Community input could come in person at either of the three forums or in the form of an email sent directly to special master up until Nov 28, 2012.
I wasn’t able to attend the first meeting but I made it to the one tonight and will attend tomorrow. Here are tonight’s pictures:
FULL Set: http://chrissummitt.com/blog/desegforum2
More info can be found here: http://tucsonusp.com/
University Professor Dr. Roberto Rodriguez Calls on Elected Officials to Condemn Death Threats Regarding the Mexican American Studies Program in TUSD
On Thursday, August 2nd, Dr. Roberto Rodriguez and local elected officials held a press conference regarding unprosecuted death threats made in response to community activism surrounding the Mexican American Studies program in TUSD. The press conference was held at TUSD headquarters, 1010 E. 10th street at 10 a.m.
The press conference was called in light of the impending trial of an individual that made several threats against Dr. Rodriguez in 2011. His trial will begin next week, on August 7th.
FULL SET: http://chrissummitt.com/blog/cintlipressconf/
Today, TUSD had it’s annual district wide meeting. Pedicone made the meeting mandatory for all TUSD employees. A protest was held right in front. Check it out:
FULL SET: http://chrissummitt.com/blog/tusdtcc/
Another Board Meeting. Stegeman brought up his motion to unban some books. It didn’t make sense. Just some dumb political move. Nothing happened, no books were unbanned.
The community came out and had their voice heard. There was a beautiful sunset. We will continue fighting. It’s only a matter of time before they fall.
FULL SET HERE: http://chrissummitt.com/blog/boardmtg_7_24_12/
Here we are again, another board meeting. I’ll just get right to the good stuff. There was a good showing from the community today. Just prior to the meeting, dark storm clouds gathered and a short down pour occurred. The people outside were let very slowly into the building to find shelter from the rain. Due to the ridiculous security, this was a slow process.
Once the meeting began, there was a call to the audience, there were many great speakers in support of MAS, and at least one planted speaker from Stegeman. There was much support from activists that came in from out of town. Directly after the call to the audience, a rumble began and it wasn’t the thunder outside, it was from within. Clapping hands joined in, a beat was formed and calls from across the room began the song. The room was filled with words about Rosa Parks and despite Cuevas’ best attempt to quell the energy in the room, it went on. Immediately, the board members got up and walked out. All except Adelita Grijalva who remained for the song’s entirety. As soon as the song was completed, a call from the audience, “Tucson Freedom Summer, walk out!” And the whole room was emptied in a matter of minutes. Chanting and inspiring words continued outside.
Here is my documentation:
FULL SET: http://chrissummitt.com/blog/boardmtg_7_10_12/
Tonight’s board meeting got ‘a little rowdy’. There was a short call to the audience. The banned books were mentioned and Pedicone denied this happening. Around the middle of the meeting, the banners were brought out outside of the building. Chanting ensued. Eventually the whole crowd encroached upon the gated entrance and let their voice be heard.
Toward the end of the meeting, Michael Hicks got bored, left the meeting and came outside. He sat on the railing and began openly taunting the crowd under police protection. After much ridicule, he went back to the meeting.
At this point I was not allowed to go inside to take pictures. The barricades were doubled up and the police refused to let anyone into the open meeting which is by law open to the public. The reason, we were too rowdy. Eventually, the supervisor came out and allowed one person at a time in. Here are the pictures I got.
FULL SET: http://chrissummitt.com/blog/protestaz/boardmtg_7_2_12/
Today marks the first day of the Tucson Freedom Summer. There are many events planned for the month of July, so far there are 45 events scheduled in the 31 days. Here are some photos from the first day.
FULL SET HERE: http://chrissummitt.com/blog/tfswelcome
More info can be found here: http://www.tucsonfreedomsummer.com
Prior to the start of this week’s board meeting, there was a short press conference. An announcement was made regarding the department of education opening an investigate into civil rights violations perpetrated by TUSD.
The Civil Rights Center, Inc.(the CRC), an Arizona Nonprofit Advocacy group headed by Executive Director, Silverio Garcia Jr., filed a RACIAL DISCRIMINATION complaint against the Tucson Unified School District #1 on January 17, 2012.
Here are the photos from that press conference:
Full Set: http://chrissummitt.com/blog/protestaz/boardmtg_5_8_12/
More information here: http://threesonorans.com/2012/05/03/breaking-office-of-civil-rights-opens-investigation-into-tusd-school-board-for-civil-rights-violations/