NAACP Support for Students of Bell Middle School

Dear Community Members,

We are writing today to affirm the NAACP San Diego Branch’s commitment to the students of Bell Middle School, and to assure the Community that those students will continue to receive all the programs (and more) to which they have become accustomed in the last few years.

We are very well aware that some persons have made public certain controversies regarding the administration and funding of the programs the NAACP has been conducting with Bell.  The fact that there have been controversies is certainly true.

However, the NAACP San Diego Branch has never allowed, and will never allow these controversies to in any way diminish the experience of the students at Bell Middle School.  Even when other parties have “canceled” events with less than 24 hours’ notice, the Branch and Bell staff have worked together to make the events happen on schedule.

Now that these controversies have finally been definitively resolved, the students at Bell can in fact look forward to smoother, more consistent and richer experience than ever before.

Please note that this letter is addressed to you, the Community, and not to the staff or students of Bell Middle School.  That is because the staff and students of Bell Middle School are already fully confident in our commitment, and are looking forward with enthusiasm to better NAACP support of their success than ever before.

Thank you for your attention,

Clovis Honoré
President, NAACP San Diego Branch

A Bit of Fuss

Not so long ago, the NAACP San Diego Branch took a vote to ask for a change in the NAACP’s State and National Policy.  In fact, we took two votes; one of our Executive Committee and then a ratification of that vote by our General Membership.

Those votes were conducted in a civil manner according to the NAACP Bylaws for Units and Robert’s Rules of Order.  This latter recommends that the Chair of any assembly (in our case, our President Clovis Honoré) maintain neutrality while the assembly deliberates and votes, casting his own vote only if it is necessary to change the outcome.  Our President followed those rules scrupulously, neither expressing his opinion nor favoring either side in the debate.

This has caused a bit of fuss, much of it beside the point.

However, we invite you to view this article, published on May 14th by Michael Meyers, president of the New York Civil Rights Commission and a former assistant NAACP national director.  In it, he explains the NAACP’s process quite well, and says nothing at all with which we, the NAACP San Diego Branch, disagree.

One thing Mr Meyers makes clear is this:

As such, there is no “local option” from such policies once adopted by the NAACP national board. And all units of the NAACP must abide by those policies

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, but we did say it slightly differently in an email to an inquirer on the topic:

As the resolution to which you refer is in opposition to a current position of the NAACP CA-HI State Conference and NAACP National, we will not publicly discuss or advocate for it, until such time as the resolution may be adopted.  The official position of the NAACP San Diego Branch remains in support of a moratorium on the expansion of charter schools.

We are in entire harmony with Mr Meyers, and thank him for his response.

There have been other commentators on this issue who seem to lack Mr Meyers’ grasp on (or perhaps respect for) the NAACP’s bylaws and democratic processes.  We invite such folks to learn from Mr Meyers’ article.

(Image credit: New Hampshire Public Radio)

Job Opportunities with PCI Global

Job notice received by the Branch. We do not endorse any job opportunity, we only pass along notices we have received. (We can’t but resist commenting that these seem like worthy jobs to do, however.)

Perinatal Health Educator – San Diego, California, United States – Project Concern International

PCI is recruiting Perinatal Educators for its Healthy Start San Diego Program. Healthy Start is a national initiative to improve perinatal family health, and will work with individuals and systems to reduce disparities in San Diego County. &nb…

Program Coordinator/Perinatal Educator – San Diego, California, United States – Project Concern International

PCI is recruiting a Program Coordinator/Perinatal Educator (PC) for its Healthy Start San Diego Program. Healthy Start is a national initiative to improve perinatal family health, and will work with individuals and systems to reduce disparities in…

Porter Elementary School is in Crisis

Many of you will already be aware of the situation at Porter Elementary School, as it was highlighted in multiple articles in the Voice of San Diego.

For those of you who aren’t, there are currently complaints filed with San Diego Unified School District, the California State Equity Office and the US Department of Education Office of Civil Rights. These complaints allege discrimination, safety violations, inadequate response to special needs, retaliation and more. San Diego Unified’s own investigative process has deemed the claims justified.

And yet, the response from the District seems to be entirely defensive. The only counsellor for 833 students has been notified that her hours will be reduced next year. NAACP representatives were told just yesterday that they must be confined to the counsellor’s office or leave school grounds; not only by Principal Chavez, but also by Area Superintendent Bivins. We have sent a letter of protest to the School Board.

The school has no PTA. One the day we were there, a parent was complaining about sickness being spread on school grounds; she was denied a conversation with Principal Chavez, who emerged from her office shortly after the parent left.

While the District has claimed that a “special team of counsellors” has been assigned to the school, these were not in evidence during yesterday’s (all too brief) NAACP visit to campus, nor has the current school counsellor met any of these alleged worthies. Indeed, the guidance assistant previously assigned to the school declined to return after sustaining multiple injuries on school grounds.

We urge all San Diego Residents who are concerned about the deplorable state of Porter Elementary and schools like to to go to the May 14th Board of Education Meeting, and demand that SD Unified do better for our children, and operate under truly equitable best practices. Please submit a public testimony request form if you would like your voice to be heard.

We’ll warn you–you’ll have to stay late. In what appears to be a further effort to suppress community input, the Board suddenly and quietly changed its rules to permit comment only at the ends of its meetings, not near the beginning as is customary for most public bodies.

Porter Elementary is part of the Lincoln Cluster, so to warm up for the SD Unified School Board Meeting, you might go to the Lincoln Cluster meeting on Tuesday, May 13th. At that meeting, one of the trustees who was present when the NAACP was booted off Porter’s campus will speak. The meeting will also contain a presentation on LCAP, which is one of the few ways we can try to ensure the School District spends our money fairly and in line with the needs of our kids.

Agenda_Lincoln-cluster-12.12.16-dragged

LCAP Presentation

Lincoln Cluster Meeting, May 13th 2019, 5:30pm. – 6:45pm, Lincoln High School

The Vice-Chair of the Lincoln Cluster, and the District Director for Assemblywoman Shirley N. Weber, Ph.D., Ms. Lashae Sharp-Collins, will be presenting on the Local Control & Accountability Plan (LCAP).

LCAP is the mechanism by which the community is supposed to be able to control school funding, and community engagement is critical. Our schools are relevant to all San Diego residents, whether they have children in the Lincoln Cluster or not.

For more info about the presentation, please contact the Lincoln Cluster Chair, Mr. Roosevelt Blackmon, via e-mail at [email protected].

For more information about the Lincoln Cluster, please visit https://www.sandiegounified.org/lincoln-cluster.