You may remember our letter to school authorities in San Clemente following hate speech at a high school football game. We have received the following response:2019-09-23-San-Clemente-Letter
We’d like to know if you think this is an ok response.
Our President joined our Housing Chair, Carol Spong at the hearing on September 13th regarding our lawsuit against the San Diego Housing Commission, alleging that the way the Commission sets Section 8 voucher values, and its impact on people of color and low-income San Diego Residents, should be changed to be more equitable.
We were also joined by our Assistant Treasurer, Wanda Rogers and NAACP members Abdul Waliullah Muhammad and Bro. Charles 3X, as well as at least one Section 8 client.
The Court has directed the San Diego Housing Commission to share the documents we have been requesting for four months now and that is a win, the Housing Commission is not allowed to withhold this evidence and we feel this evidence will further demonstrate the extent to which the Section 8 payment standards perpetuate racial segregation.
Overall, we had some gains and some setbacks, but we are still moving forward. There is a lot of information that the Commission has not given us that we need for our case and the judge authorized us to get as least some of it from the Commission. We will be doing that as well as working to get everything we need to prevail in this case. Our extraordinary attorneys, Paraja Ijadi-Maghsoodi, Bryan Pease and James Crosby are putting in incredible hours and doing an incredible job for the people and for the NAACP.
This will be a long case but we are in it to win it. We will keep you posted on developments. It appears clear that we will need to go beyond the courtroom to other methods of persuasion to achieve our goal of equity in housing in San Diego. Stay tuned. Thanks to those who came out and supported us in the courtroom.
Chris Carter, San Clemente High School Principal
Kirsten M. Vital, Capistrano Unified School District Superintendent
On the evening of September 13, 2019, the Lincoln High School football team played San Clemente High School at the invitation of San Clemente. This game was sanctioned by the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), and was subject to its rules and regulations, which mandate respect for all participants.
During the game, multiple spectators heckled the Lincoln players and cheer squad, repeatedly using racial slurs include the “n-word.” Furthermore, cheer squad members were racially harassed in restrooms, again including the “n-word.” This harassment came not only from high-school-age youth, but also from adult fans.
Four different Lincoln parents appealed to adults in San Clemente gear, attempting to get contact information for San Clemente administrators. While they were assured that administrative staff would be contacted, they received no response. There was no attempt to correct the situation over the public address system. The cheer squad, closer to the spectators and therefore in more direct contact with the racists in attendance, were advised to leave the game, and did so.
We are shocked and disgusted that such blatant racism would occur in 2019 at an athletic contest for high school students. Athletics are part of the educational system, and all of the anti-discrimination law and policy that applies in the classroom applies on the field and on the premises of an athletic contest. Furthermore, CIF prohibits discrimination and commands respect for all players and personnel.
While we are shocked and disgusted at the harassment itself, we are outraged and the lack of response shown from the San Clemente administration. You may be sure that we, along with our colleagues in the NAACP Orange County Branch, will be pursuing all avenues to see that this sort of harassment does not occur again.
We call on San Clemente High School and the Capistrano Unified School District to take the following actions:
We stand ready to assist with bias training and other resources to improve the attitude and response of the staff of such athletic events.
We are considering further action, including seeking forfeiture of the game and suspension of SCHS from the CIF, as well as filing formal complaints with CUSD, the Equity Office of the California Department of Education, and the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Education. We also refer you to the August 28th Collins v. Torlakson (Case No. F075781) decision reaffirming our right to pursue remedy in court over incidents such as these.
We invite you to have a serious discussion with us.
Clovis Honoré, President
NAACP San Diego Branch
Stephanie Brown, Lincoln High School Principal
Cindy Marten, San Diego Unified School District Superintendent
Sharon Whitehurst-Payne, San Diego Unified School District Trustee
NAACP Orange County Branch
California Interscholastic Federation
As you know, the NAACP San Diego Branch is involved in a lawsuit to fight the San Diego Housing Commission’s discriminatory and segregationist practice of setting Section 8 voucher levels too low to allow access to all areas of our city.
Low-income folks are a positive asset to a neighborhood when that neighborhood is doing well. They become part of the community, they participate in life, and their labor and presence helps the community thrive. It’s when low-income folks are forced to live all in one place that there is trouble; when nobody has much money, there’s no way for that neighborhood to thrive.
If we build a truly fair housing system, that lets low-income folks live throughout our city, they will do better and all our neighborhoods will do better.
There will be a hearing on September 13th at 10:30 a.m. in Department 66 at 330 W. Broadway (the Hall of Justice), to determine whether or not the SDHC will be required to let us look at their records so we can see fully into how they have behaved. Your support would be very much appreciated at this hearing!
It is important to RSVP if you plan to attend, so we can notify you of any last minute changes. Please check your mail before setting out for the hearing to make sure the Court hasn’t change it again.
We are very grateful to those of you who came out for our Press Conference; it got the media interested. Make no mistake; regardless of attorneys or judges or laws or motions or rulings, public opinion MATTERS. If YOU show up and YOU show you CARE about what they’re doing to low-income people and the neighborhoods the SDHC forces them to live in, our local government WILL take notice!