US

Mom who called for schools to reopen says she was ‘racially profiled’ by LA teachers union

A Los Angeles mom pushing for schools to reopen has accused a teachers union of racial profiling after they asked for her ethnicity in an email and later blamed ‘white wealthy parents’ for a ‘rushed return’ to classrooms.  

Maryam Qudrat, who is of Afghan descent, says she received an email from United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), the union which represents staff in the LA Unified School District, asking how she identifies after she spoke with the press. 

Cecily Myart-Cruz, head of UTLA, then slammed a reopening plan proposed Monday, arguing it was being driven largely by ‘white wealthy parents’. 

In January – shortly before Qudrat received her email – Myart-Cruz said union members have been ‘stalked on social media by wealthy white and Middle Eastern parents’ about the reopenings. 

Qudrat, whose son is in seventh grade, told Fox11: ‘Their conclusion is if you want schools to reopen right now, then that means you are racist against African Americans and Latinos.’

She was emailed by the union, who said they were conducting a survey on people who have spoken to the media about the reopenings.

Qudrat added: ‘I felt very targeted. 

‘I think that they are very clearly case building, they are trying to collect data on folks like me who have been quoted in the LA Times, and they’re trying to say that if you are in favor the kids coming back to school, you’re racist.

‘Anybody who spends 30 seconds reading that email would see that it is very clear pointed racism, they are racial profiling. If it was sent out to somebody who was African American or Latino, they would have a lawsuit on their hands.’

Maryam Qudrat has accused United Teachers Los Angeles of racial profiling her after they blamed ‘white wealthy parents’ for the rush to get back in classrooms

Qudrat was emailed by the union, who said they were conducting a survey on people who have spoken to the media about the reopenings

Qudrat was emailed by the union, who said they were conducting a survey on people who have spoken to the media about the reopenings

Qudrat has been behind calls for schools to reopen in the district. On Monday California Gov Gavin Newsom said that the state had reached a deal to fund getting children back in classrooms.     

She added: ‘I’m a mom and an educator and I want our kids to come back to school.’ 

She says she received an email asking her about her race and class as part of a ‘research project’ on those who have spoken to the media on the issue. 

The UTLA said in a statement: ‘The email in question is from a UTLA researcher who was attempting to ascertain the race of individuals quoted in order to assess whether or not that is a factor we could evaluate. 

‘This outreach by the researcher was not authorized and nothing from that outreach is contained in the report. We understand this type of email could be taken out of context.’     

Qudrat, whose son is in seventh grade, told Fox11 : 'Their conclusion is if you want schools to reopen right now, then that means you are racist against African Americans and Latinos'

Qudrat, whose son is in seventh grade, told Fox11 : ‘Their conclusion is if you want schools to reopen right now, then that means you are racist against African Americans and Latinos’

Cecily Myart-Cruz, head of UTLA, this week slammed a reopening plan proposed Monday and argued that it was being driven largely by 'white wealthy parents'. In January she posted to Facebook that union members have been 'stalked on social media by wealthy white and Middle Eastern parents' about the reopenings

Cecily Myart-Cruz, head of UTLA, this week slammed a reopening plan proposed Monday and argued that it was being driven largely by ‘white wealthy parents’. In January she posted to Facebook that union members have been ‘stalked on social media by wealthy white and Middle Eastern parents’ about the reopenings

The UTLA has already said it fears that Newsom’s school reopening plan will favor ‘white and wealthier schools’ in neighborhoods where COVID-19 is less prevalent. 

It’s the latest in a series of controversial statements from school boards in California, with the entire Oakley Union Elementary School District resigning last month after a member said parents wanted schools open so they could sit home and smoke pot. 

Meanwhile, a teacher who runs the union in Oakland said last month that ‘rich white parents’ complaining about schools being shut should ‘take a seat.’ 

Newsom and lawmakers have been under increasing pressure to come up with a statewide plan to allow students to return for in-person classes given most have been learning from home for the past year. 

If approved by the Legislature, the plan announced on Monday would see $2 billion set aside to pay districts that get select groups of students into classrooms by the end of the month.  

Cecily Myart-Cruz, head of UTLA, has slammed the plan and argued that it was being driven largely by ‘white wealthy parents’. 

Cecily Myart-Cruz, head of United Teachers Los Angeles, has slammed Gov Gavin Newsom's plan and argued that it was being driven largely by 'white wealthy parents'.

Gov Gavin Newsom has been under increasing pressure to come up with a statewide plan to allow students to return for in-person classes

Cecily Myart-Cruz, head of United Teachers Los Angeles, has slammed Gov Gavin Newsom’s plan and argued that it was being driven largely by ‘white wealthy parents’.

‘Some voices are being allowed to speak louder than others. We have to call out the privilege behind the largely white wealthy parents driving the push for a rushed return,’ she told KABC.

She said their experiences amid the pandemic was not the same as those endured by the families of students of color. 

‘Unfortunately, the plan reverts to deeply flawed ideas in Gavin Newsom’s proposal in December to offer school districts more money if they open faster,’ Myart-Cruz said. 

‘If you condition funding on the reopening of schools, that money will only go to white and wealthier schools that do not have the transmission rates that low income black and brown communities do.’

The Los Angeles Unified School District has more than 650,000 students, according to district materials, and is 74 percent Latino, 10 percent white and 7.8 percent black.

California’s budget package, which is $6.6 billion in total, marks the latest effort by a US state to get schoolchildren back in class after nearly a year confined to home learning.  

The United Teachers Los Angeles, which is the union that represents staff in the Los Angeles Unified School District, fears that Newsom's school reopening plan will favor 'white and wealthier schools' in neighborhoods where COVID-19 is less prevalent

The United Teachers Los Angeles, which is the union that represents staff in the Los Angeles Unified School District, fears that Newsom’s school reopening plan will favor ‘white and wealthier schools’ in neighborhoods where COVID-19 is less prevalent

Newsom and lawmakers have been under increasing pressure to come up with a statewide plan to allow students to return for in-person classes given most have been learning from home for the past year. Pictured are protesters in Los Angeles

Newsom and lawmakers have been under increasing pressure to come up with a statewide plan to allow students to return for in-person classes given most have been learning from home for the past year. Pictured are protesters in Los Angeles

California teachers’ union president is filmed dropping off his daughter, two, at her private preschool – despite leading the charge that it’s UNSAFE to open public schools

Matt Meyer (above), president of the Berkeley Federation of Teachers

Matt Meyer (above), president of the Berkeley Federation of Teachers

The president of a California teacher’s union has been branded a hypocrite after he was caught dropping off his two-year-old daughter at her private preschool – despite saying it was unsafe for kids to be in classrooms.

Matt Meyer, president of the Berkeley Federation of Teachers, has fought for what he called the ‘gold standard’ for educators in his district – insisting public schools should reopen for in-person learning only when the teachers are vaccinated, among other criteria, according to KQED.

However, he has since come under fire from angry parents after a group known as Guerrilla Momz followed Meyer and his daughter to her pre-school, where they captured him dropping her off for in-person lessons on February 18.

‘Meet Matt Meyer. White man with dreads and president of the local teachers’ union,’ the group wrote on Twitter. ‘He’s been saying it is unsafe for *your kid* to be back at school, all the while dropping his kid off at private school.’

In a separate post to YouTube, the group added: ‘Matt Meyer Berkeley Federation of Teachers President blocks opening public schools in-person, yet has had his own child in in-person school since June 2020. Stop the hypocrisy. Our children are suffering. Open schools full-time Now.’ 

Meyer called the actions of Guerrilla Momz ‘very inappropriate’ and an intrusion on his daughter’s privacy, though her face is blurred in the video.

The embattled union president also added that there were ‘no public options for kids her age’. 

‘There are major differences in running a small preschool and a 10,000 student public school district in terms of size, facilities, public health guidance and services that legally have to be provided,’ Meyer told Fox News.     

To get their slice of the $2 billion, districts in counties under the state’s most restrictive set of COVID rules – known as the purple tier – must offer in-person learning for transitional kindergarten through second grade, plus certain vulnerable students in all grades. This includes students who are disabled, homeless, in foster care, learning English, don’t have access to technology or are at risk of abuse and neglect.

Counties in the next group, known as the red tier, must offer in-person instruction for all elementary school grades, plus at least one grade each in middle and high schools. 

With new COVID cases falling, Newsom said he expects most counties to be in the red tier by the end of the month.

Districts that meet the March 31 deadline get full compensation based on a complicated formula, while those that meet the standards after April 1 get less money. 

Districts that fail to have children back in classrooms before May 15 won’t get any money.

The bill does not say how long students must be in the classroom each week. 

The legislation announced by Newsom does not require districts to have an agreement with teachers’ unions on a plan for in-person instruction. 

That is a barrier that many districts, including the nation’s second-largest district in Los Angeles, have not been able to overcome. 

The plan also doesn’t require all teachers be vaccinated, which teacher unions had urged and that could take months given the nation’s limited supply of vaccine.

The legislation would make it state law that 10 percent of the state’s vaccine supply be set aside specifically for teachers and school staff. 

The plan does not order districts to make the return compulsory and no parents would be compelled to send their kids back to school in-person. 

‘You can’t reopen your economy unless you get your schools reopened for in-person instruction,’ Gov Newsom said.

‘We expect all of our transitional kindergarten to grade two classrooms open within the next month.

‘And our core belief is this: Once you dip your toe in… once you build trust, then we will start to see a cadence of reopening across the spectrum.’ 

The announcement comes at a critical time for Newsom, who could face a recall election later this year fueled by anger over his response to the pandemic.

Newsom has imposed some of the harshest restrictions of any state on California’s roughly 40 million residents, and many businesses still remain closed.

The state’s two largest teachers unions mostly praised the agreement, with California Federation of Teachers President Jeff Freitas calling the prioritization of vaccines for teachers ‘a huge victory.’ 

Kevin Gordon, a lobbyist representing many of the state’s school districts, called the plan ‘a grand slam home run,’ saying it ‘dismantled every impediment to reopening that we’ve had so far.’ 


Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button