Here’s a story for all you school board fans.
On Tuesday, a father was turned down by the San Francisco Board of Education for a spot on his local Parent Advisory Council.
That, despite his endorsement by sitting council members.
From a February 9th memorandum from the council to the board:
The Parent Advisory Council respectfully requests the commissioners of the Board of Education to appoint one candidate recommended by the PAC for appointment, Seth Brenzel. His term would begin (retroactively) on February 1, 2021 and end on January 31, 2023. …
PAC members discussed the candidate at the PAC’s regular meeting on February 2, 2021. The PAC voted unanimously to approve this candidate, and we present this recommendation to the Board of Education to approve and appoint this candidate to the PAC.
There were four seats open, but he just couldn’t make it happen.
Before Seth’s consideration, Commissioner Matt Alexander noted a concern.
Per the meeting’s transcript:
“These spaces matter, and I think if we’re going to have a P.A.C., to me, that’s an intentional space. White parent(s) also in the city tend to have a lot of privilege and power and access the Board of [Education] in various ways. There’s various political ways and other ways that white parents access Board of [Education] all the time. In my view, if we’re going to have a space, we need to devote district staff and resources that (are) more focused on groups that are currently marginalized. Not creating space that overrepresent(s) white parents. I’m just really concerned about that, I guess. In terms of allocation of our resources of the public school district.”
According to San Francisco Chronicle columnist Heather Knight, the race thing sank Seth’s battleship.
“Their problem was that he’s white and doesn’t bring diversity to the group,” she wrote.
The reported result: Zero men on the council.
Color the meeting’s clerk unimpressed:
“This is public shaming. It’s bullying behavior by people of power. Leaders of our community. Seth is one of the most caring people I know. He is a leader in our neighborhood community. He is a leader in his school community. Pto President. He is a leader of the city community. If you talk about presentation, you just talked about not being enough dads in the group. He is a gay father of — he has a mixed race family. I don’t know what more you need to just — he’s a good person. That’s all I have to say.”
The SF school board tonight spent two hours talking about whether to allow a gay dad of mixed-race SFUSD kids to volunteer for one of several empty seats on a parent advisory group. Their problem was that he’s white and doesn’t bring diversity to the group. 1/2
— Heather Knight (@hknightsf) February 10, 2021
They didn’t appoint him, and now the parent group remains all moms which means women must do all the work of the group. And seven hours after the meeting started, they still aren’t talking about how to safely reopen schools.
— Heather Knight (@hknightsf) February 10, 2021
School Board Vice President Alison Collins expressed a different kind of offense:
“As a mixed-race person myself, I find it offensive when folks say that somebody is a parent of somebody who is a person of color as like a signifier that they’re qualified to represent that community.”
In the end, they moved to wait for a final decision.
And amid all that, the council chose to sock it to meritocracy.
From The Daily Caller:
The board ultimately moved to table the vote on Brenzel’s appointment until a more diverse group could be appointed to the Parent Advisory Council. It then voted to end the merit-based application process for Lowell High School, which the board assailed as creating “pervasive systemic racism.”
San Fran education’s really on the ball where race is concerned. As previously covered by RedState’s Mike Miller, a teacher’s February 3rd op-ed in the Chronicle schooled readers on white privilege during the presidential inauguration:
[A]cross all of our news and social media feeds, was Bernie: Bernie memes, Bernie sweatshirts, endless love for Bernie. I puzzled and fumed as an individual as I strove to be my best possible teacher. What did I see? What did I think my students should see? A wealthy, incredibly well-educated and -privileged white man, showing up for perhaps the most important ritual of the decade, in a puffy jacket and huge mittens.
“When you see privilege, you know it,” I’d told [students] weeks before. Yet, when they saw Sen. Bernie Sanders manifesting privilege, when seemingly no one else did, I struggled to explain that disparity. I am beyond puzzled as to why so many are loving the images of Bernie and his gloves. Sweet, yes, the gloves, knit by an educator. So “Bernie.”
Not so sweet? The blindness I see, of so many (Bernie included), to the privileges Bernie represents. I don’t know many poor, or working class, or female, or struggling-to-be-taken-seriously folk who would show up at the inauguration of our 46th president dressed like Bernie. Unless those same folk had privilege. Which they don’t.
Back to the school board, let’s hope they get it all figured out.
And when Seth shows up for his second chance, a word of advice:
Don’t wear mittens, Mr. Privileged.
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