Recall John Earnhardt from the Las Lomitas Governing Board

Recall John Earnhardt from the Las Lomitas Governing Board

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!
Brianna Caldwell started this petition to bpolito@llesd.org and

Petition to Recall John Earnhardt, Las Lomitas Governing Board Member

Las Lomitas Governing Board Member John Earnhardt should be recalled for failing to formally denounce racism present in Las Lomitas Board leadership. In a year marked by civic unrest and evidence of both white privilege and systemic racism in our society, his failure to take an anti-racist stance to Mehridith Venverloh’s twitter posts is unacceptable in this community.

Over the weekend, our community was exposed to nauseating, racist, sexist, homophobic words that were publicly shared from the social media account of our former Board President’s wife, Mehridith Venverloh (see Almanac article). Following the discovery of this vitriol, Jon Venverloh issued a lukewarm attempt at an apology, a clear exercise in damage control. Jon Venverloh finally resigned later in the day, after hours of pressure to do so; in his resignation statement, he was singularly focused on how much he had done for the district. Venverloh managed to further exacerbate the situation in a Daily Post article, saying that “while his wife wasn’t happy with the outcome of the presidential election, she wasn’t a racist and, in fact, is mentoring a young Hispanic girl in North Fair Oaks”- a statement that further reflects his racism, severe lack of diversity and inclusivity education and racial literacy, and incompetence in sitting as the board president for any multicultural institution. 

In the same Daily Post article, John Earnhardt, another Governing Board member, was quoted as saying:

“Venverloh was a great colleague … very diligent as a board member and impactful for the district. The controversy moved quickly today because it spread through electronic media and parents this year are more engaged in the district than in the past. Before the pandemic, maybe eight to 15 people would attend school board meetings. But after the pandemic began, and the meetings moved the Zoom platform, attendance exploded to 150 people or more. There has been an active, passionate, engaged parent community.”

It is very telling that Earnhardt, a former corporate communications executive who is well-versed in handling the media, did not explicitly denounce the hate speech of Mehridith Venverloh. Instead, John Earnhardt used his privilege to defend Jon Venverloh, and trivialized the gravity of the trauma to our community by minimizing it as a social media controversy.

Here was a public opportunity for a community leader to express outrage and affirm why it is toxic for our children and our schools to hear the kind of speech coming from Mehridith Venverloh. Earnhardt did not take it. Instead, he chose to add his name to a pro-forma joint email, after the Daily Post story was released, that denounced racism, sexism, homophobia and bigotry in general terms.

Furthermore, Earnhardt has a long history of censoring and silencing parents and teachers who have expressed concerns about the school district. A district mother pleaded with the school for more diverse hiring; she was told by the Board and administrative staff that they’d have to “lower hiring standards,” and that “we can’t hire Black people, the community isn’t ready for it,” to which John Earnheardt responded “But the test scores are all good.” In a recent discussion about pandemic safety, he insulted parents and teachers who were deeply concerned about plans to reopen.The current crisis is just the most public instance in which he has not been able to foster a safe space for parents, teachers, and families in our community. It seems clear that he does not have the understanding, background, or training in diversity and inclusivity to represent our interests.

For these reasons, John Earnhardt should be recalled from his position on our Governing Board. His actions and words conclude we no longer have confidence that he can faithfully and unbiasedly continue to execute his duties as a LLESD school board trustee. We are filing a Vote of No Confidence.

Our community has overwhelmingly agreed that there is much work to be done. The trauma surrounding Jon Venverloh’s resignation is a call to action. To think that “it’s time to move on from this” is to be complicit as well, and part of the problem. We urge you to use your privilege and voice to combat systemic racism in our very own school, and eradicate any threat to an unsafe space for our children and families. There is no middle ground between racism and anti-racism. The trauma we endured over the weekend and week should not be the bar- I hope we can identify racism before it comes to that.

 

Signed,

Brianna Caldwell, Las Lomitas School District parent

Marie Summers, Las Lomitas School District parent

 

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!