Demand the resignation of Bryce Anderson from the David Douglas School Board
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Links to Bryce Anderson's anti-immigrant comment and full audio from the Inclusion Resolution vote at the David Douglas School Board meeting 3.9.2017:
Clip of Bryce Anderson's statement with transcript
Demand Bryce Anderson's immediate resignation and the board's formal denouncement of his comment. His comment likening undocumented immigrants to murderers is clear evidence of discrimination toward immigrant students and is a direct affront to the David Douglas mission statement and the Inclusion Resolution.
At the February school board meeting, school board member Andrea Valderrama presented to the board a draft Inclusion resolution. The resolution was similar to that of other school districts and cities, responding to increased fear to ICE, registries and hate crimes in our schools. It stated the existing polices protecting students and added that school funds will not be used to aid ICE and that staff and faculty will be trained in how to respond to federal immigration, how they will support kids whose parents are taken and so on. Really, a no-brainer.
The inclusion resolution was met with apathy and significant pushback and some outright hostility from the other board members. Thankfully, knowing that people had attended specifically for this issue, the chair Kyle Riggs opened up the floor for input. A handful of concerned parents, staff and community members offered strong support for the resolution and countered the anti-immigrant comments from board member Donn Gardner. Following that, the board agreed to work with Andrea over the next month to develop a resolution they could all support and the final vote was scheduled for the March school board meeting.
The conference room was overflowing at the March 9th school board meeting. It's been estimated that 100 people were in attendance whereas these meetings usually draw 5-10. Approximately, 40 people testified, only 1 not fully in support. Community members, staff, teachers, parents and students talked about why this resolution is so important.
Because of the format, the vote did not happen until near the end of this meeting at 11:30 pm - which meant that few people were still around to hear the outcome. It was immediately clear that the vote would not be unanimous and that no amount of editing was going to change the 3 dissenting member's votes (Cheryl Scarcelli Ancheta, Donn Gardner & Bryce Anderson). All three talked about respecting the constitution and that fears of ICE were unfounded - pretty typical of the comments from last meeting.
The 3 dissenting Board members used "process" as an excuse throughout the discussion yet were clearly opposed to putting any kind of resolution forward from the beginning, and really threw Andrea Valderrama under the bus that night.
Then, at the end of the debate and pretty much out of no where, Bryce Anderson added something unrelated to education, likening undocumented immigrants to murderers. At that, the room when into audible outrage and visible shock. Chairman, Kyle Riggs, then slammed his gavel, shushing and admonishing the audience. No one on the entire board challenged Bryce's bigoted comments.
The vote was then taken passing 4 to 3. A bitter, hard fought victory for the community.
The following morning a request was made and promptly fulfilled by Superintendent Ken Richardson's office for the audio recording.
Since then, I have filed a formal AC-AR discrimination compliant form against Bryce Anderson - directly with the board chair and have begun petitioning the board to ask Anderson for his resignation AND that they formally denounce his comment.
It is my opinion that the Board members who made personal statements about undocumented immigrant children and their parents are not working for everyone in our district and are violating local, state, and federal law in protecting all kids.
I need help in elevating this story. I need people to know what's going on out here in David Douglas School District. When we cannot count on our school board to support ALL children, they need to go. We cannot make progress with leaders like Bryce Anderson. Leaders who make no effort to hide their racism and anti-immigrant bigotry. Please sign and share and attend the next meeting board meeting April 13th @ 7pm in the David Douglas High School conference room 1500 SE 130th ave Portland, Oregon 97233
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