Remove New Lynbrook Coach Persky (a Judge in Brock Turner's Case)
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CW; Sexual Assault/ Rape Mention
Lynbrook's recent decision to hire former Judge Persky is troubling for many reasons.
- First, all Athletic coaches have to be mandated reporters for harassment and abuse, and Persky’s language during the trial and decision to focus on supporting the rapist more than the survivor Chanel Miller has made it clear he does not respect the bodily autonomy of women and therefore cannot be an appropriate choice for our tennis coach. That is not the type of person our 14-16-year-old girls on the JV Sports team should have for a coach or mentor.
- Secondly, The first judge to be recalled in a solid century surely should not have been the most “qualified” for a sports coach. The people of California spoke up to recall Persky and California laws were changed after Persky's treatment of the case to try and prevent similar instances from repeating. Persky's bias towards rapist Brock Turner should be a very compelling reason to not consider Persky to be in a position to coach a public high school sports team.
Finally, by bringing Persky into their teachers' circle, Lynbrook will be sending a dangerous message that it does not treat Chanel Miller or any survivor with the respect they deserve. Survivors have to deal with trauma and a host of other issues for their whole life and Persky should have no place being the mandated reporter to our young girls.
- While we do wish and hope for sexual assault/race/bias/gender/masculinity training for everyone in our high school in order to grow and think about these issues in a more nuanced way, the pushback from our community to have Persky as a teacher in our public school should illuminate that we as a community believe hiring him is incongruous with the values of safe learning that Lynbrook espouses, that our district espouses. If we have the knowledge to make better choices then we have the responsibility to act on them.
Please consider signing this petition, my classmates and I are already emailing our current principal and sports department head. And it would be great to show that the community stands with survivors and are in support of firing Persky.
Below are statements from members of the Lynbrook Community that are important to read as well:
- Lynbrook Alumnae Sunny Wu stated,
"I cannot even fathom how the administration arrived at a decision that shoves aside all morals in the face of children and families".
- Lynbrook Alumnae Elizabeth Yang wrote the following:
"In a case that shook the nation, Stanford student-athlete Brock Turner was convicted of three counts of felony sexual assault in 2015. Turner had raped an unconscious woman, Chanel Miller, outside a fraternity house on campus, an act which was witnessed by two other Stanford students.
The consequences for Turner also stoked outrage - he only served 3 of 6 months in jail (out of a maximum sentence of 14 years). The judge who administered this sentence? None other than Judge Michael Aaron Persky, the first judge in California to be recalled since 1932...now hired as a JV girl's tennis coach at Lynbrook High School.
At the time, Persky defended his actions by saying: "A prison sentence would have a severe impact on [Brock Turner]." This is a heartless dismissal of Chanel Miller's experiences, which have left a severe impact on her - you can read the powerful letter she read to Brock Turner in court here.
We do not believe that the hiring of Mr. Persky reflects Lynbrook High School's values, nor that of the Fremont Union High School District (FUHSD). We are highly disappointed that the FUHSD considers Mr. Persky a "highly qualified applicant" due to his tennis experience. As with any job interview, experience alone is not sufficient - one must also consider the cultural fit and reception by the community of the individual.
As working at a school is one of the highest callings within our society, we urge the FUHSD to reconsider the hiring of Mr. Persky as a JV girl's tennis coach at Lynbrook High School. Furthermore, we insist that the FUHSD perform more thorough background checks going forward. In this day and age, there's no excuse for the FUHSD finding out Mr. Persky's history as a judge only as of last week (during the week of Sep 2, 2019).
We know that you will hear our voice - we stand for the youth of our community."
- Students at Lynbrook High School
- Parents of Students at Lynbrook High School
- Lynbrook High School Alumni
- Community Members
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