Advocating for a Dignified Education at Newport Mesa District

Advocating for a Dignified Education at Newport Mesa District

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GABRIELA HERNANDEZ started this petition to NMUSD School Board Members and

Students from Newport Mesa school district have been dealing with racism and xenophobia on school campuses for far too long. The recent incident of students from Newport Harbor High, Corona del Mar and Costa Mesa High posing in a picture hailing Hitler with a swastika made out of red cups is not surprising. Students tell a story that has been occurring for over 25 years where a two tier educational system exist - one that prioritizes white students and one for students of color. School district members and administrators have known about these types of behaviors and have chosen not to take any real action.

Recent incidents of xenophobia occurred in 2016 when students tagged up Newport Harbor High with racial slurs (yes swastikas), engaged in bullying behaviors towards anyone who disagreed with them including a school based Instagram page. School board members and administrators have expressed disapproval for the actions of students in the pictures. Forums have been held at Newport Harbor High and Corona del Mar High. Although these steps are appreciated, more has to be done to challenge school environments that promote white supremacy. 

Students have come together, both alumni and current students, to create tangible list of changes that can be implemented at NMUSD that changes the current school environment and promotes a more inclusive one. Students of color, specifically black students, and students with disabilities are over punished. Students have expressed fear of their safety and fear of a possible school shooting in the future as animosity has increased on campuses. 

We ask that you sign on to petition especially if you are a student at a NMUSD school, a parent of a NMUSD student or a resident of Costa Mesa/Newport Beach. Any support provided is truly appreciated, please share and attend next school board meeting on Tuesday March 12th, 2019 at 6pm at 2985 Bear St, Costa Mesa, Ca, cross streets Baker and Bear. 

Together we can challenge racism and xenophobia! 

Below is a list of changes students are demanding:

To Address Physical and Psychological Segregation

- Diversity & Inclusivity department at each secondary school 

- Compassion retreats, cultural events, cultural education

- Biased training for teachers, school board members and administration

- Trainings for students and teachers/school board members/administration on white privilege

- School district based association advocating for students on all campuses

- Seek out more diverse teaching staff that reflects the community 

- Integrate area near ASB area at Newport Harbor High that promotes superiority though class and race

- Address lack of diversity in student body

- Have a designated area that is welcoming (non counseling area) to access forms such as waivers, college information, etc

- Have drop boxes for waivers to attend dances, events, AP classes, college testing

- Create system to include parents of students of color due to minimal involvement with school

- Implement Ethnic Studies to learn about all cultures including Black studies, Latino studies, Native American, Asian, Women, LGBTQI as a high school requirement

- Implement more history teaching in elementary schools as stated in state standards and not being met at NMUSD to include books that promote diversity ex: Diary of Anne Frank, Number of Stars,

- Bring back Spanish for Spanish speakers at NHHS

To Address Overpolicing of Students of Color

- Biased training for teachers, school board members and administration

- Address over policing of mental health symptoms/behaviors students are experiencing and lead to increase suspension/expulsion

- Stop bringing police dogs on campus that target classes where the majority of students are of color

- Do not remove cell phones from students (Ensign)

To Equal Access 

- Increase assistance to parents to learn about college preparation/trade schools/job market

- Assign 1-3 family engagement program representatives per high school/middle school  and 1 minimum at elementary schools

- AVID implementation in elementary schools

- Dual Immersion programs

- Stop the selective process for IB/AP courses that rely on biased teachers to recommend advanced classes

- Re develop AVID program at NHHS to stop AVID staff from limiting students of color from enrolling into advanced courses 

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