Parents witness angry school trustee conclude everyone is racist

Thursday, March 11, 2021
 | 
Bob Kellogg, Billy Davis (OneNewsNow.com)

desks in high school classroomParents who watched an online school board meeting hoping to hear an update on in-person learning got to witness much more: A school board trustee snapped at the superintendent and at fellow school board members, mocked the parents, and finally concluded that everyone is racist.

Charda Bell-Fontenot, the school board vice president for La Mesa-Spring Valley, made a string of questionable comments to fellow trustees while they discussed the issue of reopening schools during a virtual board meeting.

The trustees were planning to discuss a reopening date for La-Mesa Spring Valley to return to in-person learning, and that issue predictably drew hundreds of parents to watch the live meeting online.

La-Mesa Spring Valley, located east of San Diego, serves approximately 12,500 students in 21 schools.

According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, the school board eventually voted 4-1 to reopen for "hybrid" instruction starting April 19. Bell-Fontenot voted against a compromise over the date.  

Parents witnessed Bell-Fontenot claim fellow school board members were ignorant about the racial issue of reopening schools and, when the superintendent tepidly spoke up for them, she accused him of racism and questioned his right to attempt to speak up for others.  

“I think that [conversation] should be a private conversation,” Rebecca McRae, the school board president, interjected.  

“It doesn’t need to be private. None of this needs to be private,” Bell-Fontenot shot back. “Racism doesn’t need to be private, Becky.”

In another exchange, Bell-Fontenot claimed the discussion to reopen seemed like “white supremacist ideology” because the school board was forcing minorities to “comply and conform" despite fears of COVID-19. 

On the same topic of reopening, the angry trustee compared reopening to slavery.

Green

Reacting to the incident, Derryck Green of Project 21 says naïve parents finally witnessed what their own children are learning in classrooms, too.  

"[Parents] don't understand the depth to which using terms like ‘white supremacist ideology,’ and constant references to slavery and structural racism, the extent to which that is used in the classroom,” he says. “It's good that they're hearing this."

The online meeting, and the conduct of its angry, sarcastic trustee, proved to be a goldmine of content for the group Reopen California Schools. The group posted the meeting on Twitter.

According to the Union-Tribune, Bell Fontenot hired an attorney who says she is the subject of harassment and racist death threats. 

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