Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Santa Monica Schools Pay to "Infuse Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Across All Aspects." But Not All Parents Are On Board.

"...what makes you think that our district, which has the most DEI of perhaps any district on the planet earth, needs to infuse even more of it?"

Dear esteemed SMMUSD Board: I am writing in response to this request that all district parents received today regarding a consulting firm that you have hired to run a focus group of parents regarding the district’s commitment to "infusing DEI across all aspects of the district."

I am writing in extreme opposition to such a plan, particularly when it involves two unions, one of which doesn't even involve teachers, and is a large national service employees union, and involves costs related to outside consulting firms, and produces an immense distraction from your goal of educating children.

I would love to ask you this: is there a state law, mandating infusion of diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout all aspects of school districts, state-wide? What gave you the authority to do this? What gave you the mandate to budget large amounts of money and time toward this? And what makes you think that our district, which has the most DEI of perhaps any district on planet earth, needs to infuse even more of it into our district and its education of our children?

Can you point to any examples of how we don't already have diversity, equity, and inclusion in our district? This is a school district that has already banned certain advanced courses in the name of not offending racial minorities, who disproportionately do not appear in those classrooms. This is a district that dedicates all of its efforts already to issues of race and gender and sex. This is also a district that has had dramatically plummeting enrollment, large class sizes, and a great deal of problems ranging from drugs to suicide to violence, coupled with poor performance in test scores, particularly for those who are of lower income and of racial minorities.

Many of us already know what you mean when you talk about DEI infusion through all aspects of the district: you mean elimination of any incentives to perform well academically, you mean teaching to the lowest common denominator, and telling black and brown kids that they are too stupid to do well and that you're going to dumb things down so they can feel better about themselves, which is itself something deeply racist and disturbing. You mean that you will adjust your curriculum to teach children that America is a racist nation, even though we are the least racist place on earth, where people seek refuge from true racism, myself included. You mean telling children to differentiate among their friends and classmates and neighbors, based on skin color rather than the content of their character. You mean rewriting history to focus only on certain races and erase any achievements from people whose skin happens to be a particular color.

I'll be clear about this: I won't stand for this, and neither will a large number of parents in this district. You can expect there to be a substantial number of lawsuits because this type of plan is purely racist. You claim to be fighting racism, but if you want to see racism, just look in the mirror. People like you who become obsessed with skin color and teaching our little children that there is such a thing as race and that you should judge people based on it are why we have racism to begin with. Racism is something that is taught. If you don't differentiate based on skin color or other parameters, by definition, you cannot become racist. You guys are breeding a whole generation of future racists through policies that are disguised as, ironically, being in promotion of diversity.

Meanwhile, instead of focusing on all of our academic issues and doing everything you can to force all students of all backgrounds to take every imaginable AP course, to get into Ivy League colleges, to aspire to becoming wealthy and prosperous, you tell minority children that they are stupid. You tell them that they will never make anything of themselves. And you told this to white children as well, and get them to resent the children whose skin color is darker because, due to them, they are forced to take courses that are dumbed down as well.

There's no way that this type of behavior can continue on in our school district. You have to end this obsession with these destructive, racist policies that you claim to promote "diversity."

Please just end this madness. You will not be happy with the response that you will receive to this. If you want to continue this type of behavior, I strongly suggest that each of you resign. Anyone who is in favor of this does not belong on a school board. Anyone who promotes this type of DEI nonsense does not belong anywhere near our children. If you feel like pushing this type of agenda, why don't you join or create a parochial school? There parents who share your values can choose to send their children and leave the rest of us alone.

We finally got over the pandemic and what do you do? You jump onto this DEI ideology and plan to infuse it, as you say, into all aspects of our children's education. Let's end this today.

Thank you: Houman David Hemmati MD PhD


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