JUSD Threatens Students with Discipline, Parents with Fines if Walkouts Protesting Racist Comments by Teachers at Rubidoux High School Continues
The Southwest Political Report
By: Irene Sanchez
On Thursday February 16, 2017 six teachers made racist comments on social media about Rubidoux High School students participating in a #daywithoutimmigrants These teachers are now on paid administrative leave as the Jurupa Unified School District investigates.
Rubidoux High School is located in Jurupa Valley, CA close to Riverside, CA and has a student body made up of 90 percent Latinx students. It is part of the Jurupa Unified School District. The photos of the posts made by teachers were brought to light from the posts of a woman named Guadalupe Lopez on facebook. See The Southwest Political Report article from 2/17.
On Friday February 17, 2017 students walked out of Rubidoux High School around lunch time to protest the racist remarks by teachers that included characterized those who participated in a #daywithoutimmigrants as “lazy” and “drunks”. The students were reported marching down Mission Blvd in Jurupa Valley and a group of students made their way to Patriot High School where there was reports of Patriot High School Student attempting to join the walkout.
At 2:30pm while students were seen marching down Riverview Ave, parents, students, alumni and community members were gathering at the front of the Rubidoux high school campus to show their support for the students and demand that administration take swift action. At 3:00pm Superintendent Elliot Duchon came out to address the crowd and can be seen in a facebook live video talking down to parents before leaving. The administration walked back into the building and Sheriffs deputies later chained the gate to the school. More information about what happened at the rally including video can be found in The Southwest Political Report article from 2/18.
In their latest statement on Saturday February 18. 2017 JUSD administration strongly is urging parents to talk to their children and discourage them from walking out.
This is highly problematic as parents and community members demanded answers at the rally Friday and were denied access to campus and speaking to administrators in a dialogue and were also told there would be no community forum at this time. Administration has now come up with a series of ways to discipline students and their parents for protesting including arrest immediately, but can not give clear answers as to how and when the issue of the racist comments made by the six teachers will be addressed. Here is an excerpt from the JUSD statement on February 18, 2017:
“Parents, from your phone calls and conversations over the past few days, you have told us what is most important to you. You want your children to be safe and receive the best possible education. You are our first partner in education. It is imperative that you discuss these issues with your student. Participation in a walk-out could lead to suspension, expulsion, citations for truancy, fines for parents, arrests and loss of privileges. These losses could include: prom, athletic events, participation on athletic teams, and graduation. Any one of these outcomes could have a significant negative impact on your child’s future. It could jeopardize your child’s ability to attend college, join the military or get a job.
In the event there is a walk-out, a bell will ring and students are to return to their class immediately. Attendance will be taken and any student not present will be truant and consequences will follow.”
Students, Parents, Alumni, and Community members are planning to be present at the JUSD board meeting this Tuesday February 21, 2017 at the JUSD Board Room located at 4950 Pedley Road, Jurupa Valley, CA 92509.
Photo: Irene Sanchez, The Southwest Political Report
Students chanting to speak to administration on Friday at the rally