On Friday, February 7, three members (shown in the pictures above) of the Citizens of the World Charter School Mar Vista community were seen in front of Stoner ES handing out out fliers containing a CWC logo that responded to the petition and 187 letters sent to CWC and LAUSD from the Stoner ES community. As you can see in highlighted section of the flier, CWC minimizes the complaints of the entire community and places the blame for all the problems on "the neighbor...who is a the preschool parent organizing the Stoner parents against CWC because he doesn't want traffic on his street.. "
After handing out their fliers, the three CWC members were seen at the CWC entrance on Lindblade fraternizing with the CWC principal and other CWC community members. In an email response to questions about this flier, the executive director denied that these people were affiliated with CWC.
Unless there is another neighbor that I am not aware of who has a daughter who is in pre-k and who lives on Stoner, Lindblade or Wagner, then they could only be talking about your humble blogger here. Why was it necessary to mention that my daughter was in pre-K and thus making her a target. After that CWC flier went out is when we started receiving anonymous threats from the CWC community.
A few days after the CWC flier was circulated, I received an email threat from someone representing themselves as from the CWC community and part of the Culver City gang (we'll have more on this in an upcoming FLASHBACK), basically, saying that if we didn't cut out what I was doing, they were going to organize "los del jarin" (Mar Vista Gardens) against us. There is only one way that I know of that gangs organize and that's not for a petition signing, protest or cupcake sale.
I was scared. I have lived in this neighborhood my whole life. I know these people don't joke around. I took this threat very seriously. We took the threat to the police, but they said they couldn't do anything because there was no direct threat. Yes, there was an implied threat, kind of like if the mafia showed up at your house and said "That's very nice family you have there. It'd be a shame if anything happened to them." There is no direct threat to your family, but you know what was meant.
We installed security cameras and upgraded all our locks, but we still did not feel safe with this threat hanging over our head. For the next month, we tried to stay out of our house as much as possible. When we were home, we stayed in doors with all doors and windows locked or in the backyard. I even considered pulling my child out of school and moving my family out of Del Rey.
Scared and not knowing where to turn, we reached out to the local community and let them know about the threat. These gangstas are people in our neighborhood. They are brothers, cousins, neighbors, former classmates, and people we go to church with, and while we do not love the sin, we still love the sinner. These people are part of our community. So, people who know people who know people who know people asked around about the threat. We eventually heard back that no, this threat was not from the gang. However, now, the gang was aware that the CWC community was using their reputation to menace and intimidate local residents and community activist who are working for the good of their neighborhood.
When the first tag went up, I freaked. Sometimes gangs will tag to show what is their turf. Was the message that CxC stood with CWC? Should I leave with my family and never return?
The next set of tags went up and I still didn't know what to make of it. When the third and worst set of tags went up, I thought oh no, but at the same time, I breathed a sigh of relief to see the messages "F--- you" with a tag of "CxC MVG" (Mar Vista Gardens). This, hopefully, meant that the threat against my family was not real, but sadly and unfortunately, this also meant that danger the CWC created was real, and that is not good for either school or the local community.
After having experienced over a month of insecurity, fear and doubt in my own home, I would not wish this upon anyone. My sympathies go out to the CWC students and families who have had to face this.