Tuesday, April 22, 2014

[special snark edition] CWC does not take safety concerns seriously. How can we take them seriously?

[Advisory] Generally, I take the situation caused by the CWC co-location very seriously. However, I'm well aware of the absurdity and comedy of the situation. Stoners vs Citizens, a mainly minority school vs a mostly white school, poor working vs well off...sometimes it sounds like a bad joke and you just have to laugh. And so today, I'm presenting a extra special snarky edition of the blog.Yes, there will be rudeness. Yes, there will be mockery and condescension in today's post, but today is a chance to step back and laugh at the comedy of errors that is this co-location. Please, be advised.

Considering the graffiti this month and that my family was almost run over by a CWC parent, I wanted to see what CWC was telling their community about the gang and traffic safety issues. I made a California Public Records Act request and was , frankly, not surprised to see that CWC was minimizing the gang problems and placing blame for traffic/safety problems on  "A neighbor" and not on the actual unsafe driving by the CWC community, but we'll get to all that in a second.

   This letter was sent out to the CWC community by the CWC Executive Director on April 8, 2014. A JPG of the document is below if you'd like to see the original released document. Here on the blog, we are going to go through this document line by line and adding some annotations in red.

Hi all,

Hope you are doing well! Writing with a quick update about the graffiti on the fence banner and with some traffic safety reminders. (I hate to start off being picky, but this is a fragment sentence and this communication is very informal. Is this really an official communication from a professional educator?) Wanted to let you all know that, thanks to amazing parent volunteers, we're painting over the graffiti right now. I know it's troubling to see. We reached out to LAPD and they came by this morning (What took CWC so long? We contacted LAPD on 4/7 in the morning. In the evening on 4/7, LAPD told us CWC had not yet returned their calls and were not available when they went by campus twice that day.) and said they'd be having additional evening patrols to try and deter this in the future (When I spoke with LAPD, they strongly recommended removing the fence covering. Why no mention of that option, considering it is the option CWC ultimately chose?). We have seen this at other locations and LAPD definitely mentioned there's tagging in the neighborhood generally. (Yes, there is definitely tagging in the neighborhood, but in my four decades in the area, I've never seen a direct "F--- You!!!" written in a tag. The graffiti does not look like your general run-of the mill tagging. This was definitely a message to the people behind the fence. I would not take this message as a general message.) We will be looking at other measures we can take from installing cameras to moving the banner to the interior of the fence (Really? Why because spray paint won't go through a chain link fence?). More to come on all of that.

In other news, wanted to let you know that in addition to Alison and Jim (Principal of Stoner) (This took me aback. "Jim?" Again, is this really an official communication from an education professional? Or maybe "Jim" is just cool with all the CWC community like that...)  meeting regularly, the liaison groups established with Stoner (small groups of teachers and parents from both schools) are meeting and collaborating as well (except that the CWC parents have cancelled the last two meetings and the group has not meet in close to two month, which is very upsetting since there are serious safety issues that need to be addressed. See: link). We're also working closely with the neighborhood council and their education committee that created an ad hoc committee specifically devoted to resolving the co-location/ community tension (The local community is boycotting the ad hoc meetings since the DRNC is not representing its concerns on this issue.).

I also wanted to remind everyone to please drive safely at all times around the school. A neighbor is repeatedly photographing and taking videos (Yes, that's the problem "A neighbor" is taking photos & video, not the actually unsafe driving by the CWC community. Also, I wonder how they concluded it is only "a neighbor" since many neighbors are upset and are taking pictures and video. As a community, we are only starting to get organized about collecting this evidence. Also, why is CWC placing the blame on one person and thus making them a target? We have seen the CWC community make targets out of our community members before. Instead of dealing with issue, they blame the people who bring attention to the problems.) of cars running stop signs, backing up into intersections, blocking driveways, parking in red zones or in front of hydrants (It's sad that she doesn't even mention the incident that sparked this reminder, that my family was almost run over in a crosswalk by a CWC parent driving backwards down the street) . Mornings in particular are harried times, please take care to drive extra safely especially when running late. While we definitely aim to start on time, it's better for folks to be tardy than to risk an accident (and run over a whole family). Thanks for your help with this

Thank you, as always, for your patience and steadfast support in the face of what is
definitely a frustrating situation. We do know from other charters that they have
faced this too and in time it has passed (It's upsetting to see how the CWC administration minimizes the problem and says that it is a passing thing.  The local community and Stoner ES community are not a passing things.  This is where we live and we aren't going anywhere.) Definitely come grab me in the office or shoot me an email if you have any questions or specifics you want to connect about.

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