Saturday, May 31, 2014
In early May, a CWC Mar Vista student had a major bathroom accident during school hours and ended up covered in filth. The child's parents were called and they approved CWC cleaning the child at school. A Stoner volunteer walking to the parents's center, which is located next to the CWC part of campus, saw the student outside, undressed and being hosed off by an adult. The volunteer was very disturbed by the incident and reported it immediately to Stoner administration.
Even taking the bathroom accident into consideration, there are a many problems with hosing off a sick, naked student outside on campus including safety, privacy and health concerns.
What kind of school policy covers hosing sick, naked students on campus? What guidelines are present to ensure the child's safety when they are being hosed? What safety measures are in place to make sure that the hosing policy is not used as a means for improper behavior? Considering that the child was seen naked on campus, what steps were taken to insure the student's privacy? How was the fecal matter cleaned from the school grounds? Is this a standard CWC policy that we should prepare to see more of?
These issues concerned many Stoner parents and so on May 13, 2014, I made a policy request regarding this incident to see what policies and procedures CWC had in place to handle a situation of this nature. To date, I have received no direct response from CWC. I followed up with CWC a week later to make sure they received my request but received no response from CWC, instead an LAUSD official contacted me to inform me that CWC had received my request and would respond through the Prop 39 office.
According the LAUSD official, CWC is required by law to respond to the policy request. So, when I do receive a response, I will make sure to share it here with all of you.
LAUSD Charter School Forced To Find A New Home « CBS Los Angeles
Friday, May 30, 2014
Yesterday, a lawyer for CWC sent a letter to LAUSD contesting CWC's failure to respond by the deadline and instead asserts that CWC did respond a timely manner. A copy of the letter is available on LA School Report at http://laschoolreport.com/cwc-charter-tells-lausd-stay-stoner-elementary-school/
In the letter CWC's counsel contends that CWC did respond and gives many different dates in which verbal and written "confirmation" were given. However, analyzing the dates and claims, it is clear that CWC failed to responded to LAUSD's April 1st final offer in writing by the May 1st deadline.
CWC counsel reaches back further in to the past and claims that CWC gave notice as far back as February 28 that it was accepting the offer. Except, even the language of "acceptance" clearly shows that they had not yet accepted the offer "the Charter School anticipates accepting the space that the District has offered, conditional upon a slight modification to the offer..." Anticipate, conditional, modification to the offer...none of that could possibly be interpreted as accepting the offer, an offer that wasn't made until a month later.
This is just another example of CWC's privileged, elitist and entitled mentally. CWC administration acts as if it believes that it is above the law and that rules don't apply to them. CWC counsel claims that "The later letter was merely a formality..." Following the law is not a "formality," it's a requirement. Any good citizen would know that the law is not a mere formality.
We have seen this flouting of rules and regulations by CWC over and over again during the school year: first, there was the combination lock, then the gate being left open; the segregated rock concert, CWC parents and teachers entering the students only bathroom, and hosing down naked students on campus, just to name a few.
CWC has repeatedly show that they believe they are above the law and should be given special consideration. CWC's lack of respect for the rule of law should not be rewarded. What kind of message will this send to other charters, that rules don't matter and that they can do whatever they want? What would this do to the space allocation procedure if charters could respond to offers whenever they wanted to?
CWC administration made a huge mistake, and now the CWC community will suffer because of it.
It's not LAUSD's fault, it's not a Benitez's fault...It is the fault of CWC administration and some should be Held responsible.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
The Adventures will continue...
Friday, May 23, 2014
|Stoner parents win!|
You can look at the page unfiltered here: http://cwcmarvista-co-location-stoner-lausd.blogspot.com/
The adventure continues...
For those who doubted, there it is in black and white.
Thursday, May 22, 2014
So, let's just cut to the chase: CWC will not be co-locating on the Stoner Elementary school campus next year. In fact, no other school will be on Stoner ES campus, but Stoner.
While I would like to take credit for getting CWC off campus (since I took a lot of heat, including threats to my family, for pointing out the problems with the co-location), I can't. The reason CWC won't be back has nothing to do with me but is due to the poor judgment and lack of professionalism on CWC's part. The official reason they will not be coming back is lack of compliance.
What did they not comply with? Well, I can take a few guesses....
...and so humble reader, it looks like our Adventures in Charter School Co-location will be coming to an end. Thank you very much to all who tuned in to follow along!
To see the official notice click here.
Adam C. Benitez a.k.a "El Mero Mero"
PS You still might want to check back on this blog. There are still a few weeks of school left, so there may be some last adventures left. Plus, I still have a few more FLASHBACKS coming up on topics including protests 1 & 2, the planter boarders and the infamous segregated rock concert.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
The week after the tossed cigarette infraction, LAUSD police was present during Cwc pick up and drop off until a more permanent solution was found.
This week a private "security" guard has been seen around and inside campus in the Cwc area.
Really? An infraction 250 feet off campus results in police protection and private security?
If there is a security issue on campus, why does it not apply to all students? Why do only a select few get private security?
If the fence covering, planter boarders and separate entrances weren't symbols enough of the segregation on campus, this guard for a select population screams volumes.
As I have reported on this blog before regarding the tossed cigarette incident, police were called to the scene on Lindblade PLACE and the man received a citation for littering. This is an infraction and nothing more. This citation does not even show up on crime statistics for the week of April 27 thru May 3, 2014.
However, if you look at the same week and at the same location, you will see the theft of the lawns signs reported as happening at Lindblade Place on Saturday, May 3.
So, to sum up and recap:
Tossed cigarette = infraction
Stolen signs = theft
It seems a little blown out of proportion to declare war on the neighborhood , call in the police and get private security over an infraction that happened off campus.
Sunday, May 18, 2014
I know, it's a little confusing, but Stoner Avenue Elementary School is located in DEL REY, CA.
*The school is LAUSD, but it's not in LA.
*The campus mailing address lists Culver City as the city, but it's not in Culver City.
*The low income housing across the street is called the Mar Vista Gardens, and now, we have Cwc Mar Vista co-locating on campus, but it's definitely not Mar Vista.
*This isn't Playa del Rey or Marina del Rey.
It's just good ol' Del Rey.
Friday, May 16, 2014
Apparently, only 4 people from each side showed up. We couldn't make it because we had previous plans.
LA School Report ran a piece today on the Cwc community dinner.
Oh, and yesterday I missed this second story in the LA Register:
Thursday, May 15, 2014
LA School Report ran a story this morning on the CWC community dinner and the problems with the colocation.
You can read it here: http://www.losangelesregister.com/articles/school-599418-charter-citizens.html
That's the forth newspaper article on the trouble with the CWC co-location
1. Argonaut - http://argonautnews.com/del-rey-conflict-simmers-over-traffic-woes-at-stoner-elementary/
2. Los Angeles Times - http://articles.latimes.com/2013/nov/04/local/la-me-karma-parking-20131104
3. La Opinión - http://www.laopinion.com/denuncia-culver-racismo-stoner
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
As such, they have invited surrounding neighbors to a dinner of "local food" so that we can meet our "neighbors" and discuss our concerns with the charter.
I'm not even sure what to think of this. The flier says they would like to "hear concerns and ideas of the neighborhood..." but we've been telling them our concerns for months. Neighbors have called the school, written emails, we had a protest, and there was even an article in the Argonaut regarding the neighborhood's concerns.
We have given them our ideas and they have all been rejected. Instead, new entrances, which the community opposed, were constructed on Lindblade and Stoner. At this point, we still have the same suggestion: use the front entrance. If the front entrance isn't going to work for CWC, then they should find another location.
What is the point of this meeting? Does CWC think that by feeding us one night we will forget about the traffic, parking and safety issues in our neighborhood that we deal with on a daily basis all school year long because of the co-location of CWC at Stoner ES?
The school year ends in few weeks. Why has it taken this long for CWC to take the neighborhoods concerns seriously? Why should we take them seriously at this point?
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
CWC administration states "A serious line has been crossed." and that they were working to "...secure restraining orders against select individuals..." CWC also requested that LAUSD police be present for CWC drop off and pick up. CWC states that they are calling in help from local, state and national groups.
This is a completely over the top, ham fisted reaction by the CWC administration to an isolated off campus incident that resulted from the community's frustration with the parking and traffic issue that CWC is causing.
The tone of the email is even more disturbing in that at time, many in the CWC community were under the impression that I was the one who flicked the cigarette. This rumor lead to a CWC parent vandalizing property and coming to the neighborhood looking for me and scaring my wife.
The email contains dangerously inaccurate information that feeds into the myth being perpetuated by the CWC community that there is an organized hostile opposition to CWC that is being led by me, "a Lindblade Street neighbor."
I understand that tensions in the neighborhood are high regarding the CWC co-location, but this doesn't help calm things down. In fact, it just throws gasoline on the fire.
|Missing signs, mangled brackets found in nearby trash can|
At this point, it all becomes a blur to me. I filmed the whole incident but looking back at the video, the whole thing seems surreal, like it happened to someone else. My wife yells to me that he is a CWC parent. I get video of the guys face, car and licence plate number. He takes a picture of me. He asks me to stop filming and asked who I was. "I'm A--- Benitez." I respond. He says "Oh, so you're A--- Benitez." I paused. Then with all the grace and elegance I could muster, I bowed and said "Yes, I am the A--- Benitez."
My wife yelled "He's got CWC signs in his car." Then, I noticed a couple of the neighborhoods' lawn signs in his car. I start yelling, asking him, "You're the one stealing the signs?" He said the wind blew them off (mm yeah, and I guess right into his car.) He took the two signs out the car and tried to give them to me, but I refused to even touch them.
I don't recall, but my wife said his daughter started screaming from inside the car at me to leave her father alone, which woke my wife up to the craziness of the situation. She got us both to calm down, sit down and start talking. At this point, I'm still not clear at what's going on and what happened before I got there.
We sat down and talked. He he was there because he thought I was the one who flicked a cigarette at a baby (he clarified later, not his baby) and he was convinced that it was me. He even had a witness that saw me do it.
Only thing is, I didn't do it. I would never hurt a baby. I would never flick a cigarette at baby. I don't touch cigarettes. I don't even smoke.
I wonder where these people are getting the idea that it is only one person with any concerns?...maybe it has something to do with the messages from the CWC director which blame problems on "A resident" or messages from their own community which targeted me and my daughter.
At any rate, we sat and talked and much like the enlightening conversation I had with another charter parent, this father was unaware of most of the issues with the co-location including safety, segregation and the seriousness of the gang threats, and was convinced that I was part of this rich family trying to keep outsiders out of our neighborhood.
The father seemed pleasant enough. He said he wanted to work to get the issues resolved. He said he wasn't a founding parent, yet he had Allison and Amy's (CWC principal and director, respectively) ear and wanted to get them involved. He said he had been talking to them all weekend. I told him about the disaster that was the CWC admin/Stoner community meeting, and about the parent liaison group that has only met once since CWC has cancelled on all the other meetings. He knew none of this, yet was convinced that if we worked together we could fix all the problems. I almost believed it. We exchanged phone numbers and then he gave me a hug (weird) before returning to his child who had been in the car the whole time bawling their eyes out. And then, he left.
|bracket with missing sign|
Yup, I almost believed it, until I took a walk around my neighborhood and saw more than two signs were missing. Multiple signs were removed from multiple houses. Some brackets from the signs where still in the ground. I looked around and was able to find the signs in a near by trash can. The signs were ripped, bent and mutilated, and the brackets were mangled . We talked to the neighbors who had their signs stolen and found out that there was a tossed the cigarette incident. The neighbor in the incident asked if I would go with him to the police station to report the signs stolen from his house.
So, putting all this together. This man had come to my neighborhood looking for me because he was under the mistaken impression that I threw a cigarette at a baby. It wasn't even his baby, but he was so upset that he went on a vandalism spree in the neighborhood with his kids in the car and then showed up at my house yelling at my wife (who he thought was just a tenant) that I'm lying to the neighborhood, forcing neighbors to have signs in their yards and throwing cigarettes at babies.
Frankly, none of this is surprising considering the cyberbullying and, online and offline threats I have received from the CWC community. As long as the co-location continues, problems with the home school and neighborhood will continue and will only get worse.
G lives in the a cul da sac right across from the CWC entrance, because of this he receives the brunt of the traffic and parking problem that residents have been complaining about for months. His trash cans have been moved and pick ups missed many times. His driveway is often time blocked.
He lives with two elderly relatives and so it is a major problem for all of them to have the driveway blocked.
G has to deal with this on a daily basis, sometimes multiple times a day. I can only image the level of frustration this would cause after many, many months of having to deal with the same issue day in day out.
G waved to the new car to alert them that they were blocking the driveway. The driver rolled down the window and told G "F--k, you!". Things escalated with f-bombs going back on forth.
G was so upset that he flicked the cigarette he was smoking towards the car, and the cigarette flew into the open window and into the backseat where a toddler was sitting. Per one witness, G was visibly distressed that the cigarette went in the car. G described it as a total accident, a one in a million fluke.
The driver jumped out and pulled the child in the back seat out of the car.
Monday, May 12, 2014
About a week and a half ago, a volunteer Stoner parent turned a corner on campus and saw a naked CWC child being hosed down in the campus. The parent was shocked and didn't know what to do. The parent wanted to take a picture to document this disturbing scene, but was afraid taking a picture might constitute child pornography. The incident was reported to Stoner administration.
It was later revealed that the CWC parent of the naked child approved the hosing.
|Representation (Not actual incident)|
Friday, May 9, 2014
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Sunday, May 4, 2014
|Lawn signs in the CWC parent's car|