Citizens of the World Mar Vista claims to be a progressive school that teaches and practices mindfulness, and encourages diversity and respect for other cultures. Unfortunately, their actions don't match up with their platitudes. In fact, Cwc has shown themselves to be an entitled community that is culturally insensitive and thoughtlessly insults the surrounding Del Rey community for bringing up serious concerns about the co-location of CWC.
The most blatant example of this thoughtless insensitivity and lack of respect for other cultures is the CWC Karma Ticket.
A few days after the first protest against the CWC co-location, CWC delivered packages to the surrounding neighbors on Stoner, Lindblade, and Wagner that contained a letter (pictured at the end) from Executive Director Held and Principal Kerr.
In the letter, CWC states that it has asked its parents to be "mindful" and "...to drive safely, park legally, and refrain from moving any trashcans, blocking driveways, and generally to respect our neighbors."
Included with the letter were CWC Karma Tickets which CWC asked the neighbors to use to help keep the CWC community mindful of respecting the neighborhood.
Of course, CWC administration asking its entitled parents to be mindful and respectful did not work. The CWC community continued to block driveways, which continued to increase the frustration of local residents and ultimately led to the "flicked cigarette infraction." These "mindful" citizen continued to ignore traffic safety around the school, be disrespectful to local residents, and park illegally, even up until the last few hours of school.
Now, let's talk about the karma tickets.Who would even think this was a good idea? Cwc is, in essence, asking the local community to not report their citizen's illegal and dangerous activities to the proper authorities, and instead asking the residents to police the Cwc community ourselves by giving out culturally insensitive "karma" tickets.
Karma is a deeply held spiritual belief in many cultures and religions. For CWC to use it so flippantly shows a complete lack of understanding and respect for other cultures and spiritual beliefs. Karma is not just something you give to the barrista at Starbucks. It is a key concept in Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Shintoism and many others religions. How entitled must one be to think that it is a good idea to co-opt a spiritual belief from another culture and use it inappropriately to insult the community they are claiming to want to be a part of?
If CWC intended to calm the neighbors concerns, the letter and Karma tickets had the complete opposite effect. Instead of easing tensions, this just heated up on the whole situation and opened the neighbor's eyes to what CWC was all about.