Friday, September 18, 2015

Stoner community address ICEF SSC about co-location concerns

     On Thursday September 10, I went to the ICEF Vista School Site Counsel meeting to represent the concerns and frustration of the Stoner Elementary School community regarding the ICEF Vista co-location at the Stoner ES campus.
     When I arrived at the school, an ICEF parent who I didn't know greeted me by name, "Hola, A--- B---." She turned to some parents next to her and said "Let's leave before he locks us in."

     During the meeting, I talked about the parking/safety issues, the separate and unequal conditions created by the co-location, about the racial slurs being used by the ICEF Vista community against the Stoner community and the increasing tension on campus.
Stoner community express concerns to
ICEF Vista SSC about the co-location at Stoner ES
      The ICEF administration seemed to be trying their best to make sure the meeting complied with the California open meetings laws. It was a valiant effort.
      The ICEF community seemed annoyed that I was bringing the Stoner community complaints to them, but sat and listened politely none the less.
      The meeting really wasn't that exciting, but I couldn't have planned what happened right after.    
    After the meeting, I was parched from so much talking. I headed to a drinking fountain that is just outside the meeting room door. I was a few steps away from the water fountain when I heard a voice behind me. Someone from ICEF said "Mr. B---, you can't go that way because of the children." I said I was just getting some water and began to drink. She stood by me until I finished my drink and began to walk me out.
    We had only taken a few steps when I heard a different voice behind me, "Oh my gosh! Mr. B---, what are you doing here?" I turned around and was hugged by a soccer mate of my daughter. She began talking about how much fun she had at the summer soccer league and how she enjoyed coming over our house after soccer practice and games. A group of about a dozen children began to gather around her, drawn in by her excitement and enthusiasm, as she talked about how she enjoyed visiting. She asked how the family was doing and when she could come visit again.
    The ICEF adult who was trying to walk me out looked confused at what was happening. I'm sure it must have been confusing that a person who was just complaining about ICEF would have friends in the ICEF community and even allow our children to play together. Civility, how shocking!! 
    I ask how she and her family were doing and told her that it was good seeing her; we would love to have her visit again, she would just need to ask her mom to set up a play date. 
    I said I had to go. She gave me another hug and turned around to keep telling the other children how much fun she had had over the summer. I walked to my car smiling thinking about what a great summer we just had.

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