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Sunol college board assembly devolves into chaos, viewers thrown out as Satisfaction flag banned

A gathering within the tiny district of Sunol, a small unincorporated group south of Pleasanton, descended into chaos Tuesday evening as all the viewers was thrown out shortly earlier than the three-person college board handed a decision that can stop the district from flying the Satisfaction flag.

The board assembly, which packed over 100 individuals from each side of the difficulty right into a small cafeteria coated in scholar posters and walk-a-thon posters, ceaselessly become a volley of shouts and insults. Hecklers shouted abuse at board members and one another. Board members engaged in intense, semi-civil debates. Throughout the course of the night, the board president, Ryan Jurgensen, demanded on a number of events that sheriff’s deputies bodily take away “disruptive” attendees from the assembly.

In the long run, previous to a closing vote, all attendees have been thrown out of the room because the cafeteria devolved into full anarchy. They weren’t allowed to return.

Tensions have been excessive all the night. Board member Ted Romo, who opposed the flag decision, was ceaselessly in battle with Jurgensen and board member Linda Hurley, who supported it. Romo accused Jurgensen of censorship, then was himself accused by an attendee of performing “above the regulation.” In one other tense second, Jurgensen tried to stop the district’s superintendent, Molleen Barnes, from discussing the flag decision throughout her report or bringing Sunol Glen’s lecturers as much as deal with it.

As particular person arguments broke out inside the crowd, Jurgensen repeatedly hit the desk, saying “that is the board’s assembly” in an try to name order.

After the viewers was kicked out of the assembly, some supporters of the decision stated they have been bodily attacked.

Throughout public remark, attendees who opposed the flag ban stated that the board was “betraying the general public belief” and making a “potential financial disaster.”

“Homosexual individuals don’t have an agenda aside from to develop up, have pals, get married, get a job,” stated Laura Oka on the assembly. “The delight flag just isn’t a particular curiosity flag, homosexual individuals are not a particular curiosity group.”

In the long run, the decision handed 2-1, whilst shouts and dysfunction may nonetheless be heard outdoors the assembly room.

Few would have predicted that one of many first tendrils of the tutorial tradition struggle that has unfold throughout the nation would manifest within the Bay Space in Sunol, a tiny East Bay city of 800 individuals. However after the board of Sunol Glen Unified College District vote on Tuesday evening, some dad and mom say that it has.

“This about them eager to inflict hurt on a gaggle they disapprove of,” stated Joel Souza, a father or mother and filmmaker based mostly in Fremont, of the board decision. “One other shot within the tradition struggle.”

For years, dad and mom thought-about Sunol Glen, an elementary college situated in a bucolic valley south of Pleasanton, to be a cohesive, tight-knit group. 75% of the roughly 270 college students come from out of the district, and at the least one such father or mother, Diana Rohini LaVigne, stated she selected the varsity largely due to its messaging round variety and inclusivity. The college even had a social justice committee and supported resolutions surrounding fairness and inclusion.

However after the 2022 college board election, which elected a wholly new board, some dad and mom say issues shortly modified. In line with Rohini LaVigne, there have been quickly options throughout college board conferences of making committees to vet books, amongst different options that signify present nationwide conservative speaking factors surrounding schooling.

Then, in June, a Satisfaction flag was ripped off the chain hyperlink fence across the college. To guard it, college officers hung the flag on the varsity’s flagpole together with the California state flag and the American flag.

Quickly after, the varsity board launched a decision that might solely permit the varsity to show “flags required by regulation”–the California flag and the American flag.

Though the decision didn’t particularly point out the Satisfaction flag, dad and mom and group members stated they’d little doubt who it’s focusing on.

Past issues concerning the decision being a manifestation of bigotry directed at LGBTQ group, a gaggle protected by regulation in California, some dad and mom stated the decision may have a chilling impact on the enrollment of out-of district college students, with out whom the varsity could be unable to perform.

Jurgensen stated the flag decision was misunderstood, and that this decision would deal with everybody the identical by not flying one flag or one other.

“I’ve been misrepresented, and the decision I really feel has been misrepresented,” Jurgensen stated. “I really feel like what we’ve earlier than us is essentially the most inclusive motion attainable.”

Others in help of the decision stated that the American flag already represents inclusion. One speaker stated that discrimination towards the LGBTQ group in Sunol was a “made-up premise.” Anthony Rubio, a Sunol resident, stated that decision would “restrict distractions and publicity to particular pursuits not associated to the varsity’s curriculum.”

Within the hours main as much as the assembly, dad and mom like Souza, the Fremont filmmaker, warned that the flag decision was prone to flip a small elementary college right into a political battlefield between dad and mom.

“They’re pitting individuals towards individuals, college households towards college households,” stated Souza. “Issues have the potential to get ugly.”

On Tuesday evening, they have been.


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