In American communities like Lancaster, California it is not hard for a mayor like Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris to control the board members of a school, especially when money to fund campaigns is not an issue for that person. That is what my decades of being an activist has taught me and I share a situation with all the idealistic activists out there who think changing the system may not lead to the emotional destruction of your child’s psyche.
As an ACTIVIST representing a middle class, educated, African America family, I decided to assist with what I knew was racism, arrogance, abuse of authority against students, and the intentional torment of black males at a school that has traditionally had racial problems in my community. And so I sat in a meeting with the General Legal Counsel for the Antelope Valley Union High School District, 79 miles outside of Los Angeles and located in the infamously corrupt city of Lancaster, CA and wondered how much ignorance could I accept before barfing. I occasionally reached over and calmed down the legal counsel by patting her arm because her arrogance was getting rather much, the chip on her shoulder must have been giving her a back ache, and her rhetoric was so scripted. To make matters worse for me was that I saw an African American professional who I had known from a past legal battle who made me feel she would sell her soul to genuflect and win the approval of the entrenched WHITE STATUS QUO SYSTEM. I admit I have absolutely no respect for this minion because I know her track record of misrepresenting the truth on a major lawsuit titled ELIZABETH AND KELLY SMITH VS. THE ANTELOPE VALLEY UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT where the district actually defended the bullying of Kelly Smith before having a come home to Jesus moment of suddenly realizing that such blatant bullying causes emotional harm to students.
I know every detail of the Smith case because I was a part of that case many years ago and the same legal counsel sitting in front of me today allowed the young woman to be bullied, publicly insulted, humiliated, and reduced to an emotional mindset of shock and dismay. The QUARTZ HILL students involved even went on the DR. PHIL SHOW AND LIED ABOUT HER, put posters of her up in the classroom demeaning her under the banner of it being a class project, and demoralize her at high school football games on the field with hateful banners. Can you imagine that?
But that is not even the real shocker that Activists across America need to be aware of.
Ironically, the lawyer representing one of the defendants in that case is now the mayor of Lancaster, California, R. Rex Parris. Imagine that. Even though he now speaks out so eloquently about how bullying will not be tolerated in Lancaster, CA, back then bullying a young girl did not matter to him. What he personally told me in 2008 about the case was that PUBLICITY IS PUBLICITY….GOOD OR BAD. All mayor Parris cared about was the photo opportunity it brought his firm.
Most recently Quartz Hill High school started down the same road of nepotism, cronyism and racism again. With Smith it was about a young Puerto Rican, Caucasian mixed cheerleader who had an exemplary academic track record. This time it was about a Black basketball player with the same exemplary academic track record. I, as an activist was called in. It was assumed that my longevity in the community and positive relationship with Superintendent Dr. David Vierra would encourage Dr. Vierra to stop the bullying of this and other Black and Hispanic Basketball players and other players whose parents had complained through the correct channels of communication.
The young man whose family came to me had exemplary grades but felt tortured and tormented by a Caucasian Coach who had done many things that would have gotten most people removed from involvement with youth. Oh yes, I am correct. In fact, I did an investigation that showed he had once been pulled off the job because of his unacceptable behavior toward a student. I laughed at how the school’s legal counsel assumed her air of superiority because she knew she had a system behind her and I was an activist who had to rely on my creativity, integrity, and power of the pen.
Is it acceptable for a coach to pad grades to keep someone on the team? Is it acceptable to say inappropriate comments to students to destroy their sense of confidence because he did not like them? Is it acceptable to turn other athletes against a Black athlete whose family is speaking out along with other parents of Hispanic descent?
THE DISTRICT ITSELF has about 26,000 students and I wanted to laugh at the legal counsel because I had done my research on this particular situation of the Varsity Basketball players. I also had lived through all the other racism over the past several decades regarding this particular school.
Now this is the activist part I plan to educate America about no matter what school your child attends. Do you fight the good fight or do you sit back and have the activist move your child to another school where better treatment can be received?
After a lengthy lawsuit in the Smith case that went all the way to a writ being submitted to the United States Supreme Court, my answer is clear cut. As an activist you have to know when to let go for the emotional health of your child. When a racist, bigoted, or any other kind of unacceptable situation is so entrenched and your child becomes a scapegoat, why would you walk that walk without other parents standing up with you? Sometimes we get hung up on principles and idealism and forget that our children need to enjoy their youth, pull back and live another day to make their contribution when they are in a position to handle the degrading abused evil adults can level against them. Parents and activists cannot allow their own sense of ego or what is right or wrong to derail the psychological growth and comfort of their child.