tv Government Access Programming SFGTV August 18, 2019 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
native american mural, the asian, they are in the next adjacent room and they show the heroic figures from all of these communities historically, as well as modern eras that are very inspiring. i think we should see them. i do think, when they unveiled these murals, keys were made to show, and identify these heroes. i think plaques should be made of these and placed under the murals so that today's young adults, and i do stress they are young adults, not children, they can see these and see who these people are. who these heroes are. they are inspirational and they can be used as role models. i think we should be empowering our youth and concentrating on creative responses and creative dialogues with the murals, just like the response murals were a creative dialogue with them. in this regard, i note that city college has just started a class, i would like to think that was inspired by this entire
dialogue. why not have a mural class at george washington high school. it is possible to do individual murals. i would like george washington high school students doing their murals. you can make them about the size, and they can do response murals and these can be exhibited. if one of our young adults feels the need to respond personally to one of these barrels to empower themselves, they can do a response mural. there is many ways we can empower our youth, but simply covering up a factual truth, about history, is not empowering. in fact, this gives the mural power over them. it hides it, buries it and therefore gives it unconscious power over someone. this does not empower our young adults. [applause] >> before you get started, sir. i'm going to allot, we are at the last 16 seconds, i'm going
to allot five additional minutes. if the people in line want to coordinate who's going to use the five last minutes, it is up to you. i'm not going to stop anyone's time, i will let you organize amongst yourself around the last five minutes. were going to start it, before you get started can you put the timer back to five minutes, please? again, before you get started listen, you get a chance to speak. i'm not going to end it one minute. if you take off i minutes, you just took off i minutes, sir. continue. >> this issue has become too controversial. too many people are getting upset. it is clear that we are going to have to cover the mural somehow.
the only question is, what images we decide to cover them with? my design firm has come up with two alternatives and i want to see with the feedback is. show of hands, who wants this? >> can you please let the time continue? >> thank you very much. >> please continue the time. >> when i think of educators promoting this divisive atmosphere, in the school where there is an atmosphere that was a beacon of light when i went there in the 50s and early 60s.
we were propagandize for values all the time, they did not talk about tolerance brotherhood, they taught us we are all one, we are together, we are the best at school that we are perfect, together. do something useful like the department of defense doesn't. during those special months they bring in people to talk. they can bring in people all the time to talk about special subjects that are not in their books, you know? he said indians were not being massacred in the 1830s, people were moving into their lands, destroying their economy and they had to move west or starve to death. this is showing what was really happening. one last thing i'm going to say, once at washington a teacher brought in a speaker who talked about palestinians, and spain where everybody was, it was a
perfect society of integrated people. i have never forgotten it. i made the greatest difference to me to do that. >> i am the founder and project scholar of the living new deal at uc berkeley. i just wanted to say that the inability, or unwillingness to learn, is a very poor qualification for an educator. which is why we don't consider you to be educators. what i would recommend is that you take an elementary course in visual literacy so you know what you are looking at, and want to destroy. i would recommend the audience, the san franciscans, take willie brown's suggestion, recall the school board. [applause] >> president of george washington high school. the mural controversy is now
being observed nationally and internationally. briefly there is no doubt that there is overwhelming support to preserve the washington mural. locally, including matt gonzales, reverend brown, former mayors willie brown, and many others. we support the sfusd staff recommendation not to whitewash, or destroy the historic arnautoff mural at george washington high school. the board must now go further and abandon its plan to cover or censor any of the mural panels. the association members stand ready to help develop a curriculum and interpretive program to educate current students and future generations about these important murals, and the history they portray. thank you for your time.
>> i am an elder of the -- we heard all of this controversy. i believe those murals are our evidence that genocide happened. that is why they should stay up. without in mind, as an elder, i just want to suggest to you. you did this for other people, why not do this for our people. have a native counselor there, because one of the issues i'm hearing is that it is affecting our native people in the safe space. we have ceremonies for that. why not use that? why not bring in a native, spiritual guide, to help our people. they are going to face this every day of their life. after school. where is their safe than? we need to train i was accused of being a colonialist. if we start thinking these doctors, who are coming in,
yelling at the top of their lungs at one of the meetings, is saying the way that we calm our kids down, put them on drugs. that is what they did to us, on reservations. they gave us medicine, laced with alcohol to calm us down. that is colonialism. that is what i see is happening here. just a suggestion, put a native counselor to help those native people who are offended. i am sure, my relatives would agree with that. that is needed. >> my name is steve, united public workers for action. what we are seeing here is a real exposure of the lack of education in san francisco. the fact the superintendent said he was shocked by the mural. you grew up here. if you are shocked by them, why didn't you put signage up to explain what they were. i support the people here who are angry about their murals not being knowledgeable about them.
>> thank you. i concludes a public comment -- -- that concludes public comment -- thank you. thank you. that concludes public comment for the other side. i'm going to call names for the people who want to cover the mural. when you hear your name called please make your way to the podium. i'm also going to ask staff, and security to move any hecklers from the audience, so we can conduct this meeting accordingly.
why are we here again for another vote? we went through a process with a vote, and decision, right? prior to the vote we participated in public meetings, and provided education, on our historical trauma to promote education and understanding, we participated in good faith, and believed there was integrity and trust. but here we are with the all-too-familiar feelings of broken promises. do the alleged lessons to not forget remind anyone about the treaty. we know where compromise has gotten us for centuries. compromise is just another surrender. we do not surrender. murals don't teach a lesson "to
not forget". if the people that have seen them do not have a conscious to begin with. they lay a silent images on walls, possessions, not for learning or teaching. why is it that the people of color have been used to say that those images must stay up to remind and teach, to not repeat the lessons learned in history. who needs to be reminded, that -- be reminded? not us. maybe because they felt the pain of their ancestors, that state in those images. only remarked about the value, not the messages. do reminders work? look at this country today. full of racism and oppression.
the supporters to keep their murals have made threats and rallied politicians. and the troops to show their dominance to control and step over the fallen. but we have not fallen. it is deplorable to use an weapon eyes people of color against each other. it is a tactic to deflect, of the true offenders on the mall intention. look at the people that want to preserve the mural's, especially the alumni. definitive action, creating the opportunity students of color to attend at their school. how welcoming they were. they were taught their history, you heard it earlier, white dominance, and superiority over black slaves, and conquest of indians using -- do you think they've change their beliefs?
do you remember who helped the blacks escape slavery? it was our people. let me also remind this board that you have an obligation to provide a healthy and safe environment for our children to learn. you receive federal funds for our students to attend your schools. you have an obligation under the every student succeeds act. to ensure that our indian students are provided an environment to support their culture, values and moods. this is not about the art that the media and others have trivialized. it is about the pain and trauma, experienced by the students affected by the images in those murals.
>> i am amy anderson. i would like to once more, over these three years, have been asking various commissioners to be actively involved in changing what is on the walls of the high school and the main lobby of the school that my kid goes to school at. i would like to make sure that you listen to indigenous voices that have been saying, take it down for over 50 years. being student senate is one of the core values. there may all must be permanently removed from the high school, take it down. we cannot keep wasting our time arguing about this. there is so much more to work on and do and to colonizing our schools. it is very harmful to the students, we need to paint it
down. >> hi. i am an of coming junior george washington high school. i believe that the school mural must be permanently removed from this high school. we should grant all of our students wishes and feelings about the school mural. it is hurtful and harmful to many indigenous students, including myself, and even parents. i understand this is a historical mural, but it tells the history from the viewpoint of white people. students need to learn the history of their own ancestors, not only told by whites. as a community, we should listen to indigenous and black student voices that have been saying take it down for over 50 years. over 2,000 students have to go to the school every day. students should never have to hear, i will meet you at the dead indian. we deserve respect. we deserve to feel safe and
supportive. i do not want this mural in our school. honor the vote. paint it down. [applause] >> good evening board commissioners. i am virginia marshall, longtime educator. i was pleased to be on the committee, until we started this mural. we voted to take it down. we gave our recommendation to you, you voted to take it down. here we are again. this week, teachers should be planning for our students to arrive next monday. we are here, for this controversial issue. i ask that the board bring back this issue to the committee, the community maybe six weeks from now. we live in san francisco. i grew up in a small town. things were hard to get. in san francisco, you can get whatever you want, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
there are great museums here in the city. the african museum, the asia museum. there are great museums around the world. surely this board can bring back ideas of how we can cover up and take down that mural. i am a great great granddaughter, of a slave. i do not need in a mural in my school or office to remind me i'm a slave. i want to apologize to the parents and students. we did not give them what they wanted. they wanted us to take down that mural. we serve our students. i'm going to apologize to my 2-year-old granddaughter. it is my regret that perhaps we will not make a decision to cover up that mural. hopefully the millennial's, 50 years from now, we'll do what we said we wanted to do in 2019. please cover up the mural. thank you. [applause]
>> please turn on your microphone. >> good evening, my name is thomas reding i am in english and social studies teacher a lot of the discourse around the mural has ignored and overlooked our actual students. i have come to speak in solidarity with my students who have deserved and asked for the heat dehumanizing imagery on the walls, covering this mural will not erase the history of this mural, the covering will become a part of its history. this will provide a powerful lesson to our students that their emotional lives are important and sacred. our students should not have to walk by traumatizing a dehumanizing images of genocide on a daily basis. please support our students and cover the mural. >> good evening superintendent matthews, deputy superintendent,
and all of the members of the board. i am here, i am an alumni parent of a george washington high school student from 2013-2016 and i will have a ninth grader going into george washington high school, on monday. the fact that we even have to stand here, before you, once again on this issue is ridiculous. our students have already spoken and we know what we want. once again, we do not need a reminder of the history, of the genocide that we faced, of the slavery that we went through. we know what it was, and we fight every day to continue to be free. the justice system is fighting against us constantly. why can't we have something that reminds our baby of how brilliant they are, and that speaks to the excellence that flows throughout within them? why do they have to have these images as a representation of history. that is one aspect of our history. we came from kings and queens. the indian tribes were glorious.
why can't we celebrate that? why do we have to have a mural to tell us what george washington was? google can tell us that. we do not need a mural that depicts us as a week, and fallen every single day. half of this people in these rooms do not have children going to the school, but you want to speak to what the children want. about you speak to the children? how about you have a child in the school? have a vested interest in it, then you can tell us, as parents and students, what is best for us. until you do, i think you should have a seat. [applause] >> i am an advocate. you, the school board, fighting for our students to have a safe and supportive school. we cannot keep wasting our time and arguing about this anymore.
there is so much more work to do in our school district. we have to agree, this has to permanently end today. also, it is a school, not a museum. our youth want to be there so they feel safe, and that mural does not make them safe. thank you. >> first off, i wanted to say thank you all for listening to students for over 50 years. according to in may of 1968, half a century ago, one month after -- 250 students from the black student union marched through the halls, "take it down".
students other history, and they want to see our elders wishing respect upon us. it hurts me, when i came back from learning that you guys didn't go through the plan that we were going there before. i cried, he messed with my head. it made me feel like what is the whole plan? why am i even fighting for something that won't change? it hurts, every single day to know that you will keep something up that is history, that is going to traumatize the students. were going to help them and give them support. you can give them support, but deep down inside, in their own hearts, you know it hurts. it hurts every single day. i hope that you guys are all listening to me. i want to cry right now, that is how much i feel about this. i don't want to take no one else's time right now. thank you for listening to me. [applause]
>> good evening, i am a member of the nation, i currently sit on the board of the american cultural center of san francisco. i'm here to employ the board of education to paint it down. i am encouraging the board of education to listen to the native and black students who have been advocating for this removal over 50 years. they must be permanently removed from the school. in the future, those could potentially be taken down we are going to be right back where we are today to argue having it taken down again. this entire debate is stressful for our community, but most of all stressful for black and brown students starting school next week. they have so many other things to worry about. american and and have one of the highest dropout rates. seeing this marrow, seeing their historical trauma used as a decoration will only contribute to this. there are so many factors that make it hard for us to it's
honestly a miracle that a lot of us make it to high school. this mural does not have to be one of those factors that makes it hard for us to graduate. student should never ever have to hear i will meet you by the dead indian. thus, i encourage the school board to make a decision that shows black, brown and indigenous students that they value their humanity and psychological well-being more than anything else. paint it down. [applause] >> my name is ms. brackett. i'm an alumni. i've been through this process a lot and i would just like to say the fight two is not about art, it is about the california education code. promising in chapter two, educational equity. it article 5.5, a safe place to learn. this article shall be known and may be cited as a safe place to learn at. this mural does not provide a safe space for students. more than that, i just would like to say in the period of
time, 90% of the people in this room. [inaudible] it disturbs me to the deepest depth of my soul that we have adults on this room that show zero empathy for black, native american and for over 50 years the pride and concerns of the most vulnerable students have been ignored and dismissed. the pains that are trivialized, and now we have adults who have more concern for inanimate objects than they have for actual living children of color. this argument this marrow is about preserving history, it's an absolute farce. none of the persons here today that want to preserve their mural has ever been before the board of education when resolutions have come forth asking to implement african studies. at one of their faces have been in that room. amos brown said he is here to tell the truth. i'm here to tell you the truth. i'm here to tell you the truth, as well.
when you sat on the steps of city hall, on february 23, 2016, and watched, students, most of them black, weep uncontrollably about the imagery, dim a scrim and a mistreatment at the hand of their peers, faculty and administration, how can you sit here today and say it is about the truth. >> good evening, i am from -- a born and raised in san francisco. i simply want to say, systematic oppression. listen to our students who have been saying this for over 50 years. i cannot believe we are still here, were talking about it, and some of you board of education members are changing your minds, after we talked about this, you felt where we were coming from. and it. paint it down. >> my name is melanie gordon.
i am an enrolled member -- personal story, my son, always tells me when we go to the school, "mom, do not tell them i am native". i can't imagine him walking into that school, being told, meet me at the dead indian. it is not right. personal testimony. right now, i feel so angry. again, here we are, fighting, fighting, fighting for what is right for the kids. paint it down. >> my name is karen. i've benjamin netanyahu to sfusd teacher for 18 years. i ask that you honor the vote to remove their mural from george washington high school. when i open my heart, my ears, and i put myself in the shoes of the young black, native students
i know we must do right. i can imagine if my ancestors genocide were portrayed on the wall of the lobby where i worked. this is unacceptable. what i realizes that the heart of the struggle, is listening to, taking action to care for those who have been harmed. let us show to be careful and want to protect the young black, native students. their mural is harmful, honor the vote and paint it down. >> my name is sarah, former student at sfusd. in one week alone, on our vacation, over three and a 20 educators agreed that we should keep the vote and paint it down. >> hello everyone i'm kevin ortiz.
the full history is not education, that is oppression. this mural is not the full history of black and indigenous folks. it's not about the content, but the context. art can be appreciated. not being shut down your throat as art, displayed a public high school, to be seen by students, especially the students of color whose ancestors are depicted. i think there are some sick folks in this room that are. that does not mean nazi art would be allowed in the school. that is triggering trauma to generations of holocaust survivors. as a bisexual man, you would not [inaudible] education is freedom. it is self empowerment. school is supposed to be providing an environment on purpose, should be addressed. >> you board of education are
fighting for our students to be safe in's) we can keep spending our time to we all have to agree, this has to permanently end. there are a racist 1930 stereotypes of half naked indigenous people. we celebrate people's day, not columbus day anymore. it doesn't mean we don't ever mention columbus again, but we do not continue on with this holiday in our school district you need to make a decision to permanently remove these murals. take it down. [applause] >> we have ten minutes left, i
>> commissioner collins: for over 50 years, black and indigenous people have been trying to tell us what is going on. now, more than ever we need to listen to them. because of trump's administration, we are in a moment where it is becoming painfully obvious that some communities are being overlooked, disregarded, dehumanized, attacked, and even hunted. add to this, a generational impacts of hundreds of years of land theft, enslavement and attempted genocide, of the very communities calling for removal of the mural. over the past few months it is becoming painfully clear which people are and are not represented by the group of people speaking in support of the mural's. san francisco, as a city in a community is a leader and an example of how modern america wants to be. we are not perfect, but we are supposed to lead. instead, we are having in a debate that clearly mirrors what is happening in trumps america. just recognize -- trent i am going to ask the audience to let
the commissioner finish her comments. if we continue to have disruptions you're going to be asked to leave. . >> secretary: recognize that -- band on facebook, are all pushing the same falls narratives that mural supporters are pushing. we need to preserve history. historically marginalized kids need to toughen up, and that students need to be exposed to shame, and trauma, in order to prevent a history from repeating itself. in the south, the removal of confederate monuments is an incredible result of listening to people who have been screwed over. should all agree that removal of confederate flags and monuments can be powerful examples of how we, as a nation, move forward to a different place from where we used to be. these monuments, to the confederacy were removed because they represented a privatization
of public space area they were meant to send a message of white superiority, to reinforce false narratives about the collective history. the discussion about the washington murals is relevant in that it -- to dictate for our children, mine included, what they should see, and what stories they should be told by people that are not from their community. this mural is not historic. it is a relic. it is a remnant from a bygone area -- era. just because slavery was in effect for hundreds of years does not make it worth protecting. given everything that is going on in the city, and in this world, there are teachers that have to leave their jobs in the city, they are worried their parents will get there. they are youth and broken by violence in their communities.
these are the issues we should be fighting for. instead we have folks rallying on fundraising to save a series of paintings. if you want your murals, i say come and get them. we do not want them. you do not get to tell us to keep them. if you want them, come and get them. they are outdated. like the outdated textbooks we taught with it when they are created in the 1930s. we don't teach reading with dick and jane and we are not using murals to teach our complex histories. kids, like my daughter come are doing multimedia projects on genocide, doing the research on computers. the constant contained in the washington murals is not what we are teaching our kids today and it doesn't belong in a school. you don't get to threaten us with lawsuits and ballot measures, and tell us money is no object as i've heard several times from folks who have engaged with mural supporters. i say, we should give you, a
group that is so staunchly approached -- opposed to our decision a chance to give your voices heard and do something about it. i will not stand in your way if you can meet the district requirements and timeline. you do not own our schools, and you don't get to decide what our kids see and hear. that is our business. i am proposing an amendment -- tran21 second. . >> secretary: when i'm to ask staff to keep note of the people who were heckling and asked them to leave if they continue to disrupt. . >> commissioner collins: i am proposing an amendment that would allow -- it continues with what you propose, president cook. it would allow us the opportunity of exploring more options than just covering them over. i agree with folks here. i think the community is telling
us that wants the mural down that covering them up is not an option for them because this will keep coming back. what i understand is we did cover the murals in the 70s on the coverings were taken off. we will be coming back here again if we i am also hearing from folks that like the murals, covering up does not make them happy because they want access to them. so, i would like to be able to explore other options, as well as putting up panels and additionally explore options of permanently removing the murals from view. looking at the options of removing the murals by relocating them. to an off-site location. that is what i am proposing with my amendment. . >> president cook: commissioner lopez. one second.
>> are you making a motion? . >> commissioner collins: i am making a motion to amend. okay. so, in the original action item it states now therefore be it resolved. the board authorizes staff to develop a project assessing a range of alternatives, for the purpose of ceqa review that removes the view -- mural at george washington high school by using solid manuals -- panels, means our method. what i am adding is the additional options of permanently removing the murals from student view, or remove the murals and the relocate them to an off-site location. that allows us to engage in the ceqa process, which is something we are going to have to do regardless of what we choose to do.
it allows us to research multiple options, and explore ways that we can actually get them out of washington high school. >> i second that motion. >> are we now discussing the motion? >> can i ask legal counsel, how does this proposed amendment change -- i mean, i'm not quite sure what the underlying impact would be? >> i think, and i will invite chief facilities officer to correct me, if she chooses. i think, as i read your amendment, commissioner collins, this is simply making clear what
is already our legal obligation. which is, to consider multiple alternatives, and multiple means to accomplish the objective that the board a setting for tonight. in addition to what you are staying out here, the removal and relocation off-site. we don't encourage you that to list them all here, but i surmise that you are doing that here to make it clear that this is an option that you would be willing to consider, as a board, the relocation off-site? >> yes, this a vote for me isn't just about one option, and i want to make sure that is clearly expressed with other board members and clearly expressed with the public at large. i think we have varying opinions on how to achieve a goal of removing them from a student view, and that this wouldn't
prescribe, that we can only pursue panels is the only option. >> i note in the wording of the propose, remove permanently from a student view, or move them off-site. as a permanently removing, if you're intending to say you want options other than paneling, to put paintings on the panels as an option? >> yes, that is correct. >> anyone else want to comment on the amendment? okay. similar to what she said as part of the ceqa process, i think this option is already involved. i know i've had conversations about what it would take to actually remove the wall, from the school.
i think the cost estimates were around $5 million. can you just speak to, so it's clear to the public, that this proposed amendment is already part of the ceqa process, if it is? >> the ceqa process because it is not being done yet, we do not have a set of alternatives. we will need to agree on the set of alternatives that accomplish the board's goals. as we scope that eir and before we move forward with evaluating them. for example under ceqa it is required that you analyze a know project alternative, if nothing else,. [inaudible] don't hold it against me personally, we do need to analyze, under the law, not doing anything in comparison to many of the options that we would consider.
clearly we have, on the table, putting panels up. what i am taking away from today is just what i would do as preliminary instruction from the board, on the starting list of alternatives you would like me to consider. it is unlikely to be the full list of alternatives we will end up evaluating under ceqa. >> just so it is clear, with an option included removing all of the walls from the building be a part of the analysis, as the resolution is already written? >> as the resolution is already written, i do not know. the current resolution that is before you, not the proposed amendment. i don't know yet whether or not we would evaluate. we would have to agree on together the full set of
alternatives that are evaluated under ceqa. it certainly could be. >> when you say "we". >> amine staff in the board of education. >> president cook, i wanted to ask you, what is your intent in bringing this new order of business in front of the board to take painting over the murals off of the table as an option? >> yes. okay. i heard the amendment and already think i shared that i was going to a support any amendments to the resolution. that is how i am planning to vote on this item. so, we have the amended resolution before us, for a vote
just so i'm clear, if that vote fails we go back to the original resolution, correct? okay. want to go through the vote? . >> v.p. sanchez: i plan to support the amendment, but i wonder what the downsize is adding it to the order of business, or if there is a downside? . >> president cook: i went through conversations about different alternatives, and i think the process is open enough to allow people to decide and the board to decide what the range of options should be. i'm comfortable with the resolution as it is written. >> it seems pretty clear to me that the intent of the amendment is to leave painting over the mural is an option for the board , and given that we are here reconsidering their
previous vote, to me, i am not willing to consider that as an option for ceqa. for me, i would not support the amendment. from my perspective. . >> president cook: we are going to vote on the amended resolution? just the amendment. [roll call] >> it failed. . >> president cook: now i am going to call the original resolution up for a vote. can i have a second? >> second. .
>> president cook: great. any comments from the commissioners? . >> commissioner lam: thank you. i want to acknowledge and say that public education is core to a thriving democracy. public education provides opportunity for our students, and that students are depending on us, to the school district on the school board. we had the opportunity to change lives, and be part of young people's development in finding their passion and their voice. i will always put students, educators, families, in my highest priorities. we care deeply for african-american, american indian, and indigenous students aryan we will put them in the front and center. it is clear, at the same time, that san francisco feels strongly and wants a voice in this process, as well.
this is the democratic process working. beyond this room i have heard from numerous, countless students, parents, residents of san francisco. i am always open to hearing perceptions. tonight, i am voting to support the proposal as put forward by president cook. i am seeking that balance that takes into account students, educators and our board. my take away focus, as a district, about the work that we have so much to do. we must overhaul our system that has failed to meet the goal that has been put forth by this district. we must address the persistent achievement gap, and equity gap, that exist in our district and has existed for decades and decades.
particularly impacting our african-american, indigenous, pacific islanders and latino students. students, in special education, as well as students who are english learners. we must get 100%, of our students, to graduate. graduate and be ready for college and be ready to be contributing to society, and making this a better place and better world than what it is currently that we are living within. we must support our teachers, and our educators. not only to join the profession, but to stay in the profession so they feel valued, heard and that they get to collaborate, around the learning and teaching for their students. and, that they must have the opportunity to get to live in san francisco. today we live by our san francisco values and that we must stand for our students. i want to speak to the importance of curriculum and
course offering. we been hearing a lot about the importance of that curriculum and what are our young people learning and i attest to commissioner collins, our young people are learning a much broader, comprehensive history than i was brought up with. my daughter learned about the black lives and, and the murder of martin in sixth grade. how she taught me, and her peers , was through innovative, multimedia presenting to her peers of what she researched and learned. i want to also suggest that the opportunities to partner with the city, including the human rights commission to explore additional curriculum. commissioner collins and i also introduced, on june 25, y'all
may have not known. looking at equity, cultural ethnic studies, pre-k-12 for the notion that our young people are not going to be learning about a fuller history, is going to be in the forefront. i propose that staff looks into offering additional african-american, native american indigenous courses partnering with city college and similarly they get college credit in high school. tonight, again, i just want to close and thank you to the thousands of people, hundreds of people that we have heard from. i put my vote in keeping our students at the core. i support the ceqa process that we will be embarking on an exploration of panels to cover
the mural as we go through this process. thank you. . >> president cook: commissioner lopez. . >> commissioner lopez: i stand by painting it down, that is not going to change. i have heard many arguments, throughout the summer, since we have had this last meeting. the arguments that students aren't affected shows me that you are not actually listening to the people, and the students, that are coming here demanding the removal for decades. the arguments that this is the only way to teach racism leads me to believe you do not understand education and how that works. i'm actually a teacher. i've had these discussions with my students so i can provide you a brief history lesson. this country began by justifying white supremacy through the dehumanization of people of color. that is the foundation, and this is an example of that still
thriving. it is so ingrained in our society that 50 years of demands of to remove this marrow to feel heard, to feel respected, and to learn and be honored means nothing. i would love to see this pushed back when other arguments arrive that are actually affecting our students, because you all are saying you care so much about their learning. i hope to see that puzzle in the future. >> i don't plan on supporting the resolution because i don't believe it allows for the options eventually if need to cover it up, pinning it over i feel like i can't support it. before we devote i wanted to read into the record an e-mail we received today from a former student of washington high school. it says more eloquently than i could ever say.
>> i went to george washington high school, i grew up in san francisco from age five. i remember feeling different from every other person a child. i did not grow up looking at other students, seeing my facial features, or eyes reflected back at me. yes, i was bullied from some adult that did not like the way i look. they treated me like i did not belong, like i couldn't hear their words or see the annoying expressions when i was around. many native americans know that look. except, i didn't have anyone to connect and other friends to look like me who could listen and understand. i was embarrassed that i was singled out and treated this way. i didn't like the mural. i did my best to pretend it wasn't there, or to pretend that the dead indian was possibly the only other person who could relate to the loneliness i felt being native in san francisco. does anyone remember what it was like to be the odd one out in school?
the one everyone ignored in the hallways? the one whose voice was never heard even when you did talk? that was me. i debated to dip reply to this controversial issue. a person's feelings more, because they are here now. i would like the mural to be removed to a museum where it be in the first place. maybe i should have never been painted in the school in the first place. why didn't they have a conversation i get opinions about putting this mural in high school in the first place? why didn't anyone ask african-americans or native americans if they were offended by the art painted on these walls? no one cared about how we felt. that is a sign of disrespect to us. they could care less about how we feel about dead images and our people? some people who may not even attend george washington high school want to shut my voice down again. they want to tell me again that my heart, spirit, mind, feelings
do not matter. that is what each person is telling me now. the art itself matters more than what i am feeling now. i have not gone back to george washington high school, even though my parents live a few blocks away. those walls, to me, they are walls that kept me in an institution where i do not feel i belong. why wasn't even welcome. why was different. i get angry when people try to say. my ancestors were killed and punished, and my family is still hurting from the effects of our story. so, it is not a pass for me, my family. it is a reality where still trying to overcome. that comes with me voicing my opinion, reaching out to people i pay will listen, and
understand. at least this time i brave enough to stay up -- speak out. the mural does not belong in the school. we need to allow our ancestors to rest and their present youth to move on so they can create and build their own paths. we must allow them to be free of negative images and begin again. with every end there is a beginning. will be heard and respected. all of our voices are equal. please let us empathize and hear our call. thank you. [applause] >> good evening everyone. thank you for coming out. i wanted to say, had a few thoughts. a school is really a place that students don't necessarily choose to go. they have to go in order to access education.