A letter from CUSD Superintendent Karl Mueller | Opinion
On behalf of the Coronado Unified School District, I wanted to follow up on information about a recent event that has impacted our community.
As previously shared, last weekend the CUSD administration learned that a potential event on or near our Coronado High School campus (CHS) was being scheduled by a group outside of Coronado for Monday. November 8, 2021. On Sunday November 7, I emailed all CUSD families to let them know about the event. The letter included the following:
We were made aware of social media posts which indicated that there had been a call for a rally on Monday, November 8, 2021 at 4 p.m. outside the CHS to “mobilize against racism in the public education âin response to student activities on social networks. When students are not on campus or representing our district in school-related activities, they are private citizens and outside our jurisdiction. We are aware that these events can have an impact on our students and staff and we have a duty to ensure their well-being and safety.
Yesterday, November 8, around 4:15 p.m., about 20 people gathered at the corner of Sixth Street and Avenue D in front of the CHS. Throughout the event, members of the Coronado Police Department and CUSD staff observed crowd interactions and went to sleep to ensure the safety of our students, those in attendance and to protect property. district / community. The event began as a gathering of citizens authorized to exercise their First Amendment rights. A small group of community members also observed the gathering as non-participants across the street.
Unfortunately, some people present at the rally chose to participate in degrading our school by writing slogans and symbols qualified as hate speech, with chalk on the sidewalk and buildings in front of the CHS. Hate speech is defined as âabusive or threatening speech or writing that expresses prejudice against a particular groupâ and this type of behavior is further described in CUSD Board Policy 5145.9.
Individuals who disfigured the sidewalk and buildings in front of the CHS with threatening slogans and symbols engaged in reprehensible behavior. We cannot and will not tolerate this behavior. We have video footage throughout the evening and night and are working with the Coronado Police Department to determine what further action needs to be taken. We will take action to hold those responsible to account. Fortunately, concerned citizens and our supervisory staff arrived on the CHS campus early to ensure that the hate speech written on our schools was cleaned up before staff and students arrived.
We fully and categorically denounce the actions of those responsible for this harmful behavior in our community. Not only do their messages spread hatred and discontent, but they are also unwarranted, inflammatory and incongruous with our efforts to ensure that all members of our school community and our guests feel safe, valued and respected. Our intention is to shape civil discourse and participation in our democracy with productive opportunities to learn and grow from each other and always a common goal of student learning.
We strive to teach responsible citizenship by explaining the balance and distinction between exercising individual First Amendment rights and actions that can be interpreted as hate-motivated behavior. We are focused on our mission to provide a safe and supportive learning environment for every child in our care. We remain committed to this important work.