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Santa Barbara Parents Sue Over ‘Inclusivity Instruction’

| News, Uncategorized | February 7, 2019

Three people affiliated with the William S. Hart Union High School District said they had not heard of a Santa Barbara parent group’s lawsuit that seeks to void a contract between the local school district and an organization that allegedly discriminates against whites, males and Christians, among other groups.

These same people expressed shock at the suit, yet were confident it wouldn’t happen here.

A nonprofit called Fair Education Santa Barbara, whose website says its mission is to “advocate for fair, unbiased, transparent and non political education policies within the Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD)” alleges that a nonprofit called Just Communities Central Coast uses policies and procedures for teachers and students that discriminates against eight majority groups including men, whites, heterosexuals, Christians and the wealthy.

“Under the guise of promoting so-called ‘unconscious bias’ and ‘inclusivity’ instruction, JCCC’s actual curriculum and practices are overtly and intentionally anti-Caucasian, anti-male, and anti-Christian,” the lawsuit alleges.

Fair Education seeks to void the current $300,000 contract the district has with JCCC. The lawsuit alleges the district has paid $1.7 million since 2013 and claims the district has a conflict of interest with JCCC because at least seven individuals, including a current board member and an assistant superintendent, worked for JCCC and are major donors.

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Eric Early, a former attorney general candidate, represents Fair Education and told the Gazette that JCCC violates the Constitution when it singles out one group as the cause for the country’s ills.

“You can’t single out one race as being the root cause of all the others,” Early said. “You can’t single out one gender as being the root cause of all the others. You can’t single out on religious belief as being the root cause of all the others. That’s what JCCC is doing.”

On its website, JCCC says it “offers cultural competency training to organizational leaders, education seminars for the general public, leadership training institutes for students and teachers, and customized consultation to local agencies for diversity and organizational change initiatives.”

Of its seven listed staff members, six are Hispanic and female, and three were born in either Mexico or El Salvador.

The right-leaning, pro-Trump newspaper The Epoch Times wrote that the JCCC has training materials that say the U.S. is a “profoundly racist” country. “Oppression based on notions of race is pervasive in U.S. society and many other societies and hurts us all, although in different and distinct ways,” the paper quotes the material.

Early used the word “indoctrination” when referring to the JCCC in his interview with The Epoch Times. It was that word that caught the attention of Hart district spokesperson Dave Campbell.

“That is a huge word,” Campbell said. “That’s not just teaching something. That is saying you are purposely going to change someone’s mind to your way of thinking, and that is clearly something that would not be going on in our district.”

Campbell said that he was unaware of any district contract, also called a memorandum of understanding, that is as large as the agreement the Santa Barbara district has with JCCC, a sentiment board members Steve Sturgeon and Joe Messina echoed.

“I’ve never seen anything specific to a magnitude of an MOU, other than potentially with our own union,” Sturgeon said. “It’s typically for services, and we may have an estimated value associated to it.” As an example, Sturgeon said there could be an MOU that allows a teacher to teach six periods instead of five.

Messina said the district already teaches diversity and equality in the social studies curriculum.

As for the possibility of a similar lawsuit happening here, Sturgeon said, “Not with his board, but who knows with future boards? I’ve been on the board for 20 years. Could it happen? Sure. Santa Barbara is proving that.”

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About Lee Barnathan

Lee Barnathan has been a writer and editor since 1990. His articles have been published in newspapers, magazines and online. His new book "If You Experience Death, Please Call and Other Fatal Mistakes We Make With Language," a humorous look at the ways people misuse English, is available on Amazon or at his website, www.leebarnathan.com. He is hired by people all over the country to help them refine the message or story they wish to share with their target audience or demographic.

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