Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bring Knives to TUSD Board Meetings, Leave Civil Disobedience at Home

Posted By on Thu, Aug 11, 2011 at 10:00 AM

How often do you think before you leave to go to a TUSD governing board meeting, "Hey, I better bring my knife, cause you never know if there's going to be a potluck or turkey dinner?"

Probably not that often, unless you're a guy named John White, who has spoken at previous school board meetings, and Tuesday night was no different. He even signed in as Juan Blanco, something he thinks is kind of funny and just loves confusing the board when he introduces himself.

According to reports, before White ever got into the board room, before he was ever called up during call to audience, he tried to bring a knife into the building.

Perhaps before he left his house he thought, "I'm going to talk tonight at the school board meeting about killing and blood and how those damn Chicanos want war. I better bring a knife with me to illustrate my point."

Now, I guess, if they are sticking to orders that go back to the contentious May 3 meeting, the security folks must have been told, "Look, we're just interested in chains and anyone who looks Mexican that either has a speech written out in their hands or just looks suspicious." Evidently, the security folks took the knife, but let White right into the 1010 building, even after he reportedly first refused to give the knife to the security folks.

If the knife was reported to the board, it isn't noted during the meeting. As White began to speak, he spewed a diatribe of violence on"La Raza" calling for a civil war and killing people, saying things like "blood will flow and white flags will mean nothing." He even flipped off the board.

The problem with all this, besides the knife, is that when he was over his time, when it was noted by board member Judy Burns that he was not just over time, but out of line and breaking board policy, president Mark Stegeman allowed him to continue to have the floor. It wasn't difficult for some in the audience to compare the scene to the May 3 meeting when about seven members of the community were arrested for speaking out in support of Mexican American Studies — none brought knives, many brought notes and signs.

The fact that he was allowed in even after his knife was confiscated, and then allowed to speak, despite breaking rules that others in the past were arrested for (and despite attempting to bring in a weapon) is troubling.

Three Sonorans' David Morales was there and put together a video to show what happened and compared it to what's happened at past meetings. I'd also check out his latest blog post here.

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