Letter to the Editor: Civility pact will try to take away your opinion | SierraSun.com

Letter to the Editor: Civility pact will try to take away your opinion

Marty Daniels Schoonmaker
Tahoe City

The Sierra Sun’s editorial (Why civility is the answer, Nov. 6) missed the main points of the Board Meeting on Nov. 4, and focused on the Speak Your Peace motto.

The Tahoe Truckee Unified School District is failing the English Language Learners (ELL). Safety issues exist due to the reconfiguration (i.e. minimal staff and volunteers for yard/recess duty, lunch distribution, classroom support, janitorial duties, etc).

The TTUSD is busing the fourth and fifth graders from Kings Beach Elementary (KBE), a program improvement school to North Tahoe Middle School (NTMS) another program improvement school. TTUSD recently started English Language Development a couple of weeks ago.

It is worthy to note that the State of California mandates it start from the first day of school. The ELLs from KBE have not been given a choice. These ELLs deserve an educational plan with practical implementation. I have embraced change without a working plan. The TTUSD needs to immediately implement a Master Plan for English language learners substantiated by significant research.

The nine points of civility are values one does as an individual. The Speak your Peace Motto and#8220;It is Not What You Have To Say but How You Say Itand#8221; takes away the meaning of one’s opinion.

If the board adopted this motto, the board could dismiss one for not agreeing with what one has to say by stating they have not followed the motto. This violates the Brown Act. The Brown Act is for the public to state their opinions.

Yes, some community members are not as well spoken as others. I follow my own and#8220;norms of civilityand#8221; and pledged to follow these nine norms, but not to change the meaning of my opinion, so someone will agree with me.

I fear speaking in public. My leg shakes, my heart races, my voice crackles, and sometimes I lose my train of thought. This could lead to one mistaking my fear as not being civil. Thus, my opinion might not be heard? I ask the Board to uphold the Brown Act and not adopt this resolution. If the TTUSD adopts and#8220;Speak Your Peaceand#8221; they are getting into bed with another entity, which will limit honest communication and prevent a checks and balance system.

With attention to and#8220;The e-mail,and#8221; first you were not going to print the e-mail due to lack of proper context then you mentioned it. I do not understand your rationale.

The safety issue that and#8220;the residentand#8221; discloses demonstrates that the and#8220;Speak Your Peaceand#8221; motto does not work and the Brown Act needs to be followed. The author of and#8220;The e-mailand#8221; is a committed community member and parent. She witnessed students in danger.

She e-mailed the TTUSD board and the transportation department regarding her concerns, the absent board member replied noting she did not include the superintendent and then he replied to the superintendent cc-ing this resident stating she had and#8220;some serious issuesand#8221;.

I hope this absent board member acted on the Brown Act’s norm and#8220;assume good intentionsand#8221; and realized her issues are serious. Furthermore, if the TTUSD board followed the Brown Act allowing two-way dialogue this e-mail issue could have been resolved, even with the board member being absent. Although not everyone agrees with this resident’s political views, she has and#8220;good intentionsand#8221;. She is there to pick up your child if they fall.

If the board followed the and#8220;Speak Your Peace and#8220; motto, this e-mail would be ignored. If the board followed the Brown Act, they would see this resident acted with and#8220;good intentionsand#8221; and deal with the safety issue at hand.