LOS ALAMITOS (CBSLA) – After several hours of discussion, the Los Alamitos Unified School District early Wednesday morning unanimously approved a set of social justice teaching standards and a new ethnic studies curriculum.
In a virtual meeting, the board voted 5-0 in favor of the controversial plan after hearing a flurry of public comment.
The meeting had originally been slated to be held in-person. However, Los Alamitos police recommended it be held online over fears that clashes could erupt between those for and against the plan.
In response to the police department’s concerns, the board only allowed public comments to be emailed in. 175 people wrote in. Protesters gathered at district headquarters, frustrated that the meeting was moved online.
“I think it was a way to hide from accountability,” protest organizer Marc Ang told CBSLA Tuesday afternoon.
The standards will be “a supplemental resource for teachers and administrators,” according to the district. The district will now move towards determining how to implement the standards and train teachers.
“They sound OK when you talk about them, no one disagrees with ethnic studies curriculum,” Ang said. “The problem is, it’s being used as a vehicle to push a certain agenda that is very political and very special-interest driven. It is actually teaching divisiveness and teaching kids that you have to be inferior to be a victim, which is not good. And to vilify white people and basically say, because they’re the majority race, we need to throw everything out.”
Board members noted during the meeting that the district will seek to continue open lines of communication with parents if there are ever issues with the curriculum or the standards.
While some teachers argue the standards are a way of creating cultural sensitivity, some parents believe it could spur victimhood.
“They’re labeling people such as me, that are even inquiring about what’s happening with the curriculum of social justice standards, as right wing extremists, racists, white supremacists,” one mother, who did not want to be identified, told CBSLA. “And my children are of mixed color, if you have a certain color of skin, and therefore you follow into categories of either victimhood, or blame.”