Thursday, December 15, 2011

An Open Letter to the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education:

I was asked by a reader, to publish this letter. The writer asked that their identity not be revealed for fear of retribution and retaliation.

As a product of Albuquerque Public Schools, a taxpayer, and most importantly, a parent of an APS child, I feel it is imperative that I express my utter disgust Sheryl Williams Stapleton’s conduct yesterday during yesterday’s Legislative Education Study Committee. If you are not aware of her racist outburst, you can find it documented on many websites, including the national political website Human Events.

To briefly recap, at one point during the session, Ms. Stapleton yelled at another State Representative, shouting "Don't mess with me," and then accusing her of “carrying water for ‘The Mexican.’” Even more tragic is her defense – it seems she has grandparents from Cuba and Puerto Rico, implying that she is entitled to talk to people that way. Consider the ramifications of this poor defense. I have spent most of my life living in the deep South and the Hispanic Southwest. Using Ms. Williams-Stapleton’s conduct, I can pretty much use any racial epithet I choose. Hardly – this upbringing taught me a lot about diversity, a lesson that Ms. Williams-Stapleton clearly did not receive. For that, I wish to thank APS.

However, the point of my correspondence is not to criticize Ms. Williams-Stapleton’s actions. I doubt the Board of Education would be concerned with addressing highly politicized issues like this. Rather, I have three concerns that I feel must be addressed by both the Board of Education, and Ms. Williams-Stapleton’s Supervisor, Winston Brooks.

1 – With this sort of conduct being demonstrated publicly by highly-placed administrative employees, how can I be confident that my child is receiving a culturally diverse education at Albuquerque Public Schools? And, "don't mess with me?" How can I be confident that my child is learning mature conflict resolution skills?

2 – On Tuesday night, I watched Winston Brooks explain how APS is dealing with continued budget cuts from the Legislature. How does the Board of Education think this will help endear themselves to the Legislature, and what is the plan of action to ensure that this bombastic racism does not affect my child’s quality of education?

3 - As has been well documented by many television reports, Ms. Williams-Stapleton is a paid APS employee during her work as a State Representative. Is the Board of Education going to tolerate this sort of behavior from an employee representing the Board of Education?

As a parent and taxpayer, I will not be satisfied until Ms. Williams-Stapleton is terminated immediately. I can only assume that, if Ms. Williams-Stapleton continues to be employed by APS, the Board of Education is endorsing this behavior. As a parent, if it does not happen, I will have no choice but to remove my child from an institution that endorses racial hate speech. As a voter and a taxpayer, I will yield no benefit from APS, and will vote down any and all bond issues, and urge my representative to continue to cut funding.

APS is at a unique crossroads in the news right now. On one hand, you see great news stories about the anti-bullying club at Sandia High School. On the other hand, you hear about budget crises, and quality of education being impacted. This event is a tragic collision at that intersection as we watch APS wasting $167,000 paying an employee to bully people while yelling racial hate-speech.


Anonymous said...

As a parentof an APS student, and employee of APS, I agree 100+%.

Anonymous said...

***One of Williams-Stapleton's biggest political contributors is the AFT (Abq Fewderation of teachers).***
**All members of AFT should threaten to pull dues is thier monies will continue to be used to ssupport Williams-Stapleton!

Anonymous said...

I too will vote down any and all bond issues, and urge my representative to continue to cut funding. And I am a teacher. The Bullying from the top down has got to stop. Get a grip APS, you cannot continue to bash and bully your hard working educators and expect them to keep taking it. There is going to be a rude awakening when the boomers retire and there are only a few mid termers employed. You do not see the college kids electing to go into education. They learned that they are on their own with no protection from their administration or their so called "Union" ( what a joke)! Most leave the profession in 3 to 5 years. When the kids see the bait and switch of the pensions, the disrespect from the community, parents, and administration, is it really any wonder no one is going to replace those boomers?

Anonymous said...

Stapleton needs to be fired from APS, and somehow removed from her position at the Legislature, she is an embarrassment to all Americans, New Mexicans; and indeed anyone who values cultural diversity, morality and a sense of what is right and wrong, Stapleton disgusts me