Los Alamitos school district to hold meeting online amid controversy over proposed ethnic studies elective

Local news

Fearing a confrontation between those who object to and those who support a curriculum proposal that would add an ethnic studies elective, the Los Alamitos Unified School District will hold its meeting scheduled for Tuesday online instead of in-person. 

The ethnic studies curriculum is described in general terms as looking at the contributions of people of color to U.S. history. 

Chip Yost reports for the KTLA 5 News at 1 on May 11, 2021.

Below is a statement from the district’s superintendent, Andrew Pulver:

We acknowledge that there are diverse perspectives on these issues. While many parents and community members have expressed their support for these standards, we have also heard from parents and community members who are concerned about how these standards might be applied in our schools.

Our goal is to promote productive dialogue and respectful discussion to help find common ground on the sensitive subjects of race, social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. 

Some social media posts have urged people to threaten, harass, intimidate, menace, and verbally assault district leaders by accosting them in public places, including at school board meetings. We were very concerned about the safety of our students, parents, and staff in attendance if there were any confrontations or altercations at the board meeting. That is why, out of an abundance of caution, we shifted to a virtual meeting format.

The LAUSD Human Relations Advisory Council has been active for over three years in outreach and stakeholder engagement around these issues. We have been very intentional in listening to the voices in our community on all sides of these issues. We will continue to do so, even in a virtual setting.

We want to prepare and empower all of our students to be competitive and thrive in an increasingly diverse and complicated society. We are confident that our new elective course, social justice standards for teachers and administrators, and culturally responsive teaching techniques will help us achieve that objective.

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