At the May 11 San Diego Unified School District Board of Education meeting, held in the Eugene Brucker Education Center auditorium on Normal Street, the board considered adopting a resolution introduced by board president Richard Barrera.
The resolution condemns and urges repeal of the law recently passed in Arizona which, according to the New York Times, “would make the failure to carry immigration documents a crime and give the police broad power to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally.”
The resolution as initially proposed included a travel advisory for families and children traveling to Arizona. When the board took up the item, board vice president John Evans introduced an amended version that struck the travel advisory clause and added a clause that would restrict district employees from traveling to Arizona for conferences and another clause urging Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform.
Fifteen people addressed the board during discussion of the agenda item. Most spoke in support of the resolution, with three people speaking against it; however, many of the approximately hundred people present in the auditorium appeared to be opposed to the resolution. A woman who nodded vigorously every time someone spoke in opposition to the resolution held up a camera and digitally captured all of the speakers from her seat near the back of the room.
One of the first speakers, who gave his name as Tom Guerin, told the board, “I saw the Berlin Wall go up. I saw the Iron Curtain go up. I fought for civil rights. But I never saw this country as ugly and hateful as it is now.… This country has a problem, blame a Mexican.”
An unidentified man in the audience who was sitting with a group opposed to the resolution responded that he had also seen the Berlin Wall go up. When Guerin was returning to his seat in the auditorium, the two men exchanged words, and Guerin challenged the man to a fight. Board president Barrera intervened, saying, “We are going to be civil.”
A representative from the ACLU, Andrea Guerrero, told the board, “By the end of this week, the ACLU will file a lawsuit against SB1070.… It is a bad law, it is bad policy.”
A speaker who identified herself as a parent, Sheila Boiling, told the board, “Stop using taxpayers’ money and time…on a topic that has nothing to do with education within San Diego Unified School District.” The resolution passed unanimously.
To read the full text of the resolution, click here.