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  • Thursday, August 23, 2012

     

    Canyon H.S. Principal Dr. Bowden ordered to diversity training by OUSD

    Canyon HS Principal Dr. Bowden ordered to undergo “diversity and sensitivity training”


    Four year’s ago Dr. Greg Bowden’s Canyon High School Administration was embroiled in a controversy over a student bullying. This month the Orange Unified School District Administration has ordered Bowden and other school administrators to undergo “diversity and sensitivity training” after OUSD found that the administration should not have allowed a yearly event the past three school years that was led to “hurtful and demeaning messages” about Latino students and culture.



    The Canyon High School administrators were ordered to undergo “diversity and sensitivity training” after former student Jared Garcia-Kessler filed a formal complaint about the Canyon High School event titled “Seniores" and "Señoritas". As a senior, Kessler had voiced a complaint against the event to a Canyon H.S. teacher, but the event was again held durning June of the 2011-2012 school year. When the event again took place Kessler filed a formal complaint with the district(his complaint to the teacher apparently was not acted on).

    Evidence in the complaint included pictures from the event of students dressed in stereotypes that the district administration concluded were demeaning toward Latino’s and their culture appeared in the Canyon High School yearbook and were posted on Facebook accounts (See LINKS below).


    An August 10, 2011 letter summarizing the district’s findings by OUSD Executive Director of Secondary Education Aileen Sterling was quoted in a Los Angeles Times article (see link below) about the incident as:

    “I conclude there was a lack of oversight/supervision and that the school administration should not have allowed this activity…Even if strict guidelines were provided the result would still lead to hurtful and demeaning messages about the Mexican culture and to the students of the Mexican, Hispanic and Latino descent."

    Canyon High School Principal Dr Greg Bowden was also the school's principal four years ago when an egregious episode of bullying came to light. In December of 2008, parents of a Canyon High School student who was being bullied appeared before the Orange Unified School Board. The parents told the OUSD Trustees that after physical and verbal bullying of their son at Canyon High School, and receiving no support from the Canyon High School administrators, they were forced at great financial cost to remove their son for his own safety and emotional well being from Canyon High School to a private school. The parents detailed the abuse (see LINK below)for the OUSD Board and stated that when they became involved they contacted then Canyon High School Vice-Principal Frank Huerta. The parents alleged that when they reported that their son was being called a “faggot” Huerta told them “Being called fagot or gay is an acceptable salutation of teenagers at Canyon High School”.

    The parents also stated they then contacted Canyon High School Principal Dr. Bowden. He allegedly told the parents that the only option he saw was to transfer their son to another school. The parents stated that Bowden promised to look into the situation and call them back. Eight days of continued abuse later and with no further contact from Canyon High School Administrators, the family stated they pulled their son out of Canyon High School and placed him in a private school.

    For The LA Times story with descriptions of the demeaning costumes and KTLA TV video of incident including the Yearbook photos CLICK ON:
    DEMEANING

    FOX News Latino

    For more information on the 2008 Canyon Hills bullying episode CLICK ON
    (and scroll half way down ):

    Being called faggot or gay is an acceptable salutation of teenagers at Canyon High School


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