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  • Thursday, August 23, 2012


    OUSD Superintendent shifts blame to Canyon H.S. students as controversy grows

    Complaining student told “get a sense of humor"...

    Canyon H.S. controversy grows as OUSD Superintendent shifts blame to students and story goes national

    The Los Angeles Times is following up its coverage of the Canyon H.S. controversy over a three year event called 'Seniores' and 'Señoritas' where students wore costumes demeaning to Latinos. The latest L.A. Times story reports (see LINK below) that when Canyon High School student Jared Garcia-Kessler initially complained about the event as a Senior, he was told by a campus administrator to “get a sense of humor.”

    OUSD had ordered Canyon High School Principal Dr. Greg Bowden and other administrators to under go “diversity and sensitivity” training. In a report on her investigation, Executive Director of Secondary Education Aileen Sterling squarely placed the blame on Canyon High School’s administration. While the report states that the school’s administration “reacted immediately” to confiscate gang affiliated attire, the report concluded that the administration should not have allowed the event at all. Pictures of the event also ended up in the school’s yearbook. The report states:

    "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."

    The latest L.A. Times reports further squarely places the blame on the administration with the unidentified administrator not taking the student’s complaint seriously with the comment on getting “a sense of humor”.

    As the controversy grew over the last 24 hours after the story broke, it started to appear on Latino news outlets and started to spread nation-wide. The L.A. Times reported that on August 23, 2012, (the first day of the new school year) OUSD Superintendent Michael Christensen issued a written statement. The statement did not appear on the district’s website. According to the L.A. Times Christensen’s statement said that OUSD:

    "does not endorse or condone the behavior of students who acted inappropriately." He reiterated the investigation's findings that the students' dress was "not appropriate and that the actions of these students was demeaning and offensive."

    The statement appears to be a shift away from the report which places the blame squarely on the school’s Bowden Administration to the “behavior of the students who acted inappropriately” which is in a direct conflict with the Sterling Report. That report chastised the Bowden Administration for allowing the event under any circumstances because regardless of the guidelines the report states:

    “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."

    Follow-up L.A. Times Story CLICK ON : SENSE of HUMOR

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    Dr. Bowden needs to be fired or demoted to status of a teacher.
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