I was a manager for most of my career. One thing I always tried to do was minimize the impact of politics on the people in the organization.
Two managers in the Ventura School decided to put their personal politics above the good of the students. If your interested, I looked at the ratings of the schools in the Ventura School district guess what? There are a number of schools that are ranked at 2 or 3 out of 10 in how they are doing. Yep, lots of work to do to make sure the kids get a good education.
Instead, the dynamic duo are spending their time and energy on turning down fiscal help for their school district. I cannot say it any better than William Warford from a writer for the Antelope Valley Press. By the way he is a fulltime public school teacher as well as a writer for the news paper.
Doesn’t inclusive mean you include everyone?
Like most of us, I’ve always had a strong dislike for people who hurt kids, but it is especially appalling when kids are hurt because of adults’ self-centered, self-righteous, political reasons.
On Friday, the same day my column suggested that people lighten up on these politically driven boycotts, the story hit the news about a fellow in Ventura named Val Wyatt.
He is the principal of Ventura High School, and he banned Chick-fil-A from offering sandwiches at Back to School Night because he doesn’t like the restaurant owner’s position against same-sex marriage.
The chain had already donated $21,000 to the school, and planned to donate 200 meals to the football booster club to sell at the event.
According to the Ventura County Star, Wyatt said, “With their political stance on gay rights and because the students of Ventura High School and their parents would be at the event, I didn’t want them on campus.”
The principal was echoed by Ventura Unified School District Superintendent Trudy Tuttle Arriaga, who said, “We value inclusivity and diversity on our campus and all of our events and activities are going to adhere to our mission.”
Uh, no, actually you don’t. You don’t value inclusivity or diversity. Nothing could be further from the truth. You are exclusive – you exclude anyone who doesn’t share your views.
Anyone who doesn’t see things your way – and in this case holds a view held by President Barack Obama well into his first term – must be banished.
Hmm, I wonder if they would have banned the president in 2009?
You know who has a store that sells Chick-fil-A? New York University, in Manhattan. In Washington Square, five blocks away from the Stonewall Bar in Greenwich Village, the birthplace of the gay rights movement.
I’d think if the company can survive on the NYU campus, Ventura High School students can survive having funds raised on their behalf by selling it.
So who suffers as a result of the ban? Not Chick-fil-A. It just saved a few thousand dollars.
The ones who suffer are the kids – the football players who don’t benefit from the booster club money, and the rest of the kids who see adults being closed-minded and bigoted toward people who don’t see the world exactly the same as they do.
Why should a restaurant’s position on same-sex marriage offend anyone? I don’t agree with many, if any, of the political positions held by Ben and Jerry, but if their ice cream were being sold to raise funds for my school I’d be among the first in line. This is lunacy.
These sort of things just keep happening – it started on the college campuses about 20 or 25 years ago with the left banning or shouting down speakers they didn’t like – and most people stood by, shrugged their shoulders, and shook their heads.
It’s time to stop standing by and shrugging. And – to be clear – this sort of intolerance is just as unacceptable when it comes from the right. Leave politics aside once in a while.
This Ventura case seems to me the perfect occasion for civil disobedience.
The booster club should tell the principal to pound sand, and just bring the sandwiches in. What are they going to do, call the cops and have them arrested for selling sandwiches? Disband the booster club?
If the people running the school are that dictatorial and hate-filled, then your kids are better off at another school.
Preferably a private school, where people tend to be more open-minded and tolerant than at Ventura High School.
William P. Warford’s column appears each Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.
If the people of Ventura do not fire, yes fire these two, they aren’t doing their job for their kids. P.S. I’ve never eaten at a Chick-fil-A but I hear they are going open here in the next couple of months. I definitely will eat there as they might just support the fund raising for the AVC basketball team!