We were angered and saddened to read last week’s article about Santa Ynez High administrators bowing to a few vocal adults instead of standing behind their own policies and the students in their charge.

While there may be more behind this than what was reported, it appears the administration reneged on an agreement with the school’s GSA [Gender Sexuality Alliance] club regarding a temporary rainbow crosswalk art installation. There are many things about this story we do not understand (including under what circumstances the administration is allowed to overturn a prior decision — in this case the approval of the installation).

What exactly is the lesson being taught here from the district’s newly adopted “No Place for Hate” initiative? That these kids don’t matter? That a project representing love and tolerance needed to be erased because it might make some people uncomfortable (for a few days)? That these kids’ very existence is “divisive” and represents an “outside agenda”? And, how can we ask our kids to trust us and respect the rules when the adults in their lives provide such a terrible example and fail them so badly?

Our trans child was the leader of the GSA club at Dos Pueblos High School where the adults were caring, supportive, open to learning, and just. While we certainly appreciated their care, we also took it for granted. It seems to us that administrators Schwab and Niehoff need to meet up in study hall to review their “No Place for Hate” curriculum, including the lesson on how to stand up to bullies. As it stands now, they get an “F”.


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