Rossmoor residents worry ethnic studies forums will bring problems to their town – Orange County Register


Some Rossmoor residents are sad that the Orange County Board of Education plans to bring two town halls on the controversial matter of ethnic studies to their quiet bed room neighborhood this summer season.

They are voicing the identical varieties of considerations that led Los Alamitos police to advise the native faculty district final month to transfer its assembly on a associated matter to an internet discussion board in hopes of avoiding potential violence.


“I’m concerned about safety,” mentioned Rossmoor resident Art Remnet, a board member on the Rossmoor Homeowners Association. “It feels like it’s a large circus event … in the middle of a bedroom community, it’s not safe to bring in all those people and the potential for conflict between the two sides.”

The county’s Board of Education voted June 2 to maintain two forums, on July 27 and Aug. 24, in Rossmoor’s Rush Park auditorium as a result of it may possibly accommodate extra individuals than the boardroom within the Orange County Department of Education in Costa Mesa.

But dozens of Rossmoor residents posted on an area Facebook web page that they would like the county board maintain its forums elsewhere. Some mentioned they plan to handle their considerations about security, visitors and potential protests throughout public feedback at a Rossmoor Community Services District assembly on Tuesday, June 8.

RELATED STORY: Orange County Board of Education to maintain 2 forums on ‘terrible,’ ‘concerning’ ethnic studies curriculum

The president of that district is Jeff Barke, an outspoken former Los Alamitos Unified School District board member whose conservative views as soon as had him push native colleges to supply opposing views on matters like local weather change. His spouse, Mari Barke, is on the county Board of Education and like nearly all of her colleagues, opposes ethnic studies and significant race concept teachings. The couple lives in Rossmoor.


Mari Barke mentioned she selected Rush Park as a result of it may possibly accommodate some 500 individuals, is shut to the 405 and 605 freeways, and its auditorium features a stage. Any prices affiliated with safety, together with hiring deputies from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, will be coated by the board, she mentioned.

“We’ll make sure to have a safe environment for those who attend,” she mentioned Monday.

The town halls, she mentioned, “are simply to provide information.” The trustees, who don’t oversee the county’s 27 faculty districts, are usually not anticipated to make any determination, she famous.

Joe Mendoza, common supervisor for the Rossmoor Community Services District, mentioned he’s heard from a few dozen residents, most of them in opposition to internet hosting the forums in town. Mendoza mentioned he’s working with the Sheriff’s Department on a safety plan, which the Board of Education will have to pay for.

“My stance on this is that they’re a rental user group, and we’re going to treat them like any other group,” Mendoza mentioned. “If there are concerns, we’re going to make sure they follow our guidelines and proactive security measures.”

Rossmoor resident Amy Lounsbury is among the many neighbors who worry that the forums will appeal to the likes of far-right organizations, just like the Proud Boys, whose members made an look on May 11 outdoors the Los Alamitos Unified district workplace, though that assembly was held on-line to keep away from protests. Still, 100 individuals confirmed up that night time, when the Los Alamitos Unified board authorized “social justice” instructing requirements for its colleges in Rossmoor, Los Alamitos and Seal Beach.

Conservative residents have proven up by the lots of at current Board of Education and Orange County Board of Supervisors conferences. People who help ethnic studies even have indicated on Twitter that they plan to attend the forums at Rossmoor.

“They said it’s the most controversial education topic in 25 years. And with seven weeks of ramp-up time to get everyone riled up, we could have more than 1,000 people here. All at the same time as we’re having road construction in our neighborhood,” Lounsbury mentioned.

“I don’t want Proud Boys and Black Lives Matter fighting on my front yard,” Lounsbury mentioned.

Some mother and father need extra details about ethnic studies and significant race concept and welcome the forums.

Los Alamitos resident Sophea Tim Chhe, who has three kids at Weaver Elementary in Rossmoor, mentioned: “We think it’s wonderful that this meeting is being held in our area. Most of the time we have to drive long distances to attend an important county event. Also, this is a hot topic in our community right now and we need excellent knowledge to make proper decisions.”

The forums are anticipated to facet closely in opposition to the controversial teachings.

Meanwhile, the Rossmoor Community Services District assembly on Tuesday, June 8, might appeal to a crowd of its personal. While some Rossmoor residents urged on one Facebook web page for individuals to attend Tuesday’s assembly and voice opposition to the ethnic studies forums, Jeff Barke – the company’s president – urged supporters on one other Facebook web page to present up in help.


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