Parent E-Mails VA Education Official

Parent E-Mails VA Education Official

Subject: Re: Franklin County Parent Advocate

Dr. Staples,

My comparison was an analogy, but I am glad to know that you now feel how hundreds of parents, students, educators, and advocates of color feel as a result of the maltreatment that we have been subjected to by your office and the local school districts. We are more than appalled.

I must also add that your response further indicates that neither you nor Mr. Eisenberg, in your professional or personal capacities has the insight or desire to understand what communities of color are subjected to on a daily basis by individuals that look exactly like you, and have no desire to understand, only to dismiss, degrade, and dehumanize the realities of our children and families.

Does attending public schools in Virginia feel as though our people are in a state of enslavement? By all means yes.  When entire populations of children and communities are not treated with dignity and a sense of humanity, that is reminiscent of the Slave Era.

Does attending public schools in Virginia result in violations of our human dignity and God-given freedoms? Absolutely! When our children are abused and your office covers it up instead of holding the abuser accountable.  When there is repeated documentation provided to you, directly, documenting unethical and criminal conduct by administrators, and you turn a blind eye and deaf ear; content to allow children to suffer rather than comply with the law that is meant to protect them.

I wish that you and Mr. Eisenberg would be as professionally and personally appalled at black children being fed to prisons by our schools. I wish that you were outraged at school employees that abuse and neglect our black children. I wish that you were outraged at how school administrators intimidate and retaliate against our parents of color.  Why do those things not make you professionally and personally appalled?

We all know the answer to that. Because our black children and families do not matter to your office.  The fact that we have offered to meet with you repeatedly, and you have refused, but your staff agrees to not only meet with, but complete a training day for parents in a majority white community, sends a strong message to our families that is utterly appalling and shameful.

Is this administration and district leaders engaging in slave master behaviors? Without a doubt! You response and that of Mr. Eisenberg confirms this. Blame those that you oppress for their oppression, then demonize them when they fight to be freed of the systematic oppression. That, Dr. Staples, is Willie Lynch/Jim Crow 101.

Once again, I am extending an invitation to you and Mr. Eisenberg to engage in a community roundtable with OUR people to understand OUR communities, in order to meet the needs of OUR children.

Hopefully, you appalled mentality will lead you to be more appalled at the extreme injustice that our communities face than the discomfort that you feel as a result of being held accountable for your inaction and silence in the face of this systematic injustice that is rampant throughout Virginia’s schools.

I will end this communication with a quote from Dr. King about what is really appalling to us.

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.-Martin Luther King, Jr.

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On Jan 18, 2016, at 3:55 PM, Staples, Steven (DOE) <Steven.Staples@doe.virginia.gov> wrote:

Ms. Lucas:

As a public servant, it is certainly my role (and others) to review correspondence from constituents and accept, in a professional manner, the occasional insult or inappropriate comments.

This comes with the job.

However, in this case, your references go far beyond the standard for acceptance by anyone.

Let me state, emphatically, that I am professionally and personally appalled at your comparison of slave owners using physical torture on human beings to anyone here at the Virginia Department of Education or elsewhere in state government.

Permit me to state, for the record, that I could not disagree with your assertions more completely.

Thank you.
Steven R. Staples, Ed.D.

State Superintendent