“We have failed our children”; Mayor Breed focuses on student welfare in selection of school board replacements – CBS San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Mayor London Breed took to the national talk show circuit over the weekend to provide insight into his selection process to replace three recalled school board members who were removed from office. from their duties last week.
SF Board of Education President Gabriella Lopez, Vice President Faauuga Moliga and Member Alison Collins have been massively ousted from office by voters unhappy with delays in getting children back to school during the pandemic. While private schools in San Francisco have resumed classroom instruction, the city’s public schools have fallen months behind.
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“We let our kids down,” Breed said on Meet the Press. “The parents were upset. The town as a whole was upset and the decision to recall school board members was a consequence.
Now Breed must appoint three new members to the seven-person council that oversees the public school system.
“I’m going to look for people who are going to focus on school district priorities and not politics, and not what it means to run for office, and stepping stones, and so on.” she says. “We need people who want to be part of the school board to make a difference and who have those qualifications to do the job.
She said she had already spoken with the parents about what they wanted.
“I’ve spoken to parents for the past two weeks,” she said. “And what they want is someone who is going to focus on the basic core responsibility of school board members. And it’s making sure kids get the education they need in our schools, dealing with the challenges of learning loss, dealing with the mental health issues that are out there.
As the pandemic lingered and the strains of remote learning mounted on students and parents daily, Breed — like many San Franciscans — lost faith in the board’s leadership.
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“At the end of the day, our children weren’t in school,” she said. “And they should have been. And the children were suffering at home. The stories I’ve heard about kids who have gone from being bubbly, excited kids to not even smiling, to being depressed, the increase in suicide attempts and other things that exist, that’s the fundamental problem here.
But politicians on both sides of the aisle are very publicly drawing their own conclusions.
“You have a democracy. If people have spoken, take note,” said Siva Raj, a San Francisco parent and co-founder of Recall SF School Board.
Parent organizers believe some have failed to get the message across.
“Make no mistake, white supremacists appreciate this and support for the recall is aligned with this,” board chair Gabriella Lopez recalled on Twitter.
Breed said it was time to stop listening to Lopez.
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“And the fact that we’re still listening to one of the recalled school board members is definitely an issue,” she said. “Again, we should focus on the parents. We should focus on the school district and the challenges that these children faced. And that’s the biggest problem. »