Kathryn Grossman Ramirez, a Trustee of the Salinas Union High School District, is under attack and has had to endure racist comments and threats in Salinas, California, in 2018! Most recently, Neil Patel, a teacher/police commissioner/school board member (in another district) in the audience of a school board meeting apparently yells out, “Heil Hitler” to Board Member, Kathryn Grossman-Ramirez, a Jewish and Mexican woman.
We reached out to Ms. Grossman-Ramirez who has been the target of racial and personal attacks and confirmed that she was responding to ongoing attacks in a teacher union sponsored newsletter called, “Eye on the Board” in which the members demanded to know what her heritage is and that inferred that she is a “fake Jew” and “not Jewish enough.” This language goes beyond what is acceptable. It is completely out of bounds and intolerant.
The teachers union representatives have also made inappropriate comments and attacked Board Member Grossman Ramirez personally. The union president even went as far as to compare her to Donald Trump! All of this apparently because Ms. Grossman-Ramirez is not in favor of a proposal by the union for binding arbitration. This is retaliation at its absolute worst from a body that advocates against retaliation in the workplace. This is not a political attack; this is a racial and religious attack.
So, it appears that the Salinas Union HSD is actually run by the union and NOT by the Superintendent or the school board. It is disappointing that the President, Patty Padilla and Vice President Phillip Tabera sat and said nothing to address the racist dialogue that was allowed to be spewed from the audience. Padilla and Tabera are allowing this gross intolerance to continue! And it gets worse, the board now wants to censure Grossman-Ramirez for being a victim of racial attacks!
Neil Patel is currently a teacher at Alisal High School where he teaches young impressionable students and has been a staunch advocate to increase police in schools, specifically at the high school level, which we know only serves to feed the prison pipeline. Additionally, at a recent school board training that he and Grossman-Ramirez attended, Patel was seen verbally assaulting her and had to be told to back off. Why is this man not being held accountable!? Patel has denied yelling “Heil Hitler” though it’s clear in both audio and video that he did yell out from the audience. His tone is also certainly memorialized and there is no denying he was inflamed.
There are other issues as well. Persistent cyberbullying has been an ongoing issue with Vice President Phillip Tabera, who has been known to post derogatory things about Grossman-Ramirez on his social media pages including referring to her as “KRazy” and calling her a “coconut.”
Additionally, board President, Patty Padilla who is a member of California School Employees Association (CSEA) (the same bargaining unit that the district works with and represents its classified employees, which is a clear conflict of interest) has put forth a resolution to censure Grossman-Ramirez for being the victim of bigotry. You can read the the resolution here.
If you live in this community, you should be outraged at what is happening with in your community and start asking questions.
We are all in this together with you. We want to be a resource for you and for all of the children you love. Whether you need some info or you have info to share, you know where to go…LA Comadre.
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