Thursday, March 12, 2009

Castle Park Elementary has been a big topic in the comments section of SD Education Report

Here is a recent post from San Diego Education Report. But the best part is the discussion in the comments section.

"Randolph "Randy" Ward and Diane Crosier are using public funds to advance Dan Shinoff's private lawsuit against this blogger"

A sampling of comments:

1. Anonymous said...

I know Maura. She went to San Diego High School in the 60s. She was the kind of girl who always got invited to the science fair, but never got invited to the prom. I don't remember talking to her. I just remember she was pretty quiet, the nut-genius type. Glasses. Long hair and sandals before the hippies, and very serious. I remember some girls followed her one day when she got off the bus, and it turned out she was stopping at a Catholic Church on the way home. Those were the days. Anyone could walk into a Catholic Church, 24/7. It was just like the Middle Ages, when all a hunted man had to do was get inside the railing in front of the altar, and suddenly he was safe from any bloodthirsty band that might be chasing him. No one would kill a man in the sanctuary of a church. Now it seems to be one of the favorite places to kill people.

But back to Maura. She must have been lonely, but what do you say to someone like that? She didn't know how to talk. Zero conversation skills. She talked to the few friends she had, but that's different. There's social skills, and then there's talking to your friends. Friends don't care if you say the right thing.

I remember she was a year younger than the rest of the class. Someone told me that when we were talking about her, as if that explained why she didn't fit in. Maybe it was part of it.

It seems pretty weird that SDCOE is suing her for harassment. That sure doesn't sound like Maura.

12:05 AM

2. Anonymous said...

Well she's not very quiet anymore. It's about time the authorities stepped in and shut down this cuckoo blog.

10:57 AM

3. Anonymous said...

I have experience with school attorneys, and I'm not saying they're all paragons of virtue, but I'm beginning to think that most of them are more decent than Daniel Shinoff and Diane Crosier.

11:28 AM

4. Anonymous said...

I will stongly support anyone who can put a stop to the accusations this woman tosses about. She needs psych meds and professional help. She will never stop, it will only get worse. Anyone who visits her sites can see that her thought processes are scattered, and borderline psychotic!

12:13 PM

5. Blogger Maura Larkins said...

If I were willing to keep my mouth shut about relatively mild wrongdoing, when the retaliation against me is probably going to be limited to the courtroom, what chance is there that I would have the courage to speak out if public officials began to engage in truly serious wrongdoing? To those who want me to be silent: should the citizens of Germany also have kept their mouths shut in the 1930s and '40s? It seems that you are afraid that the truth will come out. If I'm wrong, what do you have to fear? Come forward and address the issues. Prove me wrong. Let's have a public debate. Don't try to crush free speech; take part in the process!

12:20 PM

6. Blogger Maura Larkins said...

To Anonymous Commenter #4: Yes, I do need help. I need you to help me understand what you are talking about. Can you give me an example of a "borderline psychotic" statement I've made? Just one example? From the safety of your anonymity you should be able to do that.

12:43 PM

7. Anonymous said...

Those who disagree should prove her wrong with facts. If what she has written is slanderous than prove her wrong with facts.

To accuse someone of being psychotic is an old trick played out by school officials.

Here is the chance to prove her wrong. Lets find facts that prove her wrong and post them on her own website.

1:31 PM

9. Anonymous said...

One example and only stated that Kelly Dupuis from the Star news stated a "parent" comented on the mexican parents. That comment was made by the then principal Ollie Matos. This comment was one of many the lead to his removal from Castle Park. You were wrong.

2:21 PM

10. Blogger Maura Larkins said...

Thank you for the example. Now we can look at the evidence. I just now looked up the September 10, 2004 issue of the Chula Vista Star-News, and found that reporter Kelly Dupuis quoted parent Felicia Starr as saying, "They [ELAC parents] really are involved with the school, and it would be nice to have them on there [the PTA], but not in an antagonistic way." For those who don't know what ELAC means, it's "English Language Acquisition Committee."

Here is the article.

It looks like I was right. Clearly, you were wrong. If we follow your logic, this would mean you are borderline psychotic, and should get medication and professional help. But this logic of yours is wrong; people can make a mistake without being crazy. Perhaps you have a better example of my scattered thought processes?

3:56 PM

11. Anonymous said...

So where does it say "Mexican parents"? And it was from an ELAC meeting in which the parents were very offended by what he said about them.

7:20 PM

12. Blogger Maura Larkins said...

Dear Anonymous:

The ELAC parents were Mexican, as you well know. Ollie Matos got along great with them. They were upset when "the Castle Park Family" got rid of Mr. Matos. The Mexican parents were also upset by the accusations of Felicia Starr in the Star-News article.

Felicia Starr accused the Mexican parents of printing illegal PTA ballots and hiding them. The parents thought they were allowed to nominate someone to the PTA board, and they weren't being sneaky about it. That's why Felicia Starr saw them at the copy machine--they were not hiding anything.

But perhaps Felicia Starr did the Mexican parents a favor by keeping them off the PTA board. Before the school year was out, $20,000 had been embezzled from the PTA. Kim Simmons, who was elected PTA president with Felicia Starr's help, was arrested for that crime. It certainly puts the accusations of Felicia Starr and Kimberlee Simmons into a fresh light, doesn't it?

Now there is no PTA at Castle Park Elementary. It seems that Kimberlee Simmons had a lot of enablers, including yourself, perhaps, but there is one group that can be completely ruled out as responsible: the Mexican parents.

9:06 PM

13. Blogger Maura Larkins said...

P.S. to Anonymous:

I am intrigued by your reference to an ELAC meeting. Can you tell me more about this meeting? I could do some research into the matter if you would give me more information. What was said that caused offense?

Are you claiming that I made a statement on my website about this ELAC meeting? What do you claim my statement was? Perhaps we could do a search of my website to see if its there.

9:17 PM

14. Anonymous said...

Just because a person is Latino or Hispanic does not make it ok to use the term "Mexican parent" for you to use it to describe the ELAC is disrespecful. Mr. Matos was the ONLY person who used that terminology. Till now, you keep referring to it. My point was no one used the WORD Mexican parent in those articles.

6:55 AM

15. Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong with using the term “Mexican parent” and absolutely nothing disrespectful. Gee Wizz! What type of comment is this? This is crazy this comment takes me back 70 years. This is precisely what is wrong in San Diego most of the population is undereducated and misinformed. To suggest that a website should be taken down because someone used the word, “MEXICAN PARENT.” It is totally ludicrous and not surprising. It appears to be the same mentality of this judge, SDCOE and the Stutz law firm...

16. Blogger Maura Larkins said...

Dear commenter who thinks "Mexican parents" is a slur:

Clearly, the word "parent" is not a slur, right? So you think "Mexican" is a slur. Why would someone's ethnicity be a slur? But perhaps you don't think "English parents" or "Swedish parents" is a slur. So why would "Mexican parents" be a slur?

Perhaps you are not aware that Mexico was a cultured and wealthy capital of a great empire when the United States was a collection of log cabins. Fortunes come and go in this world, for countries as well as for individuals.

I suspect that you have spent your life in an environment in which "Mexican" was considered a slur. [Above portrait: Mexican Sor Juana de la Cruz]

You're not originally from California, are you? Of course, there are some native Californians who also think that way. Your type of thinking was well-represented among the staff at Castle Park Elementary in Chula Vista.

Do you know that you are making the same argument that Steve Carell (left), the clueless boss in "The Office" TV series, made?

In one episode, the doofus boss asked a Mexican employee (Oscar Nunez, left) what he wanted to be called instead of "Mexican." The employee said that it was fine to call him Mexican. Steve Carell continued to insist that "Mexican" was a slur. Isn't that exactly what you are doing?

10:47 AM

17. Anonymous said...

The parents Matos referred to were insulted by the comment, they expressed this to the district. If a person is offended by a particular comment, one should take care not to use it. And my point was...the WORDS "Mexican parents" were not in the article shown. And you had to turn it into a debate...figures

5:35 PM

18. Blogger Maura Larkins said...

I know several of the parents who were members of ELAC, and they all loved Mr. Matos. I suspect that the parents you are talking about were not regular members of ELAC, and were encouraged by Felicia Starr and Kim Simmons to go to an ELAC meeting and find something to complain about. Was Norma G. one of the parents who complained? The complaint is beyond bizarre. I can imagine what the district thought. Most Mexicans are proud to be Mexican, and don't consider "Mexican" to be a slur.

6:44 PM

Mexican Frida Kahlo

19. Maura Larkins said...

Dear Anonymous:

Now I'm curious. What term should I use to refer to Mexicans, if, as you claim, the word "Mexican" is offensive?

7:13 PM

20. Maura Larkins said...

In my bilingual class, 100% of my students were Mexican. In my twenty-plus years of teaching in Chula Vista I had one Puerto Rican student and one Spaniard, but I believe that all the ELAC parents at Castle Park Elementary were Mexican. Do you know of a non-Mexican Hispanic parent at Castle Park Elementary who made a complaint to the district? I suspect you don't, but if you do, the problem could have been solved by the parent simply raising his or her hand and saying, "I'm Guatemalan (or Cuban or some other nationality)." Who would go to the district to complain about something like that? Only someone who had a separate agenda.

11:30 AM

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