The Washington Elementary School District (WESD) Governing Board voted three to two on July 27 to renew the contract of WESD Superintendent Paul Stanton for three years. Two of the board members — former President Nikkie Gomez-Whaley and self-described “neurodivergent” Tamilia Valenzuela — voted against the renewal, stating that Stanton, who is white, is unable to handle the school district’s diversity.
Tara Mayole, a retired principal from the district, told The Arizona Sun Times that board members Gomez-Whaley and Valenzuela failed to provide even “one example or suggestion” of how Stanton “is not inclusive enough of marginalized groups.”
She said regarding Valenzuela, “Mrs. Valenzuela has no teaching degree, master’s degree, social worker or counseling license nor a doctorate. She holds nothing other than her personal agenda of no Christian [University] student teachers; pronouns and gender identity should be a top priority in elementary school, and more teachers should be people of color and of the LGBTQ community. It’s against the law to hire people based on race, color, gender or religion. We hire based on the best person for the job.”
Tiff Macyn, a parent of a child in the school district, echoed similar concerns to The Sun Times. “It’s become clearer than ever that these two board members share the exact same ideology, rooted in racism and bigotry,” she said. “Each board meeting, these members abuse the seat in which they were elected by their community to engage in the most unprofessional and hostile dialogue amongst other board members and staff, knowing it’s broadcasted over YouTube. Our community has had enough of this ‘woke’ nonsense. Race is at the forefront of every tantrum on record where Valenzuela and Gomez-Whaley blatantly state we have a large marginalized community we have rejected and silenced … because they are not white.”
Read the rest of the article at The Arizona Sun Times