"On Wednesday night I made an attempt to bring an olive branch to our superintendent and the Chair of Salem Keizer School Board. At the August 10th school board meeting, I was grossly verbally assaulted in a very racial and disgusting attack for being Mexican American. I sent multiple emails to the superintendent, board directors involved and heard no response. It wasn’t until I threatened a formal complaint did I get taken seriously.
My husband, myself and my 3 children met with these two at the district office. I explained my complaint and my concerns about the increasing violence by youth at our board meetings. I was dismissed by the Chair who became defensive at the very sight of my white husband. He sat taking notes of everything I said so that he could dismiss and negate my experience, while accusing me and other parents of doing the same. He claimed to have no relationship with the youth who have hijacked school board meetings, threatened and harassed parents, including my 7 year old daughter. For her safety I took her out of public school. These same youth have gone as far as to harass Director Bethelle at her residence, label three board members as white supremacists and then make calls on their social media to Antifa affiliated groups to come and disrupt board meetings. Several local businesses including The Freckled Bee, and Push Fitness Salem, have also made public statements calling for activists to disrupt meetings and push parents out of the building.
I’m trying to bring awareness to the gross and defiant behavior of our schools young people, the complete disrespect of parents, and the dangerous agenda being pushed by our board Chair.
After an hour long conversation, no apologies were given by the Chair. As we walked away from the meeting he aggressively suggested in front of our 3 children, that we were privileged and needed to read the book “White Fragility.” I am not white, I am a person of color and a mother of a special education student. The Chair did not have a problem with these young people and their organization calling me a “white supremacist.”
This is how people of color are treated by our district when they don’t agree with their narrative. We are called derogatory and offensive names, defamed all over the internet, and our families safety is threatened. All for speaking up. To think this all started because I was concerned about my sons ability to breath in a mask all day.
If you have a student in Salem Keizer schools, please consider attending our board meetings to see for yourself what our district leaders are wasting our children’s time on."
Abigail Marie Eckhart, PARENT