4/21/23 Letter regarding North Kitsap School District and DEI
(Letter to Councilmember Gary McVey - please note, in recent weeks Councilor McVey has been taking regular initiative with the issue of DEI and the city.)
April 21, 2023
Thanks for replying. The article was written to bring awareness about local groups organized around prejudice and hate - the focus of our DEI program - and their activities right here in Kitsap county. I respectfully disagree with your idea of an equivalency between the left and right in our current situation. The Left is simply not engaged in a highly organized and well-funded project to dismantle our democracy and promote violence.
Right now the Hispanic community, and members of both the Port Gamble S’Klallam and Suquamish Tribes, as well as LGBTQ families in Pousbo and North Kitsap, are in turmoil over the growing hate in our community. Kids are routinely targeted in racist attacks at school, on buses, and in their neighborhoods. Even staff members at Poulsbo schools have demonstrated racist attitudes and behaviors, hurting kids of color. Concerned citizen groups are organizing to discuss their kids’ intolerable predicament and consider actions they may take; there’s a lot of ferment out there that City government and the NKSD need to know about.
Recent NKSD board meetings have only worsened the situation. Last week Superintendent Evans threatened to call the police on those attending the meeting in Poulsbo. Families have repeatedly gone through established protocols in their efforts to talk with school officials, including Dr. Evans, but been turned away with the explanation, “There’s an investigation and we can’t discuss things.” Where have we heard that before? Isn’t it possible for adults to mutually agree to set some matters aside while tackling the nuts and bolts of inequity?
We’re not talking about years down the road when one investigation or another is complete or in October or November when our book group has dipped its toes into the subject of racism - hundreds of children and their families are in pain now. Why has NKSD Board liaison Rick Eckert not brought these mushrooming issues to the Council’s attention? Parents will not tolerate being ignored when children are paying the price.
I can’t think of anyone more appropriate to read the article I sent you than our city’s leaders and the DEI program. The groups mentioned in the article function under a variety of sponsorships, but at the end of the day they are singularly united in the promotion of racism, anti-semitism, anti-LGBTQ sentiment, and, ultimately, authoritarian rule. You may recall that the Kitsap Public Health District declared racism a public health crisis two years ago because lives are at stake. What are we doing about it?
Officials and civic leaders must step up now, practice true empathy, communicate with each other, and find constructive ways to bring all of us together for the safety and well-being of everyone.
The recent article by Chuck Tanner:
Thanks for sharing this post by Chuck Tanner. While I share some of the concerns of the "far right" taking control of the GOP in Kitsap County, I don't think it's appropriate for me to share this article with the City's ad-hoc committee planning the DEI Community Reading.
The Council positions we hold are strictly nonpartisan, and so is the work we do. Some people in our county likely feel far left activists have too much control over the Kitsap Democratic Party. It wouldn't be appropriate for me to share articles from this partisan perspective either.
So while I appreciate you sending this, I don't think it's appropriate for me to share it, or any other partisan content, with a Council-sponsored committee. Thanks for sharing and wanting to help. I'll look forward to seeing you at our committee meeting on April 28.
Poulsbo City Council Member, Position 7