Glenda Yakel | Community Concerns Disregarded

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

Re: Letters, Ron Perry, March 23, “Defaming the Indians Again.” 

Your letter struck a chord with many of us, particularly regarding the ongoing debate surrounding the Hart High School mascot. As we reflect on the decision made on July 15, 2021, to retire the Indian mascot by June 30, 2025, it’s disheartening to witness the lack of progress since then. Despite the resounding support from the community to preserve the Indian mascot, it seems their voices have fallen on deaf ears.

In recent board meetings, members of the Tataviam tribe from the Santa Clarita Valley have passionately advocated for the reinstatement of the mascot issue on the agenda. It’s commendable that board member Joe Messina has been a vocal advocate for these residents, yet his efforts have been met with resistance from certain board members, particularly two who have been reluctant to address the issue.

Their unwillingness to engage with the concerns of the community is deeply concerning, especially considering their swift capitulation to activists in 2021. The refusal to revisit this issue is perplexing, especially when considering the complaints raised by five students regarding the mascot’s alleged racism.

Questions linger about the origins of these students and whether they truly represent the sentiments of our community. In a recent conversation with board member Linda Storli, her justification for not revisiting the issue based on the passage of time was disheartening. It appears that she, along with other board members, has made a conscious decision to avoid addressing this issue, disregarding the concerns of the community.

As we approach the next school board meeting, it’s imperative that we mobilize Hart parents, grandparents and former students to demand action from our elected officials. The board members serve us, the community, not the interests of external activists. It’s time for the community to reclaim its voice and take back control of our city and our schools, starting with the removal of those who fail to represent our interests on the board.

It would be refreshing for once to see only the residents of SCV schools attend, without the interference of activists and speakers from surrounding cities. Let’s ensure that our voices are heard loud and clear, without external influence.

I echo your sentiments, Mr. Perry, that the intelligence and wisdom of the Indigenous peoples far surpass those currently entrusted with our educational institutions.

Glenda Yakel 

Canyon Country

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