May 01, 2023 by Breeauna Sagdal
N. CLACKAMAS, OR school district has a long history of racial discrimination and sexual abuses on campus. The district has faced multiple lawsuits, resulting in continuous property tax increases and lost trust within the community after those who have raised concerns are targeted, silenced and slandered. This election, four frustrated momma bears are quickly finding more of the same as one Black and one LGBTQ candidate have been labeled "far-right, anti-LGBTQ racist bigots," as they fight for "true diversity, equity and inclusion," at the ballot box.
In May of 2021, a 12-year-old 7th grade student at Alder Creek Middle School
was raped by an older student, in an unlocked closet on campus. In a 200 million dollar lawsuit filed against the district, the family alleged a pattern of previous incidents between the male and female student that "should have alerted teachers and school administrators of the potential for harm."
In an August 2020 lawsuit, the parents of a six-year-old kindergarten student
at a North Clackamas Elementary School sued the district for racial discrimination and the failure of staff to respond. â€œWe want to be an active part of this community, but we want to be accepted in this community,â€ said Ashley Butler. He and other parents have tried to make changes within the district only to be disappointed.
In various federal
and state cases, North Clackamas School District has been named time and again for failing to protect students, especially the most vulnerable demographics such as; students of color, students with disabilities, and students who identify as LGBTQIA.
According to allegations in a recent 10 million dollar lawsuit
, when teachers or students speak out, the district under current leadership, has a history of defaming, slandering, and attacking those who report issues.
Following each case, the district's budget for liability insurance has increased precipitously. Noted in the district's budget under line item 6500 (other), legal fees, judgements and settlements accounted for $10 million during the 21-22 budget alone.
Parents who have tried to raise concerns, or work with the school board to effect policy changes have similarly been slandered and silenced by current school board members, and politically biased hacks in the media
Concerns were expressed, alleging that school-based exemptions to obscenity laws have given rise to age-inappropriate materials, and pornographic content. Not long after, the incumbent board members chose to move meetings online, "indefinitely."
According to the Portland Mercury
, "audience outbursts and commentary from parents and other community members who oppose LGBTQ-related teaching materials, gender-inclusive sex education curriculums, and conversations about race," necessitated online only meetings.
Among those "bigoted" parents, supposedly fighting against LGBTQ-related teaching materials, gender inclusive sex education curriculums and conversations about race, are Courtneigh Swerzbin and Aimee Reiner.
Riener, is endorsed by Clackamas County Commissioner Ben West, who won the right for same-sex marriage in Oregon when he and his husband, Paul Rummel, took their case to the Supreme Courtâ€”securing the landmark ruling.
Still, Reiner has been accused of anti-LGBTQ bigotry, after doggedly bringing explicit content to the board's attention
. Until meetings were moved online, Reiner attended meeting after meeting, in an effort to address campus culture and disparate outcomes for NCSD's most vulnerable students.
Swerzbin is no stranger to racial discrimination. Swerzbin, like Reiner, has been silenced and unfairly covered in Oregon's media. Raymond Rendelman, the biased editor of Pamplin's Clackamas Review, recently released a hit piece
, attacking Swerzbin's grammar and victim blaming the recipient of a racially motivated incidentâ€”irrelevant to the election.
According to Swerzbin's campaign website, she was shocked to learn children and staff at NCSD are being segregated by skin color for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion lessons. Swerzbin says she's running for "true inclusion," and kids over politics.
Unlike legislative elections, school board elections are meant to be non-affiliated. However, the nearly identical campaign finance disclosures and endorsements for the "North Clackamas United slate" tell a very partisan story. The slate consists of current board members; Glenn Wachter, Jena Benologa, and April Dobson. Lobbyist Paul Kemp, is a new candidate but certainly not new to politicsâ€”having spent years lobbying in Salem for gun regulations. According to OreStar, the slate of four share endorsements and funding from progressive left-wing activist groups, the Oregon Democratic party and large out-of-state donors with a vested interest in a new math curriculum
All four candidates also list a progressive left treasury service, C&E Systems, as their bookkeeper. Jena Benologa's PAC (Political Action Committee) e.g. has spent upwards of $1,00.00 to C&E Systems
, whose website boasts of "Electrac,"
a fundraising/donor portal available to Oregon's most "progressive candidates."
NextUp Action Fund, and Basic Rights Oregon have endorsed the United slate. Both organizations have also lobbied to lower the voting age to 16, in addition to lobbying for HB 2002-A, a bill that allows the state to expand diagnosis of gender dysphoria to dentists, and optometrists while giving DHS (Child Services) the authority to remove children from parents who might question that diagnosis.
Four School Based Health Clinics operate on NCSD campuses
, and provide direct access to dentistry, ophthalmology, prescription medication, abortion services and gender affirming care. Under recent legislation, schools can also transport minors to receive services during school hours, without parental consent or knowledge.
According to marketwatch, sexual reassignment surgery is a 1.95 billion dollar emerging market in the healthcare industry
. Parents, as well as healthcare professionals, have expressed concerns that a lack of standards for the therapeutic evaluation of minors, may be placing an emphasis on profits over vulnerable youth.
Rather than being addressed, these concerns have been dismissed by current board members. In addition, those who have spoken out about instances of rape on campus, discrimination and who have raised concerns at school board meetings in general, have also endured; harassment, death threats, bullying and even calls to their employers, as a result.
The voters of North Clackamas will be faced with a litany of issues to ponder during this school board election, as both financial and educational priorities are evaluated.
At the time of publication candidates were unable to be reached. This is part of an ongoing story, with updates to follow.
|Post Date: 2033-05-02 08:05:23||Last Update: 2023-05-02 08:46:24|