CAFA set the following goals:

—to demand a temporary halt to filming while copies of the script were circulated to community groups, agencies, and churches for their input;

—to educate the community about the effects of media stereotyping and show the links to the overall situation we face, the deterioration of our living conditions, and the rise of racism and police brutality;

—to organize community resistance;

—to build higher levels of unity between the Puerto Rican and black communities through common struggle; and

—to develop our communities’ ability to use the media.

this film presented a one sided, biased picture—selecting consciously the most sensational things, dehumanizing and degrading us, and ignoring the causes of these problems: high unemployment, the heroin plague, overcrowded and under staffed hospitals, abandoned buildings. The CAFA analysis pointed out that this leaves “the viewer with the impression that the people themselves create the poverty of the South Bronx. Thus, rather than win people to support our continuing struggle to change our conditions, the film will turn other people against us.”The movie romanticized the police: “Fort Apache is shown, not as a police station, but as a fort in hostile territory . . .[where] the police can do what they want because they’re dealing with savages. It excuses their brutality while at the same time denying our humanity.”(11)While we were demonstrating, about sixty Puerto Rican and black high school students approached, carrying signs that read: “Pro-Fort Apache,” “Fort Apache Will Help the Community,” and “Don’t Mix Our People’s Progress with Communist Political Advancement.” It was obvious to us that a confrontation had been set up. We quickly sent representatives of CAFA to talk to the students and read them portions of the screenplay (which none of them had seen). The students told us they had been hired through members of a South Bronx store front church, headed by a white minister from Tennessee. They had been promised fifteen dollars an hour for three hours, plus five dollars for lunch—as well as roles in the movie—in return for demonstrating. They had also been told that CAFA members were “communists that were against the community.”

endured MEPCS’s rigid test driven culture

taught by a cadre of disengaged teachers that are unavailable and unsupportive. Where is the holistic approach to educating and contributing to the social emotional learning of  students?.  MEPCH fails to  consider the historic and present injustices of black indigenous people.  The current Covid crisis has only exacerbated  the test toxicity in MECPS’s curriculum. 

teachers go on diatribes of shaming. I witness students being  given assignments that are not taught and when they were assigned they are not reviewed. Throughout this first marking period, I sit with my child waiting fifteen to thirty minutes while the teachers take attendance. I see teachers not taking any account for the different learning styles needed to differentiate instruction and keep students engaged. Teachers give work loads without meaningful connections and seriously lack the compassion and empathy needed for these uncertain segregated times of CoVid.

 

I completely push back on devoting the majority of Inara's instructional learning in a culture that extends its destructive nature into his understanding of education. Now is a moment,  when we are given space to “reimagine” our schools outside of the rigidness of the test prepping factories for Regents Exams.  Regents have been canceled for this year.

 

Our children are not business as usual. What is the need and utility of continuing with a Regents format that only increases the discrepancies within the achievement gap?.  Schools all over the city are shifting toward a more inquiry based pedagogy with authentic assessments.  It seems Medgar Evers is unnecessarily doubling down on antiquated methodologies  that contribute to anxiety, stress, doubt, and uncertainty in a child's educational development.  There are many examples from the New York Performance Standards Consortium that are utilizing this moment to tailor our children's interest in ways that shape and direct curriculums that are appealing, interesting and far more engaging.

 

We cannot continue partnering with your institution which  destroys my child self esteem, self worth, and self confidence. At Medgar,  teachers are devoid of compassion, they pathologize rather than encourage Inara’s thirst for education.  

 

This is Inara's final  year, as he will not be returning to Medgar Evers for High School. Please contact me to schedule an appointment to ensure a smooth graduation/transition to high school.