Residents Petition to Recall Hacienda School Board Members for Supporting a Language Program Funded by the Chinese Government

Categories: School Daze
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See the update here.

Four members of the Hacienda La Puente Unified School Board have been targeted in a recall effort.  

The basis for the recall? They support a middle-school Chinese-language-and-culture program funded by the Chinese government.

The program, Confucius Classroom, is currently offered at Hacienda Heights' Cedarlane Middle School. An agreement with the Chinese government's Chinese Language Council International--which was voted for and approved last year by Board President Jay Chen and board members Norman Hsu, Joseph Chang and Anita Perez--would expand the existing program by providing additional books and up to $30,000 in funds for new computers or field trips.

The program has been a topic of extreme controversy, attacked by residents who believe it is a vehicle for Communist brainwashing. One resident wrote in a letter to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, "China already owns and changed most of the shopping centers in Hacienda Heights. Do we really want them to change our kids' minds, too?"

Anti-Commie activist Kai Chen (no relation to Jay Chen) and other opponents protested the program, and district officials announced last September that they would not accept the funds from China. (Previous to the Confucius Classroom spat, the L.A.-based Kai Chen made headlines for trying, unsuccessfully, to get the life-sized statue of Mao Tse-Tung removed from the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda.)

Last week, the four board members were served with a "Notice of Intention to Circulate Recall Petition" signed by 12 residents. Chen posted a scan of the petition on his Facebook page. A list of accusations includes a claim that Chen "believes that the United States will be subservient to China and manipulates students to serve China's government."

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Chen wrote about the controversy last year in a guest post on Asian American news blog Angry Asian Man: "In the midst of the worst economy since the Great Depression, in which the only things that seem poised for growth are budget cuts, layoffs and achievement gaps, who could have imagined that the most controversial issue to hit our school district would be the acceptance of free funding and books to expand a Chinese language class?"
 
According to a petition to reject the recall:

The Confucius Classroom is a Chinese language and culture program similar to France's Alliance Frances, Germany's Goethe Insitute, and the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Language and Culture. It promotes the understanding of Chinese language and culture, strengthens cultural cooperation, and encourages friendly relationships between China and other nations.

Thanks to a partnership with the U.S.-based Asia Society, it is already in place in more than 60 schools across the United States. Hacienda La Puente Unified is the first district to establish the program in Southern California, and it is one of the most popular electives at Cedarlane Middle School.

Phil Yu, creator of Angry Asian Man, blasted the intent to recall in a post today, writing about the accusations listed on Chen's notice. "Can I just say that this is utter bullshit? Straight up racist," he wrote. "They might as well be honest about it and add one more complaint: '6. Is Chinese American.' Most of the opponents of Confucius Classroom apparently don't even have children in the school district. Have fun with your awesome xenophobia while the rest of the world leaves you behind in your drooling pool of ignorance."

To sign the petition to reject the recall, go here

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11 comments
concerned
concerned

The communist does not teach Confucius in China. Are they really interested in teaching our children the Confucius? Why not use books and teachers from Taiwan instead?

Andrew Yip
Andrew Yip

Sign the Petition to reject this Recall: www.thepetitionsite.com/1/reje...

Don't let a handful of people demand necessary change that will hurt our district leadership and funds in the tune of thousands of dollars!

this aint jim crow grandma
this aint jim crow grandma

typical old white farts that cant give up the past.. we all know they are dumb as bricks and about as social.. funny thing is that asians are beating them at their own game and they hate it!! unlike blacks and mexicans, asians dont rely on hand-outs from the govt... we do it the old fashioned way, hard work

Andrew Yip
Andrew Yip

Because we're using AMERICAN CREDENTIALED teachers and China is offering to pay for books and materials. The HLPUSD has allowed public review of all materials.

Manuel Maldonado
Manuel Maldonado

You must have been paid or must have been threatened with harm to your family in China by Jay and/or Norman. It is sad to see that some people do not even know about the facts of the poor education our children are receiving and the way these board members have been cheating taxpayers with the 99 million bond.

I urge you to get public documents from the district related to trips to China by the four mentioned board members. Start attending board meetings and talk to DA's Integrity Division office as to why these four board members are being investigated. I do not think that theDA's Office is doing this for fun.

Are you a parent in the HLPUSD? I do not think so.

philhead
philhead

funny when racist dim-wits point out racist landmarks such as jim crow, and then aren't called out for it on forums like this.

Manuel Maldonado
Manuel Maldonado

Jim,

I am sure you are not a HLPUSD resident or maybe your children do not even attend public schools. Let me tell you what I have seen in the more than 40 years or residence and being a product of this district. I have seen that the majority of voters are not even informed of issues related to our schools, mainly schools in La Puente.

Since Hsu, Chang, Perez and Chen have been elected to that office, our schools have gone down. We have a great number of underperforming schools, there is mis management of our 99 million bond; low API and AYI in most schools, our childrenof low income have been under served since I can recall being a student of LPHS.

I am a parent of 10 kids, eight of the 10 have successfully graduted LPHS with honors and have been valadictorians and honor students. That is because my wife and I have been demanding equality for all students across the district not only for rthose in the HH schools. Our worst years of education have been since these four board members have been in office. Maybe you have to attent board meetings more often solearn moreof the ecuational issues and lack of sensibility towards our low income students.

Norman would go to sleep at the board meetings, Joseph can not even make sence when he talks. Anita is iliterate and does not even hold a HH diploma. Jay is using this position as step stone and maybe to influence his communist vision into our school system. This has nothing to do about race, language or etnicity.

Maybe you need to learn more about the underperforming schools in HLPUSD, talk to parents as to why they leave our HLPUSD district and decide to take their children West Covina, Diamons Bar, Walnut, Covina, Whittier and many other school districts when they live within the HLPUSD.

Do not speak without knowing facts.

Andrew Yip
Andrew Yip

I attended Orange Grove Middle School in 2003-2004 and Los Altos High School in 2004-2008. I have one brother that graduated from Los Altos High School and another that is a Senior.

If you or the DA has enough evidence, I invite you to walk your ass down the street and have them arrested because the last time I checked, it's a crime to misuse public funds.

Parents take their kids to other districts because of people like you that taint it with rhetoric.

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

Manuel,

Simple google search shows that 100% of Hacienda La Puente schools met their state mandated goals last year compared to just 58% of schools statewide. Is that what you mean by underperformance?

http://www.sgvtribune.com/news...

La Puente schools have consistently received recognition for their achievements while these individuals have been in office as demonstrated here:

http://www.closingtheachieveme...

Manuel, it's clear you're a bitter angry man with an agenda and you don't really care about students, you just want power and influence and you are willing to lie to get it. How unfortunate it is for HLPUSD that they must deal with you. Are you the same Manuel Maldonado that ran for school board and lost several times? Please don't damage our community any further.

And please learn to spell before you call other people illiterate or say they "can not even make sence."

Andrew Yip
Andrew Yip

So because you have a grudge with the board members in how La Puente High School is funded, you feel that it's okay to label the HanBan program communist? Worst of all, were you one of those that criticized our students that spoke out against you as brainwashed? should be ashamed? communist children?

You, sir serve no purpose but your own interests.

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