RFK community protests against superintendent

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RFK community protests against superintendent

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Teachers, parents, and students of the Robert F. Kennedy community protested outside the library of the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools on Thursday, September 13, 2018. 

Austin Beutner — the Superintendent of LAUSD — has been in an ongoing conflict with the United Teachers Los Angeles, the teachers’ union. 

“We are the United Teachers of Los Angeles! We are UTLA!” Teachers and parents chanted in defense of the idea of smaller classes, with more individualized attention from teachers, and actions that will not jeopardize the salaries of the teachers.

Meanwhile, Austin Beutner, the Superintendent of LAUSD, held a conference inside the library. In a previous interview, Beutner stated that he is looking for “simplicity and focus” and “making sure everything we do supports the needs of one student, one classroom.” But will his recent proposal of ideas live up to his aforementioned claim?

English and ELD teacher Mr. Anthony Colla says that Beutner, “doesn’t have experience as a teacher,” meaning the Superintendent can’t understand the teachers’ point of view.

Special Education English Mr. Eric Hoh mentioned, “the students would not get an efficient education in larger class sizes.” The demonstration was a way to let “Superintendent Beutner know we are passionate and should have a voice about the decisions LAUSD makes,” Hoh added. 

After nearly an hour of constant chanting from the staff members and parents, the librarian, Ms. Sally Miller, said she had felt unvalued after being removed from the conference. Apparently, she had been supporting the community outside by wearing a UTLA shirt during the conference and was asked to leave. Miller speculated that “Beutner didn’t want any potential questions coming from the staff of RFK.” 

Hoh also thought it was “ironic that Beutner held a meeting in front of the school that teachers and parents couldn’t attend.” Miller stated that “Beutner was standing in front of the mural inside of the library,” and yet he talked about possible changes that, according to Miller, would ultimately put students at a disadvantage. 

In Mr. Colla’s opinion, the Superintendent’s plans are to “try to change public schools into private charter schools for profit. But who knows what this guy might do next?”

In an effort to provide a balanced point of view, BuzzKill approached the administration of ASGL, and they politely declined to comment. 

A day after the event, a local district official apologized in person to Ms. Miller.