Xica Nation recently had the pleasure of speaking to Mayda Garcia (Texas/California) of the Society of Native Nations who is involved in a crisis in San Antonio, Texas where deaf students are being dehumanized and having their civil and federally-protected rights being assaulted by Braun Station Elementary and the Northside Independent School District.
From the removal of federally-funded rooms and equipment to having young students told they are not allowed to sign to their peers, the physical/spiritual/emotional attack on the youth has caused outrage. Mayda is an ASL interpreter and community organizer who has been active in working with student and families affected by this crisis. We invite you to listen to our platica and take a few moments to read the call to action below the video. Our deaf relations and youth are seeking our help on this issue.
(Note: This video is closed-captioned.)
The following is a call to action. The community is seeking your support in the form of emails, phone calls, written letters, and your physical presence at the upcoming Board Meeting on Tuesday, December 11, 2018. For those that can help by sending emails, the suggested text is below.
Board Meeting: Dec 11, 2018 at 7 p.m. at the Board Room at 5900 Evers Road SA Texas 78238.
Mailing Address: NISD – Northside Independent School District, 5900 Evers Road, San Antonio, Texas 78253
Phone Number: District Phone Number (210) 397-8500
Superintendent: Brian Woods
Director 0f Special Education: Krista Garcia
Asst Superintendent for Student, Family & Community Services: Don Schmidt
Deputy Superintendent for Administration: Ray Galindo
Elementary Area Coordinator: Jenice Dames
Auditory Services: Laura Riddell
Braun Station Elementary School (210) 397-1550
Principal: Jack Funkhouser
Dear Administration of NISD,
I am writing in support of the Deaf children at Braun Station Elementary School and the violation of their civil rights. I am reaching out to inquire about a few things that have come to my attention.
- Do you have enough qualified deaf educated staff members to accommodate your deaf and hard of hearing students at Braun station? Interpreters, Certified AI (Auditory impairment) teachers, and auditory staff members?
- What is the Deaf student to deaf educated certified staff member ratio?
- Were you aware of Braun Station Elementary being out of compliance with every single deaf student’s IEP in your Regional Day School for the Deaf program (RDSPD)?
- If I were to go to the Freedom of Information Act site to place a public information request for your RDSPD program financial records breakdown, (How much you are receiving from the government for these special needs children and their services…), would the amount being received match the actual allocated funds given to these children and this program?
- Why are there 2 Rooms that were made for Deaf children’s education and their special needs of learning taken away from them and given to hearing children?
- Why are the Deaf children in a room not up to Deaf CODE and without resources and important Emergency lighting – Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).28 C.F.R. § 35.104. are alerted to a fire or other emergency, a school system should install visual (flashing) fire alarms.
- Why are Deaf children not given time to socialize with their deaf and hard of hearing peers?
In closing, your actions of intentionally breaking of the Law and neglect of these children’s Individualized Educational Plans (IEP’s), and educational deprivation is unacceptable.
The principal Jack Funkhouser creates roadblock for this situation to be remedied. It would be better for him to be transferred or for the program to be relocated to a different school. It is obvious she does not support and advocate for these children.
I am looking forward to your explanations.
More videos about Braun
Connect with the Society of Native Nations
More from Mayda Garcia: An awesome video of ASL interpretation of the Black Snake song by Prolific The Rapper and A Tribe Called Red.