Open letter to school board on Narvaiz

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Dear Editor: This is an open letter that I sent to SMCISD School Board on Friday, October 13, 2017

Dear SMCISD School Board of Directors:                                             

First, as an active parent in our community, I want to thank the SMCISD board for their diligent work for the children of San Marcos. I, and my family moved to the city just over two years ago from Wimberley, where we lived for over 20 years. Based upon our concern for our children we made the decision to raise them in a community that was more like our nation and importantly, more like Texas. With these goals in mind we sold our properties in Wimberley and purchased a home in San Marcos.  

I have worked at Texas State University since 1993 and have been quite active working tirelessly for many, many organizations in this community; including, the American Cancer Society, Leadership San Marcos, Heritage Association, The Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Seton Hays Development Foundation. With these organizations, I have served as the President or Chair. I donate my time to this community again and again. I am committed to making our community a better place for everyone.

My husband by trade and education is a professional engineer who is now retired and teaches full-time at San Marcos High School. A dedicated teacher, David Joiner is making a huge impact on our kids in this school.

Because our community is so important to us we want to make sure every child has the opportunity to grow up and get the education they deserve without prejudice, bullying, or financial setbacks to their success. This is why I am asking the SMCISD to stop and reconsider the appointment of Ms. Naomi Narvaiz to the SHAC Board. Her negative rhetoric and her hate speech on social media have gone beyond her First Amendment rights as a citizen. The mean- spirited and hateful comments contained in her writings on her Twitter account demeaning to our children and the parents of our kids do not pass for acceptable positions for one who can impact our children’s education.

Can you honestly tell me that if one of our teachers were posting such awful rhetoric on social media that they would still be employed at the end of the day? It is very hard to believe that a teacher in our school system that was found posting such hateful things about DACA, LGBTQ and Dreamer kids would be allowed to remain in their position.

I’ve read your article dated Wednesday, October 11, 2017 where  San Marcos set to adopt compact against hate and in this 10-point Compact to Combat Hate it states:

1.  Expressly rejecting extremism, white supremacy and all forms of bigotry.  (Strike 1 against Ms. Narvaiz, please read her Twitter feeds)

2.  Denouncing all acts of hate wherever they occur.  (Strike 2 against Ms. Narvaiz, again read her negative Neo-Nazi post on conquering the USA on her Twitter feed)

3. Ensuring public safety while protecting free speech and other basic constitutional rights. (Strike 3 against Ms. Narvaiz, she has video recorded people in peaceful protest and then sent the footage to their employers trying to get them terminated)

4.  Calling for fully-resourced law enforcement and civil rights investigations of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.

5.  Elevating and prioritizing anti-bias and anti-hate programs in our nations schools. (I hereby denounce Ms. Narvaiz’s hateful Twitter comments about DACA Students, “Dreamers” Immigrants and the XYZ Club at the high school. Did you know that LGBTQ youth are almost five times as likely to have attempted suicide when compared to heterosexual youth? How can her service on the SHAC board help protect these children when they are exposed to her vile messages about LGBTQ kids?)

6. Supporting targeted communities and bringing together civic and community leaders to build trust. (How can we build trust in our community while someone divisively posts, a Twitter opinion aimed at Muslims stating that Islam is infiltrating America at alarming rates.  I grew up in Dearborn, MI, with the largest Muslim population in the nation and there were NEVER any problems. Another Tweet States PARENTS: ‘Gay Marriage’ Rooted in fraud – Child Rape-There is no science that supports this prejudiced statement and I take offence in her post.)  

7.  Celebrating diversity, promoting inclusivity and challenging bias.  (Again, Ms. Narvaiz’s negative and hateful rhetoric can be very damaging to those children who may already be on the fringe of society. A voice such as hers on the SHAC could be very detrimental to LGBTQ kids who are desperate for appropriate counseling.)

8.  Promoting law enforcement training on responding to and reporting hate incidents, hate crimes, and domestic terrorism. (Great case in point, a sister of a survivor of a domestic violence was deported after reporting it to the police and Ms. Narvaiz tweeted,  “Ok? So what’s the problem???”)

9. Encourage residents in their communities to report hate incidents and crimes, including using hotline and online tools.

10.  Maintaining civil rights enforcement and strengthening hate crime laws when necessary.

I agree with council member Lisa Prewitt that this is incredibly timely. This compact is designed to help build cohesiveness in the community. Texas Senate Bill 4, does nothing to build community; rather it inflicts harm on immigrant families whose futures are at stake because of this broad sweeping and ill-conceived bill, Not surprisingly Ms. Narvaiz wholeheartedly supports this misguided legislation.

I have heard some individuals say, “well she is only one voice of 22”. That, however, isn’t an acceptable observation regarding someone who is so bitter and mean spirited in her view of Dreamer Kids, LGBTQ kids and immigrants.

If you find yourself morally outraged by her comments then you have the duty to prevent her toxic views from gaining a position from which she can continue to put forth her venom under the guise of civic service. As Board members they have an opportunity to get on the right side of this issue and denounce and remove a bigoted hate driven mouthpiece from this committee. We all need to stand up and fight for ALL of our children in this community. This is what we elected the SMCISD Board to do.

Sincerely,

Kevin D. Gilley 

San Marcos Daily Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666