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Education is Beyond the Curriculum, Dangerous Employees Reinstate the Value of Safety for Our Future Generations

Posted by Sara Cooper | Nov 29, 2023 | 0 Comments

A school board member in Sonora, California has been filed a restraining order against them by school officials allegedly claiming he is a “executioner for God” and has a role to “kill children.” This was written in a manifesto of his own creation as told in news articles.

Jason Vassar, a trustee on the Belleview Elementary School Board, was placed on a temporary psychiatric hold, with the 93-page manifesto that also stated racial slurs, misinformation about COVID-19, an references associated to the Antichrist.

After a meeting led by Belleview District Superintendent-Principal Carmel Portillo about Vassar's actions and condition, Vassar had emailed the board with a statement including, “I'm going to tear this planet apart with my hometown, Sonora.”

He has been removed from his position, has been involuntarily hospitalized, and is monitored by local law enforcement.

This escalating position of the former trustee made me react in a way that may others have: Angry, how can this be approached on the larger scale for people in power, and there might have been a possibility this impacted the district's quality of education.

This isn't out the blue however, we see this everyday. Maybe to not this extent, but still much consistency to leaders and officials that are not in a position to make decisions for thousands and even millions of people. It has now only become apparent that this is a problem, but it's a problem in this lack of accountability in spaces that truly need it the most.

I don't think a threat needs to be made in order to see what's the bigger picture here, and this was someone who was on the board for eight years. I don't think this was something “new” or “unexpected.” Education is a value that is not just the improvement of a school's curriculum or safety being enforced without the necessity of militarization on campuses. It's a value that ensures the responsibility of electing board members that don't just have a grand history that makes “parents comfortable” with the ongoing uprise in right-wing policies passed at schools across the country; it centers the lives of children and their quality of life. Everyday feels like a risk to attend a school, and I don't blame students for questioning their direction in education with the multiple crises occurring all at once.

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