School official labels parents who disagree with ‘non-negotiable’ equity agenda as ‘resisters’, leaked meeting notes show

Parents concerned with the racial agenda in one California public school are labeled “resisters” and essentially ignored by the district’s director for Equity and Inclusion – who says her agenda is “non-negotiable.” 

Dr. Shawntanet Jara’s comments, reported by Fox News Digital, were made last September in a PTA group meeting in the Poway Unified School District and shared in a private Facebook group. 

In that meeting, when asked about how she would handle concerns about the equity agenda, the meeting notes describe Jara’s response as follows: 

“Pushback is nothing new. It’s loud but few … [L]ook at Org[anization] Change Theory: 20% resist, 20% wish you’d started 5 years ago, 60% just floating in the middle. I put my attention on the folks who were ready to move. There is a price to pay for that. But so be it. I have to sleep at night and need to know what I did was in service of children. My goal/job is not to change their minds. I’m clear on that and ready to articulate that to resisters.” 

Jara also was asked if Associate Superintendent Carol Osborne supports such an approach.  

“There does seem to be enough courage around now to take this on. Carol is very open and direct on her position with equity – a lens with which we look at everything,” Jara said. “She too as a child didn’t feel she belonged. It’s so important for her that no other child feels that way. It makes me secure in moving forward. I’m not a check box.  

“That’s the current feeling. Superintendent feels equity is non-negotiable.”  

A complaint against both Jara and Osborne was previously filed, according to Fox News Digital, over their dismissive response to a parent with concerns about the school’s equity push.  

“I respect your perspective … One thing I have learned is that to ‘debate’ or ‘argue’ is futile so I’ll just make a few statements,” Jara wrote in an email to the parent. “I’ve been hired because this district is committed to equity and inclusion. True healing, progress, and equality cannot happen without truth and equity.  

“There is nothing but supporting data available so you can rest assured that our high school students have access to back up any facts about systemic racism and inequality in our country.”  

Osborne followed up Jara’s correspondence with a scathing email to the same parent. 

“I was shocked that you questioned oppression to Dr. Jara, a Black woman. Her life experiences provide examples of oppression as do the experiences of thousands of African Americans and other people of color,” Osborne wrote, according to the complaint. “I am confident your life experiences have been very different from Dr. Jara and would not reflect the oppression she has experienced.”  

The complaint, filed by the Californians for Equal Rights Foundation, further alleges Jara and Osborne discriminated against the concerned parent and that the district “does not treat dissent and dissenters with an open mind or even minimal tolerance.” 

In a statement, the district simply responded by claiming to welcome feedback and asserted, “Staff conducts all meetings and interactions with parents respectfully and according to professional standards.”