Here is the OC Register Article: http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister/news/local/article_1162181.php
Below is a note I received from one of the attendees:
Tonight, we witnessed a character assassination and defamation of our good friend and nationally recognized educator, Kim Oanh Nguyen-Lam. Two Westminster school board members supported by the teachers’ union, Jim Reed and Joanne Purcell, were joined by a Christian Fundamentalist, Judy Ahearns, in overturning their original decision to hire Kim Oanh to be superintendent of Westminster School District.
Tonight, we witnessed nearly two hundred community leaders, teachers, and ordinary people with their children, many from the working poor, majority Latino, but also many Vietnamese, who came out to express their support for one of their own, Kim Oanh. It broke my heart to see so many parents who had such high hopes for their children in having a superintendent who could speak English, Spanish and Vietnamese; someone who, for the first time, understood their challenges, someone who would listen. Those hopes were dashed by the board who are so out of touch with the community they were elected to serve.
Tonight, we witnessed elected officials, including Lou Correa, former congressman, Jerry Patterson, Tony Lam, Lan Nguyen, and Trung Nguyen (Loretta Sanchez spoke directly to the union leaders last week) and Mark Rosen speak eloquently on behalf of Kim Oanh.
Tonight, the board by a three to two majority (Sergio Contreras and Blossie Marquez supported Kim Oanh) attempted to mask their racism by ignoring the community pleas and questioned her qualifications-despite a national search by an outside agency specializing in recruiting highly qualified candidates.
Let it be known that tonight, because of the actions by this board, we have also witnessed the coming together of our communities bent on taking direct action against this decision. We need to immediately mount a response to the racism which exists in the Westminster School District.
It is a sad day for our children that they have to attend a district that cares so little about their futures. It is a sad day for so called public education. It is a very sad day for me because I have been such a proud member of my teacher’s union, as a parent, my heart goes out to all the children.
I thought that in the last forty plus years our society had progressed.
Sadly, based on last nightÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s action by the Westminster School Board, I was mistaken.
To quote President Johnson:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Ã¢â‚¬Â¦it’s all of us, who must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“And we shall overcome!Ã¢â‚¬Â