It was an awesome spectacle this Tuesday at Beaudry. In concert with the superintendent’s job evaluation and on cue for maximal impact and disruption, a parade of circus performers enacted astroturf’ed performance art for the full spectrum of media, replete with daisies for Deasy. Cute. [Some were confused by the distribution of flowers they thought were mums: Um, no….] These provided a convenient visual for labeling those allowed to speak during public comment and those precluded. There are allegations of speaker’s cards refused those without daisies. And video from the close of the session showing angry stakeholders denied a voice in the comment process. Tuesday’s debacle was directed from stem to stern by off-stage handlers and PR professionals. While meanwhile the rest of us stayed home, unrepresented and unheard regarding the malfeasance of this superintendent’s reign.

Understand well who is able to turn out on a weekday. Understand better who is unable to.

Anyone with a job, will be unable to attend the circus. That would preclude attendance by any of the 91% of teachers who voted “no confidence” in their leader and employer. They were represented by a mere one, their union president, and by one of their own fired in microcosmic display of the superintendent’s immature, irascible and unprofessional modus operandi. Likewise no school administrators were present, though their own rank and file confess similar dismay with those at the top.

Most missed in their inability to attend, were the preponderance of LAUSD parents employed in ways that utterly preclude representation at these ubiquitous daytime, downtown LAUSD board-farce theatricals.

Anyone with preschool-age children will be unable to attend; few would bring their young ones into such chaos, preferring instead to enrich the child’s life with things child-like, rather than subject them to the intensity of a mob.

Anyone with a child whose school ends before mid-afternoon would be unable to attend an event downtown; Beaudry is too distant from parenting responsibilities, and the risk of traffic forcing an uncollected child to remain alone on the street is too great.  No aides or librarians remain at our schools to staff a benign locale for uncollected children.

The only adults able to be present for this charade are those whose job is quite literally to attend that venue. This would include the media, who would be well advised to investigate what proportion of circus participants were remunerated for their time and attendance expenses (transportation, parking, etc). A transcript is available of just such strategizing from the CLASS end of the partisan spectrum. But with the exception of a few retired educators and ultra-dedicated activists, the rest of Los Angeles simply could not appear for this Halloween-season masquerade. We have responsibilities that preclude such extravaganza and what results is a wholly unrepresentative charade of partisan bullying.

It is a testament to the power of money and the organization it can buy when excluded from that madding crowd is 99% of the population of immediate, direct stakeholders in the future of LAUSD. It leaves those of us with actual skin in this game – teachers, parents, students, administrators – enervated and alienated; ignored and disrespected: shut out. At least as bad is that this show of force subjects our elected officials to undue, unfair and disproportionate pressure from highly specialized special-interest groups. Excluded, utterly, from the entirety of Tuesday’s shenanigans, was an authentic voice of LAUSD stakeholders. Beware the Big Lie.