Mar. 28, 2019

Reflections "The Human Cost Of Kamala Harris' War On Truancy" #joesmokeblackthoughts

"On the morning of April 18, 2013, in the Los Angeles suburb of Buena Park, a throng of photographers positioned themselves on a street curb and watched as two police officers entered a squat townhouse. Minutes later, their cameras began clicking. The officers had re-emerged with a weary-looking woman in pajamas and handcuffs, and the photographers were jostling to capture her every step."
 
“You would swear I had killed somebody,” the woman, Cheree Peoples, said in a recent interview.
 
This news story that appeared yesterday in the Huffington Post really shook me up. It detailed how a mother raising a child with sickle cell anemia was treated as if she was a hardened criminal because her daughter's illness had caused her to miss a number of days from school. I cannot comprehend how a district attorney, in this case, Presidential candidate Kamala Harris could generate truancy policies that would turn a mother's love and concern for her daughter into something that publically labeled Cheree Peoples a criminal. Someone in the district attorney's office noticed the press and this meant that Ms. People's had to be subjected to a public perp walk.
 
"Cheree Peoples read all these reports several days later in a state of disbelief. She has a soft manner and voice and has dedicated most of her adult life to caring for Shayla — who has lived with sickle cell anemia, a serious genetic illness that causes her acute pain and requires frequent hospitalization and medical procedures, since birth.
 
Shayla frequently missed school because she was in too much pain to leave the house or was hospitalized for long-term care. Her school was aware of these circumstances; it had records on file from the regional children’s hospital explaining that Shayla’s condition would necessitate unpredictable absences and special educational accommodations. Peoples and the school had worked together to set up some of those accommodations, which are required under federal disability law. At the time of her arrest, Peoples claims she was fighting with the school to get it to agree to additional accommodations under an Individualized Education Plan, which she said the school had rejected.
 
“This is a young woman who spends a lot of her life in the hospital,” Peoples said. “How is it that she’s giving off the impression of being a gang member? … Why are they coming after me?”
 
Peoples was caught up in the hugely complex forces Harris and her tough-on-truancy stance unleashed more than a decade ago."
 
 
All because her daughter, Shayla missed school due to the ravages that sickle cell anemia had on her body. Personally, I was initially excited about the presidential candidacy of Kamala Harris. Yet, as I have read more about the policies Kamala generated while serving as District Attorney in San Franciso, as well as States Attorney for California, along with her spotty background dealings related to former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, I must say that my Greek sister's luster has been dusted up quite a bit. I think for now it would be best if Kamala Brown maintained her Senate seat for the time being. There are simply too way bones rattling in her closet for her to be considered the voice who will bring solutions to our cause of rebuilding our black communities. I do however think that one of the candidates should consider Kamala Harris's plan to infuse significant monies into the salaries of public school teachers. We need the best and the brightest educators in our classrooms teaching our babies. If increasing salaries substantially for teachers does that then that is a policy that should be endorsed. I do not think Kamala Harris would make a good United States Attorney General either but if another cabinet position opens up like Secretary of Education replacing the current rogue in that position then so be it. Just as long as she doesn't bring that failed damaging truancy project to the US Department of Education.
 
Just because I would never support Donald Trump doesn't mean I will give my support to you "just because".  The more you are conscious of an individual's policies the more aware you will be in the polling booth. We must ensure that our community's residents conscious level is raised to the point that we understand the issues that effect our black communities specifically.