by DEBBIE LOPEZ
After a looong evening of meetings (Girl Scout Leader followed by Northridge West Neighborhood Council) I was greeted by this cheery message on my answering machine last night:
Our LAUSD Superintendant Ramon C. Cortines was robo-calling parents, assuring them that he had effectively bitch-slapped UTLA into submission and school was on as scheduled for Friday.
Oh... and parents, with the proper I.D. he said, would be welcome on campus this Friday.
In case Supt. Cortines forgot, there is still CST testing on Friday and parents are not allowed on campus at all during testing. D'oh!
For the longest time, I kept wondering why the message creeped me out so much; the tone, the tenor of the Superintendant's voice ... I couldn't really put my finger on it.
Later that evening, the text messages, emails and private Facebook missives started trickling in on my phone: "That Cortines sounds like a jerk" "His phone message makes me feel like keeping my kid home on Friday after all.." "Got Ray's message. Ugh" "Why can't we ever have a Superintendant who sounds both educated AND caring?" and on and on...
In the middle of the night (as it often happens), I finally figured out why I was so skeeved out: that phone message and voice creeped me out so darn much because they reminded me of this Dude:
Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars
[Update: The drama continues]
UTLA weighs next steps in light of court decision
Friday morning picketing will continue -- LA Superior Court judge issues a temporary restraining order against the one-day strike. UTLA will comply with the judge's order. The march to Beaudry is cancelled, but Friday morning picketing will continue. (Details coming later today)
With all the game playing, jockeying for power and capitalizing on the anger, frustration and fears of parents for their own political futures (certain school board members, perhaps?) both sides of this equation (LAUSD & UTLA) aren't making this situation any easier for either parents or students.
May the Force be with all you LAUSD Parents. You're going to need all the help you can get.