Are You Looking The Other Way?

Not looking the other way makes me a rebel.

A good friend of mine asked me why I bother discussing the corruption in our school system when it’s obvious no one cares. He is right to a degree. Almost no one cares. I care. As long as I care, I will continue to speak about the injustices and financial mismanagement in Miami Dade County Public School System. I can’t look the other way because I know that this will have an impact on our students which in turn will have an impact on our economy and the world around us.

I have a better question: Why do people look the other way?

When I went to Centennial Junior High School in Miami, one of my friends was being sexually assaulted by her boyfriend in the hallway. No one knew because everyone was in the cafeteria, watching the wrestling match. As I was on my way, I saw him pinch her breasts, punch her  and call her names. I didn’t look the other way. I told him to stop. My friend, crouched in the corner was crying, telling me to go away. She was scared that he would hurt me. I stood my ground or as much I could since I am 3ft  tall and in a wheelchair. I told him I would scream and people would come running. He didn’t move. So I screamed. He got scared and left the hallway. Fortunately, someone had heard. The adult came and took my friend to the main office. I went back to the wrestling match. The next day at school, she thanked me. I’m glad I didn’t look the other way.

In Atlanta on a business trip, a homeless man was asking for food. My companions and I were in a hurry to get to the conference and we each had a hot dog from the street vendor. It was a cold autumn day but I couldn’t look the other way. A man was hungry. I prayed I would never be that hungry. I stopped the person who was pushing my wheelchair and turned to the man who was asking for food. I gave him my hot dog. He thanked me.  I’ve been blessed. I haven’t been without food in my life. I’m glad I didn’t look the other way.

It’s difficult for me to understand how the members of the school board can look the other way, as they allow corruption to take place. Robbing our students of quality education is not something to be proud, yet they do it with their heads held high for the cameras. They become guests on Spanish television shows because they know that these viewers don’t know the truth. So they use this platform to give them their own version.

But it’s just not the citizens who look the other way. Teachers look the other way. They complain about the corruption, they cite specific examples but when the time comes to file a complaint, they hide in fear. Fear of retaliation. Our Superintendent Alberto Carvalho says no one has been fired. Maybe so. But what do you call it when you turn the library into a virtual lab and assign the media specialist to teach a subject for which she is not certified?  I call it reckless behavior.

But it’s not just the community and teachers, the media looks the other way as well.

Oh yes! For example, Michael Putney from Channel 10 news has been asked several times to investigate the corruption in the school system. He doesn’t do it. An email was sent to him about the school bond referendum and Florida statute 104.31, yet no answer from him. Same goes for the other local news stations. Even The Miami Herald won’t investigate the school systems corruption. Why? The answer is obvious. Money talks. Have you ever seen how much money MDCPS gives to The Miami Herald on a regular basis under the guise of advertising? You should check that out. Don’t look the other way on this subject. You have a right to know where your money goes.

The icing on the cake is that even the politicians and State Attorney’s office seem to be looking the other way as well. If you are a parent, you probably received a flyer from your child regarding the school bond referendum and asked to vote #222. Oh it wasn’t a literal request, it was implied. Well, that paper, ink, and copy machine used to make that flyer came from tax payers’ tax dollars. Each school used their resources to promote the school board’s agenda. That is a direct violation of Florida Statute 104.31. Don’t be fooled if they tell you that’s not true. Google it up yourself. Or you can read my previous post where I give you a link and state the exact wording. The personnel who made the copies, the teachers who distributed the copies and the administration who gave the order to make the copies look the other way.

I can’t look the other way as Miami Dade County Public School System violates Florida laws and do nothing about it. Will the State Attorney do something? Will the election’s commission? Who knows? It seems everyone is satisfied looking the other way.

Will the bond pass? I would be surprised if it didn’t. MDCPS has done everything legal and illegal to make sure it passes.

How much longer will you look the other way?

I won’t lose sleep if it passes but I would lose sleep if I looked the other way and did nothing about it.

Tomorrow I am going to the post office and turn in my  notarized complaint to http://www.fec.state.fl.us/COMPLAINTS/index.html the Florida Elections Commission along with the proof which I have shown all of you in my previous post.

Do you know why I won’t lose sleep if it passes?

A couple of summers ago, Dr. Maria Peiro and I ran for school board in our respective districts and lost. We are both teachers yet United Teachers of Dade chose to endorse Carlos Curbelo and Raquel Regalado who did win those seats. Maria and I were prepared to stop the corruption. Our opponents have done nothing since they became members other than smile for the cameras, attend local events and raise awareness to themselves. They too, have looked the other way as Superintendent Alberto Carvalho has managed to bring education in Miami to be a test taking factory for our students.

So I ask you, how long can you continue to look the other way?

Call the media. Ask them to investigate my allegations. I am not the only one who is speaking out. Shawn Beightol has filed complaints as well. http://shawnbeightol.com/blog/2012/10/24/complaint-filed-with-inspector-general-and-attorney-general-regarding-bond-referendum/

Now it’s your turn. Don’t look the other way.

Save Miami from another future financial fiasco. Vote #223

 

  • Allison Duncan

    You are so right. Too many people are afraid to complain. It’s like when people don’t vote and then complain about elected officials. I too have sent emails to the media and never get a response. Thank you Natasha for all the work you seeking the truth.

    • http://www.audaciouslady.com Nathasha Alvarez

      Thanks for the kind words. Did you file your complaint? It’s easy. Make a difference, chica. Don’t look the other way. 🙂

  • Ingrid

    What a great article. Well written. Thank you.

    • http://www.audaciouslady.com Nathasha Alvarez

      Thanks!Keep the cheerleading going on! 🙂

  • michael webb

    Excellent article. I commend you. I am an ESOL teacher in the system for about 27 years. I am about to retire anyway but lately they are forcing me out with the most ridiculous observation by my principal! I’ve had enough. I did try so hard all these years for the students. I don’t know your politics but to me this is the absolute worst – to me,the federal government and the state are now one and the same; the dictatorial heavy hand on me and the other teachers is horrid. Isn’t there a Florida law that teachers have autonomy in the classroom? God bless you on your efforts.